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Nursing Safe Skin Care Routine

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Important changes to make to your skin care routine when you move from pregnancy to a new mommy with nursing duties round the clock.

Nursing Safe skin care routine

0-3 months:

You are the most important person to your baby right now, and vice versa. So this phase is all about caution, keeping safety in mind above all other goals!

Here are some top tips for this precious period in your life.

  • Avoid applying skin care products to areas that the baby’s mouth will come in contact with. This includes the breast and nipple areas, but also the shoulder, neck and face as you cuddle/burp the baby. The easiest way to manage this is to cover up the contact areas, where possible, with clothing. For the other areas, consider using short contact products over long wear ones.

  • Avoid using strong perfumes and heavily coloured skin cosmetics during this period.Perfume free products

  • Adopt the baby’s skin care products – this would be anything from body wash to body moisturizer. You can continue to use your own face wash, but make sure to rinse it thoroughly.Best Face wash

  • Do not get on to the baby’s hair care routine. Stick with your own hair care products, may be, you can focus on rinsing out the products more thoroughly.Hair care

  • Limit sunscreen use to outdoor trips, and use physical protection wherever possible. You will need to use a nursing safe sunscreen like Brigade Road, which is also a pregnancy safe sunscreen.Nursing safe Sunscreen

  • Redcovery tranexamic acid serum is not recommended for nursing mothers, even though it is a pregnancy safe product.

  • Paraben containing products are best avoided during nursing, just like how it is during pregnancy.

  • Avoid colouring your hair and avoid doing any hair treatments like keratin, straightening or smoothening during this phase.

  • Health supplements during this phase are usually not recommended unless approved by your lactation consultant.

  • Retinoids too, are best avoided during this phase of motherhood.

  • Skin bleaching creams like hydroquinone are not recommended due to the possibility of product absorption into the bloodstream.Avoid using bleaching creams

3-6months:

Congratulations on getting past the 3 month mark! Your baby will now be rewarding you with many, many smiles – so this is truly an enjoyable time. Do not worry, the baby looking at you is not the cause for your hair fall. The real reason for the heavy hair fall that you may be facing from the 4th month onwards – is due to a condition called postpartum telogen effluvium. During pregnancy, there is a prolongation of the growth phase, and all of these hairs in the growth phase now go into the resting phase between 3-6 months of delivery. This causes a precipitate hair fall, and that explains the kind of hairfall you are facing right now. But worry not, most of the hair will eventually grow back.

  • For the skin, the same rules as above will apply.

  • If you have acne, you can gently start using a chemical exfoliator at home, containing either lactic or salicylic acid.

  • If you have oily skin, you need to choose a salicylic acid peel, and if you have dry skin, you can consider a lactic acid peel.Chemical peels in India

  • The idea of using a home chemical peel from the UNSCRUB series, as compared to using an alpha hydroxy acid based toner or a beta hydroxy acid serum, is to limit the contact time. During the period of nursing, using short contact products will ensure that the product is not absorbed into the mother’s body which makes it very safe during nursing. Further, chemical exfoliation needs only seconds to a few minutes to do its job. Leaving on a lactic acid containing serum, or a salicylic acid toner for longer on the skin, is unnecessary and adds more to skin sensitivity than to any deeper exfoliation.Exfoliate your skin

  • The best chemical exfoliators are Light Routine Gentle Waterless and Milk Route Water-less – both are preservative free, and are perfect products for nursing moms.Best chemical exfoliators

  • For the hairfall, the best thing to do is to try your best to get some good rest, and increase your protein intake. You can also consider starting collagen and protein supplements, after obtaining clearance for the same from your lactation consultant. If you are considering a collagen supplement, double check to ensure that it is mercury free. You can also continue iron, calcium, biotin supplements under your physician’s guidance.Best collagen powder

  • Your body care at this point, is almost the same as that of the baby’s – Baby body washes and Baby moisturisers to go.

  • Hair care is simple, with nothing but a shampoo without parabens or phthalates, and a rinse off conditioner, or a leave in serum, just for the hair strands.Hair care products for nursing women

  • Sunscreen is mostly for outdoor use, but if you have resumed working from home, you can get back to using sunscreen twice to thrice daily. Brigade Road sunscreen is a long wear nursing safe sunscreen with a water resistance of upto 6 hours, so you may use it twice daily. As this is based on non nano zinc, you do not have to worry about absorption. Further, there are no chemical filters, or endocrine disruptors in Brigade Road Safescreen, so you can use it safely. These are the same reasons that make Brigade Road a pregnancy safe sunscreen too.Sunscreen for nursing women

>6 months:

Your baby is now big and strong, and you might have tasted some early success with the weaning.

  • Let’s start this phase with the most important question: When can I start colouring my hair after giving birth? There is no data so far, that clearly points to any harm from hair colouring when you are nursing your baby. However, as you would know, if you have done any hair colouring, smoothening, keratin or perming treatments in the past, the pungent smell of your hair may be a little difficult for a baby to tolerate and in some babies who may have allergies or atopic tendencies, this may trigger some discomfort. So it is best to avoid colouring or doing hair treatments for your hair, during the first 3-6 months of having a baby, as your baby is always in close contact with you. Post 6 months, your baby is busy exploring the world, and you may find it easier to maintain some distance till the smell on your hair dissipates with a few washes.

  • Your hair fall may still be a top concern for you. Go high on protein, and consider using collagen and protein supplements, if you get the go ahead from your lactation consultant. You can also consider taking hair vitamins and can also start topical Caffeine hair growth serums, again, with your physician’s approval.

  • Your skin care products like body wash and moisturizer can continue to be the same as your baby’s.

  • Hopefully, by now, you have started your fitness routines, and you will need to make sure to prevent sweat related issues like body acne. This is easily done by washing your scalp frequently, avoiding applying oil on the scalp, using cotton clothes that can wick the sweat off – during your workouts, and keeping yourself well hydrated.Workouts for nursing women

  • You may notice more facial hair at this time, and you can safely step out for your laser hair removal sessions.

  • You can step up the frequency of exfoliation with the preservative free exfoliators, Light Routine Gentle Waterless and Milk Route Water-less.

Based on all these pointers above, your skin and hair routine looks like this, across the different time periods.

0-3 months

AM :

PM:

SOS:

  • Sebamed or Cetaphil Baby moisturizer SOS – after hand wash, if you feel your hands are getting too dry from washing the hands often or from using sanitizer often.

  • Light Routine LED Mask – red light 3 minutes at bedtime for skin rejuvenation and relaxation. You can also use any other protocol from the product insert.

Suggested hair washes include

Skincare products for nursing mothers

3-6 months

AM:

PM:

SOS:

  • Sebamed or Cetaphil Baby moisturizer SOS – after hand wash, if you feel your hands are getting too dry from washing the hands often or from using sanitizer often.

  • Light Routine LED Mask – red light 3 minutes at bedtime for skin rejuvenation and relaxation. You can also use any other protocol from the product insert.

Twice weekly: Light Routine Gentle Waterless or Milk Route Water-less.

Once daily: Nuzest Protein Shake and TOR Fish Collagen (TOR Classic or TOR Mighty)-after clearance from your lactation consultant.

Suggested hair washes include

6 months and above

AM:

PM:

SOS:

  • Sebamed or Cetaphil Baby moisturizer SOS – after hand wash, if you feel your hands are getting too dry from washing the hands often or from using sanitizer often.

  • Light Routine LED Mask – red light 3 minutes at bedtime for skin rejuvenation and relaxation. You can also use any other protocol from the product insert.

Twice to thrice weekly: Light Routine Gentle Waterless or Milk Route Water-less

Once daily: Nuzest Protein Shake and TOR Fish Collagen (TOR Classic or TOR Mighty)-after clearance from your lactation consultant. You can also consider taking oral sun protection in the form of White Pine Pycnogenol capsules if cleared by your lactation consultant.

Suggested hair washes include

General points to note:

  • Avoid using perfumes right before nursing the baby.

  • Allow adequate time between product use and nursing.

  • Choose short contact products with good efficacy, to get great results without risking any product absorption.

  • Safescreen Brigade Road, suggested here, is a non nano mineral sunscreen, and only mineral sunscreens are recommended by the FDA as safe in pregnancy and nursing.

  • Avoid using products on the breasts right before nursing the baby.

  • Remember to relax, take time out to care for yourself, and work on good sleep hygiene for yourself and the baby.

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