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18 Things You Should Know About Postpartum Skin

Pregnancy glow; where did ya go?

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1. The baby is here, the newborn haze has finally worn off and you glance at yourself in the mirror only to realize that’s not your face staring back at you.

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That estrogen-fueled blood flow causing your mom-to-be glow may have gone away and been replaced with a whole new slew of skin surprises. And unlike your baby, there are no postnatal instructions on how to handle them.

2. For some women there is the arrival of the postpartum mask, aka melasma.

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"Not only am I lacking in sleep, and have the bags to prove it, but now I have a mask on my face?" Sunscreen and moisturizers with SPF can help but there are also creams - both over the counter and prescription - you can look into.

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3. For others the acne of their youth decides to makes a fun appearance.

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Didn't we leave that behind in our teens? Lack of sleep, and heightened stress combined with a huge surge in hormones equals a recipe for a breakout.

A gentle cleanser and once weekly exfoliation should help smooth things over.

4. Remember when you thought varicose veins only happened to older ladies?

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All that added weight and sitting for long periods may have you reaping the rewards of a river of veins across the back of your legs. If it bothers you, keeping your legs elevated while sitting and stretching can sometimes eliminate them all together.

5. So, about that gorgeous head of pregnant lady hair?

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While you won't lose all your hair, those luxurious healthy locks you enjoyed are a thing of the past. As your hormones recede to normal levels your baby won't be the only one with some peach fuzz on their head. Pre-natal and hair growth vitamins and gentle shampooing are your best choice to get back your luscious locks.

6. It's also possible that you might be seeing some peach fuzz in other places too.

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Oh, is that a mustache that sprouted overnight? If you're not loving your fuzz, go ahead and invest in a quick at home hair removal cream to avoid any unsightly razor bumps or nicks.

7. Speaking of unwanted hair...

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The simultaneous influx and release of hormones that come with breast feeding and postpartum in general may lead to weird nipple and sometimes chest hair. Put down the tweezers and head for the depilatory cream stat if you're pressed to get rid of it.

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8. On the flip side, maybe you're experiencing your eyelashes falling out and eyebrows thinning.

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Suddenly investing in time saving lash extensions doesn't seem so frivolous. A good brow pencil and mascara can easily remedy these woes if that's your bag. Treat yo' self mama.

9. You might also experience the fun joy of rashes and skin irritations from sweating profusely.

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Wear light clothing you can layer and drink lots of water. If possible, position yourself in front of the fan or under the air conditioning.

10. Or perhaps your sweat manifests in the rear. Oh, hi back acne.

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Another fun perk of additional hormones is sitting with sweaty clothes clinging to you for stretches of time, which may cause a few bumps here and there. Don't worry too much, this goes away pretty quickly with exfoliation and loose clothing.

11. Maybe it's the sweating or the increase in size, but under boob chafing is a thing.

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Nipple cream does double duty here in protecting and healing your skin, while rocking an underwire-free bra makes it all feel better.

12. And let's not forget about those stretch marks.

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If you're not ready to rock your tiger stripes, for some women a round of treatment with a Retin A type cream or simple cocoa butter may help.

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13. Your skin might be just as sensitive as your baby's.

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All of these exciting changes also mean a sensitivity to lotions and potions like never before, so kiss Bath & Body Works goodbye and stock up on the fragrance-free options.

14. You might realize a side effect of hard hospital water — itchy, dry skin.

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There's no need for crocodile tears if you stay moisturized by slathering a thick cream or lotion on your body several times a day. It's also a great way to get a few moments of pampering for yourself.

15. Maybe your skin was stretched beyond recognition.

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Rapid weight gain and then loss can leave you with a bulge that doesn't seem to budge. A strong possibility for this might be diastasis recti, where the transverse muscles weaken during pregnancy. A good remedy for this is abdominal exercises that target that area. Otherwise embrace your new body, you made a person. That's a hell of a super power.

16. If you're worried about the linea nigra, don't be.

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Many women experience a dark line on their abdomen that doesn't go away immediately after giving birth. It will, however, eventually fade over time. As it does, marvel at the magic your body was able to create.

17. Perhaps you're seeing some skin discoloration.

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The patches, caused by an increase in the production of melanin during pregnancy, will eventually fade as your body decreases its production. If it's bothersome, apply a spot correcting serum or cream to the affected area and wait. In the meantime keep your skin protected with sunscreen and a hat when outdoors.

18. None of it really matters.

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At the end of the day, there is a perfect little person who benefited from all the crap you're currently dealing with, and they could care less about your lady beard. Even better news, this weird skin situation, like the sleepless nights, shall pass.

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