PREGNANCY BREAKOUT 911!

(how I fixed my freaked-out, rashy face)

I have been pretty lucky with this pregnancy. No barfing, no hemorrhoids and only minor bouts of heartburn have plagued me so far. The one major malady I pulled out of the pregnancy hormone grab bag was a confounding skin rash. Not since I was "Clairasil" in seventh grade (honestly) has my skin acted so freakish and unpredictable. The pictures above don't do it justice. It was that, but redder and weirder. No amount of google image searching was coming up with a reason why, and since I do make my living plastering my face on HD television, this was more than a vanity project...My son's college fund was at stake! 

Most active skincare ingredients are off-limits to pregnant women (I have been mourning the loss of my dear retinols for over seven months now), and I'm too lazy to cut things out of my diet, so I ran as fast as I could to my skin guru, Ally Guest, the (no longer) best kept secret in Portland. She works miracles. My skin cleared up with a facial that included an alginate mask and LED light therapy, only to become rashy again a few days later. Ally gave me products for redness and sensitive skin to try, but nothing could get rid of the little red jerks on my cheeks. I scoured blogs (I am a natural skin care junkie), ordered "mommy friendly" products and apologized profusely to Ruthann, my make up artist on set. It wasn't until visiting my husband in frigid, windy, takes-your-actual-breath-away St. Paul, MN that I finally got to the bottom of the rash. It seemed that pregnancy hormones had made my skin incredibly sensitive to dryness. Any amount of parched air was sending it into a fit of rage, and my coconut oil regimen just wasn't replenishing the moisture loss.

The product lines Ally uses are all free of allergens and parabens so, armed with my new hypothesis, I searched her stock for the most moisturizing but pregnancy-safe ingredients. The internet will tell you that just about every essential oil and herbal remedy is off limits, so I stuck to ingredients that have been proven safe, i.e. ingredients that I saw included in other pregnancy-specific skin care lines. The main goal was preventing moisture loss and creating a barrier from the elements. Between the two of us, we came up with the magic formula. This obviously won't work for everyone - no regimen does - but if you are struck with red bumps and rashy skin sometime in your second trimester like I was, may I recommend the following? (You can find all of these things online or at Ally's webstore here)

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AM

Cleanse with glo-therapeutics Essential Cleansing Oil (rinse with warm washcloth)

Apply glo-therapeutics Advanced B5 Hydration (this one has one of the simplest ingredient lists I've ever seen and is far more moisturizing than Skinceuticals' B5+Hyaluronic version, which I have used)

Finish with a few drops of pure Jojoba Oil (this bottle came from Whole Foods and was about $8)

 

PM

Cleanse with glo-therapeutics Essential Cleansing Oil (rinse with warm washcloth)

Apply Rhonda Allison Sea Gems serum (Ally's favorite multi-tasking product - this stuff will make your skin sing)

Follow with glo-therapeutics Advanced B5 Hydration

Finish with a few more drops of pure Jojoba Oil