Postpartum Skincare: Some Tender Loving Care for Your Skin and Hair as You Take Care of Your Baby
Dr. Anjali Pal

Dr. Anjali Pal

Apr 29Hair and Skin Care

Postpartum Skincare: Some Tender Loving Care for Your Skin and Hair as You Take Care of Your Baby

This article has been compiled by Alipta Jena

Life is indeed hectic for a new mum! You will notice your hair and skin undergoing quite a few changes during and after pregnancy.

Things might look good during pregnancy. The hormonal upsurge leads to more sebum production, the skin seems to glow, and the hair becomes more luscious and thick. There might also be an increase in pigmentation.

Postpartum skin changes

However, all might not be rosy after delivery, after the surge of hormones goes down.

Some new mums might experience pigmentation, stretch marks, puffy eyes, dark circles and hair loss, while others have the pregnancy glow which stays with them throughout.

You might experience a lot of hair fall, which may seem unusual, but is completely normal. Don’t worry, you are not going bald!

Fortunately this phase is temporary and you will see your hair’s texture and growth coming back to normal 3 to 12 months post-delivery.

Once your baby arrives, you will be running short of time on most days with barely any time left for yourself.

Do try to take out 10 minutes of your time to keep your skin and hair looking great and glowing.

Here are some little tips to keep things going, for postpartum is a time to simplify hair and skin care.

‘Keep it simple’ is the mantra, and be sure to consult your dermat to stay safe.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind, Mums!

  • Hydrate your body with adequate water intake!
  • Moisturize the body and face. Apply a lightweight moisturizer twice a day, to keep your skin hydrated and supple. Try using a fragrance free moisturizer or a bland coconut oil and moisturise multiple times. Avoid using oil for the face, though, if you have acne- prone skin!
  • Cleanse: Use a mild cleanser, gentle and soap-free, twice a day, to keep your skin feeling clean and fresh.
  • Use less soap on the body, especially if the skin is dry.
  • Anti-oxidants: This is the time to keep to a balanced diet, with a good portion of fruits and veggies to get those anti-oxidants in. Health supplements can also be taken. But do consult your doctor first.
  • Try not to use a night cream without prescription, as they tend to dry the skin. Creams containing retinoids are not recommended as these are not safe in breast-feeding women. A vitamin C serum at night may help soothe and brighten the skin, but is best prescribed by a skin specialist.
  • Stick to the golden trio: sunscreen, moisturizer and cleanser. Sunscreen is safe and will also prevent hormonal pigmentation (melasma) from getting aggravated. It also preserves the skin from early aging changes. Avoid sitting in the sun as this directly affects pigmentation.
  • Avoid scrubs and excess exfoliation to avoid drying the skin. One can occasionally use salicylic acid or glycolic acid containing products but first consult your dermat.
  • Avoid make up wipes (most contain alcohols) that make skin dry. Micellar water is safer if you need to remove stubborn make-up.
  • Pigmentation called melasma are the dark patch or spots on your skin. These are caused due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. Dark patches on your body or the line that runs below your belly will fade away on its own post-delivery.
  • For acne: Make sure you cleanse your face with a mild cleanser twice a day. Apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer in the morning and night.
  • Stretch marks: These tend to be genetic and depend on your tendency to gain weight and your exercise habits. They can be minimized by hydrating the skin, with moisturizers containing cocoa butter, shea butter, hyaluronic acid or just olive oil. These are basically caused by collagen rupturing under the skin. Stretch marks tend to be one of the most stubborn ones to get rid of. These are usually found in the breast, stomach, buttocks, thighs, and behind the knee areas. Post checking with your doctor, you can start with some form of exercise like brisk walking, light exercises or yoga to help you reduce the stretch marks. There are also ultrasound-based skin tightening or micro-needling treatments you can try after a few months post- partum, which may reduce the stretch marks but may not remove them completely.
  • Spider veins on the legs: These can be taken care of with specific treatments like laser therapy.
  • You may also have red dots called angiomas on your face and chest. These generally go away on their own within months.
  • You can use a hydrating face mask as an occasional pampering treatment at home, to keep your face moist and feeling fresh! There are many available in beauty stores and are fun & hassle-free.

Don’t stress over postpartum hair fall:

Massive hair fall can occur for three months to a year. This is mostly stress-induced hair fall due to a decreased production of hormones.

Control hair fall as part of postpartum care

  • Trim your hair or get a stylish short haircut if the amount of hair fall makes you panic!
  • Use a wide toothed comb to avoid tangling and breaking the hair, as the hair is already brittle and prone to breaking easily
  • Avoid straightening and other chemical treatments, as they also tend to dry out the hair, which is already fragile.
  • Use a mild shampoo, twice or thrice weekly.
  • Do use conditioners, or leave-in serums to ensure the hair is hydrated and for that extra softness.
  • Do not use hair colour - these are usually advised against while breastfeeding as well.
  • Take care of your dandruff issues by ensuring prompt scalp treatment by a doctor. This can reduce irritation on the scalp.
  • Refrain from keeping your hair tied up tightly as this will strain your scalp and hair.
  • De-stressing techniques like yoga and meditation help!

Visit and share your concerns with your doctor if any skin or hair issue is bothering you. You may need medical help if the problem is severe.

The key to healthy skin and hair post-pregnancy is to stay calm, happy and stress-free!

Enjoy your time as a mother and let your body recover naturally.

We at Proactive aim at creating a world-class medical experience for Indian women and adopt gold standards in every healthcare initiative whether it’s a teleconsultation or a webinar. What sets us apart from the rest is our liberal, convenient, and holistic approach to healthcare.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

Proactive is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalized, and confidential health-care solutions. We offer products and services for out-patient health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause. To know more on the sexual and reproductive health of women, visit