11th June 2022

Why Your Face Has Changed So Much From Pregnancy and What To Do About It

Last Modified: July 30, 2022

Skin woes after childbirth are not uncommon. A woman's skin can go through numerous changes during and after pregnancy. While some of the skin changes are positive, others may not be as pleasant.

From pigmentation and puffy eyes to loss in facial definition and enlarged noses - these are just some of the many changes a woman's face can go through. during and after pregnancy.

Keep in mind that these skin changes are completely normal and you should not feel like you have to do anything about them right away.

Enjoy your new role as a mother, and when you can, find some time to take care of yourself too!

Changes in face shape and volume  

The most noticeable change is often in the size and shape of the face itself. Although this change is common, many women are often surprised when it occurs to them.

During pregnancy, the face may fill out causing the definition of the cheekbones to disappear while the cheeks appear puffed out.

Doctors attribute this to water retention, which plays a major role in a woman's appearance during pregnancy. Water retention is most common in the legs, ankles and feet, but fluid can also accumulate in the hands and face. 

Some women complain that their noses appear enlarged. The increased blood circulation in the mucous membranes can cause the nose to swell during pregnancy.

If you have read any of our posts about non-surgical nose jobs, you already know that any change in the size or shape of your nose can significantly impact how you look.

The plumping in the cheek area can also cause the facial contour to become weaker and less defined. For many women, this leads to an overall "fuller" facial appearance that makes them look older and heavier than before pregnancy.

For other women - especially those with a naturally lean facial structure - it is the opposite. They appreciate the roundness and fuller cheeks and say it makes them look more youthful.

Women who had an angular, well-defined jawline may find that their lower face looks more square-shaped or rounded after pregnancy. 

As if that was not enough, other women find themselves with hollowed cheeks and gaunt faces once the excess fluids dissipate.

For women who had naturally full cheeks before pregnancy, this can be a big cause for concern.

As you can see, your face can change in a myriad of ways during and after pregnancy, and truth be told many of these changes are unpredictable.

Recommended Treatments

Correct facial contours with dermal fillers. Although fillers can technically be performed at any time after delivery, I would advise you to wait until all pregnancy-related facial swelling has subsided.

This allows you to get an accurate idea of your facial shape and proportions.

Otherwise, because of the swelling, you (and the person administering the filler) will not be able to see how your face naturally looks, which is important in knowing how much filler to inject.

Many women experience facial swelling in the last trimester of pregnancy and it may take a month or two for this swelling to disappear completely after delivery.

Facial fillers are somewhat of an art. The results need to be in harmony with your face shape and features.

If your face is puffy and you get lip fillers, cheek fillers or chin augmentation, you may not be satisfied with the result when your entire body has returned to its normal proportions.

Tired Dull Looking Skin

Your skin may also become thinner and dry. The main reason for this is the change in hormones.

During pregnancy, the body produces much more oestrogen and progesterone, which increase blood flow to the skin. The increased blood flow provides the skin with more nutrients, which helps to keep it healthy and plump.

And then there's the pregnancy glow, which gives you a radiant, slightly flushed appearance. This is caused by the increased blood flow and oil production of the skin, which provides a natural dewiness to your face.

After birth, hormone levels drop quickly and often take the glow with them. 

In addition, the stress that comes with becoming a new parent and sleep deprivation can quickly make the skin look dull, dry and tired.

Many mothers have to manage the balancing act between spending endless nights up with their baby and maintaining their work-life.

One of the parts of the face that is often most affected is the eye area. Extreme tiredness will result in hollowing effect and dark circles under the eyes.

Another common complaint among new mums is the sudden appearance of fine lines and creases.

Mother playing with his baby son

That's why one of the most frequently asked questions among new mums is, "How can I get my pregnancy glow back?" The good news is that none of these changes are permanent. With a little care, over time you can look and feel the way you did before pregnancy. 

Introduce exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and expose the fresh, healthier, younger-looking skin cells underneath. The most important thing is to choose the right exfoliator. One that will not irritate your skin

AlumierMD's Enzymatic Peel is a highly effective fruit enzyme exfoliator that's suitable for most skin types. The Lotus Scrub is another gentle exfoliator that can reveal the healthy, glowing skin underneath.

For dry skin, add a serum to your beauty routine. The right serum can penetrate deeper into the skin and strengthen the skin's defences against damage. 

A must-try is Ultimate Boost Serum, which increases hydration and restores the skin's hydrolipid barrier (the skin's outer barrier is made up of sweat, sebum and water that protects skin from harmful bacteria and retains moisture for supple skin).

It's also free from fragrance, sulphates, parabens, mineral oil and colourants. Even better, it's lightweight, easy to apply and absorbs quickly making it ideal for busy new mums. 

Calm R, a soothing serum that combats visible redness and blemishes while hydrating your skin is perfect for mums with sensitive and redness-prone skin,

Microneedling for dull skin is a very effective treatment for restoring skin radiance and stimulating new collagen formation and cell turnover.

Another great option is Profhilo. This injectable hyaluronic acid treatment is great for brightening and treating dull skin with visible results after 2 treatments. Unlike fillers, it does not plump the skin. Instead, it works to deeply hydrate the skin from within resulting in an improved skin tone, texture, elasticity and firmness.

Under-eye fillers are a great way to rejuvenate your appearance and lift off the weary look that comes with being a busy new mum.

Don't forget to nourish your body with a healthy diet, adequate hydration, exercise, a good skincare routine and enough sleep.

Melasma or the "mask of pregnancy", 

Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or greyish patches on the skin. Melasma typically appears on the face, especially on the forehead, cheeks, chin, bridge of the nose and upper lip, and is shaped like a mask. Hence the name mask of pregnancy.

The exact colour of the spots varies according to skin type, and the extent of discolouration can range from a few indistinct spots to larger, highly pigmented patches.

If you already had melasma before pregnancy, you may notice additional spots developing. 

Doctors believe that hormonal changes are the main cause of melasma during pregnancy. Although it is not yet clear exactly why there seems to be a link between melasma and oestrogen.

It is thought the rising oestrogen levels (especially in the second and third trimesters) increase the amount of tyrosinase (pigment-forming enzyme) in your body. 

If the melasma appeared during pregnancy, it will likely disappear a few months after giving birth. That said for some women, while the melasma fades, it never really goes away., especially if you already had melasma before pregnancy.

Limit excessive sun exposure. This is one of the most effective ways to improve the appearance of your melasma. Just like hormones, UV rays are a known trigger for melasma. The sun's ultraviolet rays stimulate melanocytes to produce the pigment melanin, which can promote the development of melasma.

Be sure to use sunscreen daily. A good choice is Moisture Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 40 from AlumierMD.

beautiful middle-aged woman applying moisturizer on her face on white background

Topical remedies for hyperpigmentation. Some aim to stop pigment production by melanocytes (the cause of melasma), while others fade the discolouration by lightening the skin tone. 

We recommend EvenTone Brightening Serum, a  lightweight serum containing natural skin-lightening agents to brighten the complexion and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The best part it’s hydroquinone-free and safe for breastfeeding mothers.

Microneedling for Melasma. New research suggests that microneedling treatment, in conjunction with the right serums and strict sun avoidance, can be a very effective treatment for melasma for all skin types.

Microneedling stimulates the skin [via its healing mechanisms] to produce brand new, fresh skin cells that haven't yet been exposed to the effects of the complex combination of photodamage and hormonal factors.

Thinning Hair

Another side effect of pregnancy is thinning of the eyebrows and eyelashes.

This may be due to a nutrient deficiency or hyperthyroidism caused by fluctuating oestrogen, which causes the hair to become brittle and fall out.

Fortunately, the opposite is true for the hair on the head: most pregnant women enjoy nine months of thick, shiny and radiant growth. Pregnancy hormones cause hair to grow faster and fall out less, so it usually looks and feels fuller. It can also change in texture and become oilier, giving it a sheen.'

The flip side of the coin is that for many new mothers, these hair gains can go away quickly due to the declining hormone levels after birth.

The fallout can be quite acute if a woman suffers extreme stress during pregnancy or has a traumatic birth.

 It is normal for hair to thin out after pregnancy. And unfortunately, there is nothing that has been proven to prevent or slow down hair loss after childbirth. The good news is that this hair loss is a temporary phase and it is unlikely that your hair will go from extra thick to barely there.

Do not be alarmed if your hair feels particularly thin. There are exceptions, but in most cases, the hair loss normalises within the first few months.

Final Thoughts

Motherhood is such a beautiful journey that should always be enjoyed no matter the skin-related challenges that may arise as a result.  That doesn't mean you should take care of your skin. On the contrary, this is a good time to appreciate yourself for the great work you have done thus far. 

Keep in mind that while the home skincare remedies mentioned in this post may not give you instant results, they have proven to be effective over a period of time.

Book a consultation appointment today or call us on 0121 769 0242 to find out if dermal fillers or microneedling are right for you!

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