Glowing Through Winter

by | Jul 10, 2024

South African winters are a unique experience. While the crisp air is refreshing, the dry conditions and harsh sun can wreak havoc on your skin, especially with the added demands of pregnancy. Considering the yo-yo between warm winter days and extreme cold, this is quite the balance to get right. We’ve compiled a few simple tweaks to your routine so you can keep your skin healthy and radiant all season long.

Understanding Pregnancy Skin in Winter

Pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitive and prone to dryness. This, coupled with the winter’s low humidity, can lead to itchiness, flakiness, and even irritation. Though sometimes obscured by winter clouds, the South African sun still packs a punch with its intense UV rays. So, sun protection remains paramount.

Your Winter Skin Survival Kit

  • Gentle Cleansing: Skip harsh soaps and opt for a fragrance-free, gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin’s natural oils. Look for ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid, which are known for their hydrating properties.
  • Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise! This is your winter mantra. Apply a rich, fragrance-free moisturiser twice a day, paying particular attention to your belly, breasts, and any areas prone to dryness. Consider an oil-based moisturiser for extra nourishment at night.
  • Sun Protection Every Day: Don’t be fooled by the cooler weather! South Africa’s UV index can remain high even in winter. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Look for mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are generally considered safe for pregnancy.
  • Hydration is Key: Drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy skin, especially during pregnancy. Aim for eight glasses of water daily, and consider adding hydrating fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Soothing Relief for Itchy Skin: If you experience itchiness, a calming lotion with oatmeal or aloe vera can provide relief. Avoid hot showers and baths, as they can further dry your skin. Opt for lukewarm water and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing.
  • Embrace the Power of Natural Oils: Marula oil, a South African treasure, is known for its moisturising and nourishing properties. Look for marula oil products or even consider using pure marula oil as a natural moisturiser.
  • Invest in a Humidifier: Adding moisture to the air can significantly improve dry, itchy skin. A humidifier placed in your bedroom at night can work wonders while you sleep.
  • Comfy Clothes Matter: Opt for soft, breathable fabrics like cotton to avoid irritating your skin. Layer up with cosy clothing to keep warm without overheating, which can worsen dryness.

Always consult a healthcare practitioner, especially when pregnant, because your skin is going through tremendous changes as your baby grows. Healthy skin starts from within, so prioritise a balanced diet and adequate sleep (well, as much as you can when you’re expecting and manage stress levels for optimal well-being.