Name: Akshita Nahar Jain
Location: New Delhi
Occupation: Consulting Editor, Luxeva
If there was ever a time to evaluate what goes into your body, it is during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period after that. The idea of nurturing a life within you makes you sit up and take notice on what you are feeding yourself (and consequently the baby) to avoid possibly harmful external elements.
Looking back, I would call my year of pregnancy (9 months in, 3+ months out) the most regimented and healthy phase of my life. I have eaten, without complaint, everything from Amla to Ghiya to Ladoo's made up of bittersweet herbs. Yes, I have indulged and given in to my sweet cravings and eaten (non-MSG) junk food, but overall, the whole range of food I consumed through the year is peak healthy.
This newfound consciousness meant that I had to toss out a lot of old beauty rituals and treatments. Just as consumption of alcohol, drugs or smoking can affect your breastmilk, the same applies to strong skincare and makeup ingredients.
So bye-bye coloured hair and thank you, hairstylist, for introducing me to balayage.
Bye-bye, any skincare product with retinol (aka all your acne and wrinkle-reducing creams) - they are believed to cause birth defects. The use of these and many other synthetic ingredients are said to affect your babies growth and while doctors and medical researchers are both on the fence about the effects, it’s frankly not worth the hassle.
In my bid to embrace more natural ingredients, I also said my sayonaras to a lot of synthetic products - masks and peels with salicylic acid, sunscreens with retinoids as well as strong perfumes and pigmented makeup.
I did what any new mom would do, adapt. Introducing you to my new found beauty routine that focuses on natural ingredients, minimal hassle-free application and multi-purpose use.
A two-step cleansing routine sounds great, but when you’ve woken up thrice during the night, all you want to do is wash the drowsiness off and get through the next 20 minutes or so. My go-to product, the Glow On Girl, Egyptian Rose & Honey Facewash gives me that #IWokeUpLikeThis glow no matter what time of the night it is. The sweet smell of rose makes my quick lather and splash feel more luxurious and the honey allows me to skip a moisturiser.
In the absence of retinol-based acne products, this facewash is a god sent as it has antibacterial properties that reduce redness and help fight stress and keep acne at bay.
I feel a good lather-some shower is often neglected when people talk about their skincare regime. My love for body washes exceeds my love for makeup products, I tend to pick the entire range of a particular line - body washes, body oils, in shower oils, body scrubs and moisturising lotions and sprays to ensure that the scents stick through the day.
On days that I can’t commit to the whole routine, I use the Bean There Scrub That, Coffee Body Scrub Gel. This multi-purpose product is applied like a regular all-body scrub but it’s coffee and walnut extract ensures that the skin is exfoliated, cleansed and moisturised. The quick process leaves me with extra time to enjoy my decaf coffee.
Pregnancy was kind to my tresses, it made them extra shiny and bouncy. Nursing, on the other hand, was a tough phase. My usually manageable and lustrous hair started falling in bunches and making me literally pull my hair in search of a solution.
A late discovery in this period was the application of coconut oil (bless its multiple properties) and the Hair Me Roar, Coconut Milk & Green Apple Shampoo and the Power Up My Mane, Coconut & Jojoba Cream Conditioner. Stimulating hair growth from the follicles, these three magic products slowly brought back my hair to its natural glory.
The last step and a rather important one for a young mother is to take care of her damaged and stretched skin. While I religiously applied a whole gamut of anti-stretch mark creams and oils, the lines still managed to make its way to my stomach area. The only solution now is the application of coconut oil and keeping the skin moisturised in the hope that they fade with time.
My skincare regime might seem simple and fuss-free but its effectiveness ensures that my skin stays natural and allows me time to fuss over a cute little baby whose skincare regime is far more complicated. Ask me about the oils used to knead his tired bones, the homemade packs he’s using and even the strokes of his massages and it’ll put the best of the beauty bloggers to shame.
Image: Writer's Own
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