The Belly Facial: Supple Skin Throughout Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy has been said to be one of the most extreme experiences a person can go through. From physical to emotional to overall life changes, there is almost nothing about a woman’s life that remains exactly the same as it was before pregnancy.
Yet while this may be the case, it’s also incredibly important to maintain a sense of self throughout pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood. And keeping in tune with your body while adjusting to its needs is one essential way to do this.
While beauty is often considered a superfluous extension of self-care, it can be an incredibly beneficial way to both honor your body and support your confidence. And since pregnancy is one of the times where both your body and self-confidence can definitely use a little extra TLC, we thought we’d share one of our favorite pregnancy beauty rituals with you - the belly facial.
So what is a belly facial? It’s essentially the same thing as getting a facial - but as the name suggests, for your expanding belly. While the skin on your belly will stretch and grow, a belly facial can help maintain elasticity and texture, as well as give you time to nurture yourself and connect with the little one on the inside.
Scroll down for a step-by-step rundown of our favorite belly facial
(and PS: while you can definitely customize your own belly facial, all of the products we’ve selected for ours were picked for both their effectiveness of targeting skin challenges that come along with an expanding belly, as well as their non-toxicity, making them safe for pregnancy.)
Step 1: Dry Brush
Dry brushing has incredible benefits for blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and exfoliation. All of these benefits are exceptionally good for your expanding skin as well. Increased circulation enhances blood flow, which can help with elasticity. Lymphatic drainage helps remove toxins from the body, which not only can help with aches and pains during pregnancy, but can also improve your overall skin clarity. Exfoliation helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks and overall tone, and it also helps prep your skin to receive all the benefits from the next steps of the belly facial.
Tip: You can either dry brush from the bottom of the belly up towards the heart, or in circular motions up towards the heart, just depending on what feels best for you. Dry brushing in circular motions has also been said to help with digestion, for the record…
Step 2: Mask It
The best thing to do after an exfoliation is to apply a nourishing mask. The Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial mask is a favorite both for its inclusion of Squalane, which is about as moisturizing of a substance as you can get, as well as for the Glycolic acid - which, believe it or not, is actually safe for pregnancy (pretty exciting considering some of our other favorite hard-hitters like retinol are pregnancy no-no’s). The human body actually produces its own version of Squalane, but the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. Replenishing your skin with this miracle substance can help plump up your skin while the Glycolic acid helps exfoliate and improve overall texture, as well as decrease the appearance of stretch marks.
A little tip - since your belly skin is often less sensitive than the skin on your face, we like to leave this mask on for an extra 5 minutes or so past what is suggested for your face. However play it safe on your first application and see what works and feels best for you.
Step 3: Oil It
We’ve already gone over the major benefits of Squalane oil and how amazing it is, so applying a 100% pure version of it to freshly exfoliated skin should be pretty clear on the benefits. However two other things to mention: Squalane can actually help reduce redness and because it’s so pure, any product you layer over it will be absorbed directly into the skin without getting blocked (which, believe it or not, can actually happen with many beauty products that contain less ‘clean’ ingredients.)
Step 4. Moisturize with Probiotics
Our skin has its own microbiome just like our gut - and tending to it can actually have some phenomenal benefits like clearer, brighter skin, as well as anti-aging benefits. And since layering on the moisture to combat the dryness that can often come with your stretching skin, the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer is a must.
Step 5. Moisturize with Omega 3
Just like good fats are great for your diet, they are also fantastic for your skin, increasing its suppleness and elasticity, while helping to reduce the crepiness that can often come with dehydrated, (or stretched) skin. We’ve also found that applying the Squalane + Omega Repair Cream helps to reduce any itchiness that comes along with stretching skin.
Step 6: Lock It In
Seal in all that good moisture with a good, organic Belly Balm, like our favorite from the Honest Company. This also has omega fatty acids in it, along with cocoa butter and coconut, olive and tamanu oils. It has a thicker consistency, which we love for locking in all that goodness we just applied to our belly. It can be a little greasy, however, so set aside an extra 5 minutes to keep that belly au naturale in order to allow everything to absorb before applying clothing.
TIP: While this belly facial is clearly designed to target the belly, it’s also incredibly effective for your boobs as well. After all, they are going through a ton of changes too - and maybe even more so once the kiddo arrives…
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ABOUT THE WRITER:
Tienlyn is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Thoughtful Misfit. As an ex-fashion and beauty editor (with a resume that includes PopSugar, Shopstyle, Wanelo, and Joyus), she created Thoughtful Misfit as a safe place for women to uphold and learn from each other while expressing themselves, judgement free.
She has been featured by publications such as Palm Springs Life Magazine, Locale Magazine, Refinery29, SF Gate, Vanity Fair, Lonny Mag, Design Sponge, Doctors of the USA, Fashionising, and Denim Magazine.