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Hot Mama! Beauty Tips for Expectant Moms

How to fight stretch marks, undereye circles and problem skin

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Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful times in a woman's life; however, you might not feel so gorgeous when you're battling a few of motherhood's downfalls, including stretch marks, under eye circles and problem skin. Here we run down a few solutions to typical pregnancy problems.

Problem #1: Stretch marks

If you are genetically prone to stretch marks, there's not much you can do to prevent them. Stretch marks occur when skin grows too fast for its fibers to handle. These can tear, leaving violet-colored marks. To help improve your skin's elasticity, you can rub your belly several times a day in a circular motion with creams or oils that contain cocoa butter, vitamin E or sweet almond oil. (A big fave with pregnant celebs is Bellamama cocoa butter, bellamama.com.)
Once the baby is born, you can treat stretch marks with StriVectin-SD, perhaps the most well-known product for marks. Compare Prices.

Problem #2: Brown spots

Pregnant women are susceptible to splotchy pigmentation. These brown spots are caused by hormones and sun exposure and are aggravated by the sun. To prevent brown spots, use a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF. To lighten dark patches you can try topical Vitamin C serum under moisturizer. Trish McEvoy makes an amazing vitamin C product.

Problem #3: Lifeless Hair Color

While it's true hormonal changes during pregnancy will make hair stronger and shinier than ever, hair benefits usually kick in after the first trimester, according to Marie Claire's, "Hair and Makeup" book. In the first three months, oil can be oily due to overactive sebaceous glands. To battle oily hair, Marie Claire suggests washing hair daily with a mild shampoo. Some women experience dry hair during pregnancy. Using a moisturizer daily and a deep conditioning treatment weekly will help.

Many pregnant women avoid getting their hair colored during pregnancy; however, medical experts agree it's safe to color your hair after your first trimester. Consider highlights over a full color. Many women opt for vegetable dyes during pregnancy. The fewer chemicals to touch your scalp, the better.

Problem #4: Dry skin and acne

These problems are also effects of hormones. The only thing you can really do is moisturize and exfoliate daily. For a lists of great moisturizers for all body types see this article. Keep in mind that this is NOT the time to use products like Retin-A, salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Problem #5: Dark undereye circles

There's no real way to fix undereye circles, however, there are 3 options available to you for covering them up.

Problem #6: Sore muscles

Prenatal massages are great for expectant moms but wait until after the first trimester. Massages relax both mom and baby. You can expect work on your lower back.

Problem #7: Varicose veins

The American Institute of Preventive Medicine offers these suggestions to help prevent them from forming: Wear elastic support stockings, elevate legs when resting and take long or short walks every 45 minutes during long flights or car rides. Avoid standing for long periods and don't cross legs when sitting (like you can do this when heavily pregnant!).

Problem #8: Aching legs and feet

To ease foot soreness, soak feet in a cool bath sprinkled with a capful of Epsom salts, then follow with a foot cream with menthol. You might also invest in special medical socks that keep fluid from buiding up. See supportsockshop.com for more information.

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