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Inside Out Beauty Fixes for New Mummas

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

Being a new mum provides a host of new challenges, aside from the tiredness, emotional and physical challenges, women are often faced with a host of beauty challenges which are unexpected and not welcome. These changes are occurring as the body transitions from hormone levels which were up to 20 to 30 times greater than normal during pregnancy. At delivery, hormone levels drop abruptly, along with changes in amino acids, neurotransmitters, and thyroid hormones. This can not only affect mood but our hair and skin. Below I share my naturopathic inside out tips to tackle four common beauty challenges faced by new mums.
1. Feed your locks.
Post-partum hair loss is actually normal despite being quite an alarming experience. It is thought to be caused by a drop in the concentration of pregnancy hormones which return to normal levels after birth. Whilst the hair returns to its natural growth and shedding pattern between six and twelve months after birth, I have a few tips which can reduce the severity of the shedding in the meantime.
Inside Tip
Ensure you are getting a couple of serves of protein daily when you can. Protein provides amino acid building blocks which your body requires to essentially synthesise hair and skin cells. This does not mean you need to be loading up on animal protein which you may not have the appetite for. It can be anything from legumes, nuts/seeds, whole grains or tempeh. Iron is also essential for healthy hair growth. Aim to have a serve of iron-rich foods such as lentils, spinach, spirulina (in a smoothie) or if you have had your levels tested and have low ferritin stores consider supplementing. If you are having trouble fitting in regular meals, try to whip up a similar smoothie with a few basic ingredients such as a bunch of spinach, frozen berries, a scoop of a vegan protein powder and a teaspoon of spirulina. This will give you a concentrated nutrient boost including antioxidants, fibre, iron and protein.
Outside Tip
Essential oils such as rosemary (and lavender) work wonders in inducing blood circulation to hair follicles. When the hair follicles are supplied with a greater amount of nutrient-rich blood, faster and healthier hair growth occurs. You can add three to four drops of rosemary oil to 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or olive oil. Massage this into the scalp using the tip of your finger tips. Allow the oil to rest on your hair for at least 15 mins before you wash off. Alternatively you can sleep with the oil in your hair and wash off the next morning. Do this before every planned hair wash, at least two to three times a week. 
2. Drink away puffy eyes.
The eyes are often the first place for dehydration and late nights to show. Dehydration is often seen in new mums as you are firstly being depleted of stores to create breast milk for your bubba and of course you are adjusting to a new normal of disrupted sleep and less of it.

Inside Tip
If you are breastfeeding in particular, remember to keep up your fluids with a bottle of water at your favourite breastfeeding chair. Make it a little more exciting with a sprig of mint or lemon slices if it isn’t so easy to get the water down. Hydrate with water rich foods such as cucumber, salad, celery and low GI fruit. I love recommending new mums use herbal tea to up their antioxidant intake whilst also hydrating  - licorice, chamomile, ginger and lemon grass all make wonderful choice. A favourite amongst new mums is the No.4 Golden Glow Beauty Tea.

Outside Tip
Use a pure and gentle eye cream that contains fluid shifting botanicals such as coffee, horsetail extract or cucumber and brightening ingredients such as gold leaf or antioxidant rich fruits. Our favourite dark circle and puffy eye banisher is the & Gold Rush Eye Balm which contains gold leaf to brighten the under-eye area and coffee and cucumber to shift fluid and puffiness.
3. Pigmentation Fix
Pigmentation, which you may have noticed commenced during pregnancy is a result of a temporary increase in the body’s production of melanin which can lead to dark spots across your upper lip, nose, cheekbones, and forehead, sometimes in the shape of a mask. The pigmentation should correct three to six months after birth however in the meantime there are a few inside out beauty tips that can help to lighten these dark spots.
Inside Tip
Lemon, grapefruit and other citrus fruits contain alpha hydroxy acids, primarily in the form of citric acid. Drink in your AHAs with a daily squeeze of lemon or grapefruit juice in water, and your liver will also feel the love. Eating foods rich in vitamin C such as kiwis, acai, berries and broccoli will also help internally with hyper-pigmentation.
Outside Tip
Fruit is naturally rich in AHAs and can therefore assist both externally and internally with pigmentation issues.  Look for cleansers and serums which are rich in vitamin C and natural fruit extracts. The Edible Beauty No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk is filled with fruits including Apple Extract, Strawberry Extract and Lime making it the perfect brightening and dark spot reducing product. Our No. 3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum is also rich in Acerola Berries and Kakadu Plum, sources of vitamin C which have been shown to visibly reduce pigmentation.

4. Acne Away.
Higher levels of cortisol as a new mum can create an increase in oil production, which can lead to breakouts. Hiding behind your gorgeous bubba is one option, we have a few more that can assist below.
Inside Tip
Challenge yourself to reduce dairy and sugar for two weeks and notice whether these are also playing up with your spots. Two of my favourite food supplements for acne include flaxseed oil (1 tablespoon) which reduces inflammation and flaxseed meal and chia seed (1 tablespoon of each with your smoothie or cereal). The fibre in the flaxseed and chia remove excess hormones which reduces break outs. I cannot emphasise the incredible ability for greens to also assist the frequency of spots. Aim for 2 cups of cruciferous veggies daily (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts) if you can and you will notice an incredible difference to your skin in no time.
Outside Tip
Use a gentle anti-microbial cleanser with salicylic acid which will help to unclog pores and balance oil production. We get wonderful results with our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk for all acne and oil-related skin issues. Using a treatment product which contains healing, soothing and oil balancing botanicals will also help to calm down break outs and reduce their severity. Try & Soothe Me Balm after cleansing as a healing treatment.
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