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Postpartum Skincare & Retinol Alternatives


Congrats to you, your friend, sister, daughter or whoever you know that just did the hardest thing on the planet! Bringing a child into the world is such a beautiful accomplishment but self-care often, understandably, goes out the window. And, to boot, postpartum skincare is a matter of dealing with hormonal minefield. And to make it harder you must avoid things like Retinol. But not to worry, there are a few retinol alternatives we live even better than standard retinol to give you an even brighter new-mama glow!


What to know about postpartum skincare?

 What's normal? What to expect. Here's the lowdown:

  • Dehydration

Hormonal fluctuations and increased water demanded by the body due to breastfeeding may change the skin texture causing dry skin. 


    • Changes in production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, & elastin in the body

    Low levels of estrogen during the postpartum and lactating period affect the production of these naturally occurring substances.


      What are the best skincare ingredients for postpartum skincare?


      • Olive Squalene

      Found in MoonLitFromWithin, mimics the human sebum, making it one hell of an emollient.


      • Jojoba Oil

      Found in Sacred Salve, is known as nature's healer, its properties are unmatched and make it super effective in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It’s moisturizing, antibacterial and packed with antioxidants.


      • Sacha Inchi Seed Oil

      Found in SacredNaked Body Oil, is produce a skin nutrient oil high in tocopherols with a unique balance of Omega fatty acids 3, 6, 9 and rich in vitamins A & E.  Sacha Inchi oil is a highly moisturizing organic oil especially beneficial with dry scaly skin and noted to relieve irritated and itchy skin conditions. 


      • Croatian Helichrysum Oil

      Found in MoonLitFromWithin, supports and boosts our bod’s natural production of collagen, contributing to the reduction of wrinkles and the support of healthy, youthful skin.


      • Astragalus Root

      Found in GoldenHigh Oil Cleaner, this ancient wound healer and collagen stimulator improves your skin’s elasticity. It also increases skin elasticity and stimulates collagen production all while regenerating skin cells and improving blood circulation.


      • Pearl Powder

      Found in RadicalSeeker Honey Mask, stimulates your natural collagen for lustrous and plump skin.


        What ingredients should you avoid postpartum?


        • Avoid harsh chemicals

        You probably have been reading every ingredient since you found out you were pregnant, or if you are like us, since you were old enough to walk into Erewhon. Avoiding using harsh chemicals on your skin, especially if you are breastfeeding is essential. Use natural and organic skincare products like BeautyGrass to prevent any adverse effects on your baby.


        • Retinoids

        Aka: Strong forms of Vitamin A, such as Retinol and retinyl palmitate. This one you get told constantly so likely no need for a reminder but it’s a no-no while pregnant and if breastfeeding. Look for retinol alternatives like Broccoli Seed Oil or Bakuchiol (more on that in the section below!)


        • Hydroquinone

        This skin-lightening ingredient is commonly used to treat hyperpigmentation. 


        • Salicylic Acid

        Topically this ingredient ok (in theory) but it’s not the best and is pretty harsh for skin going through all the motions of postpartum.


        • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives

        These ingredients are often found in various skincare products, such as cleansers and shampoos. We love Prose if you’re looking for great, clean haircare. 


        • Fragrances

        Synthetic fragrances are terrible in general. Avoid them at all costs—always. 


        • Parabens

        Parabens are preservatives commonly used in skincare products. Look for Paraben-free and phthalate-free (all BeautyGrass products!). Again, this is really an always thing in our opinion! 


          What are the best retinol alternatives for postpartum skin?


          • Bakuchiol

          Found this retinol alternative wizard in MoonLitFromWithin. It is a plant-derived ingredient that has been shown to have similar benefits to retinol, including reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture.


          • Broccoli Seed Oil

          This is one of our favorite retinol alterantive. It's found in MoonLitFromWithin, is packed with Vitamin A and antioxidants, working as a natural retinol. That’s right, this baby will help you age backwards! As if ‘natural retinol’ wasn’t enough to make you run not walk, this powerful ingredient fights free radical damage and promotes smooth, youthful-looking skin, but without the risk of irritation that retinol can have.


          • Rosehip oil

          Found in LitFromWithin & MoonLitFromWithin is a natural oil that contains retinoic acid, which is a form of Vitamin A. It can help to improve postpartum skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


            Jenny Jewel

            Healthy liver = healthy skin! 

            The key to postpartum skincare is naturally balancing hormones and that starts in the liver. The liver regulates the balance of sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone and other adrenal hormones. Making sure you prioritize liver function will lead to a myriad of benefits including glowing skin.

            But, how?

            1. Nourish your body and improve your nutrition and digestion with healthy fats, fiber and choose fresh foods filled with vitamins and minerals. We love Methodology and now they deliver nationwide! It’s a great gift for someone who just had a baby. 

            2. Sulfur is so underrated! It's all about supporting a healthy liver!  Take MSM 2x's daily*. It's 100% edible!! It is amazing for hair and skin and gives you a natural energy boost.**

            3. Eating grapefruit, blueberries and cranberries can also help your body keep the liver in tip top shape. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussel sprout, cabbage and cauliflower also contain compounds that help the liver detoxify your blood. Beet Juice and organic green tea are great and promote liver health. In essence: eat or drink your fruit and veg! Smoothies postpartum = one-handed meal!


            *MSM is used as a supplement to cleanse the liver promoting liver health and function.

            The nutrient MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound found in all vertebrates, including humans and about 34% of MSM is sulfur. MSM plays a much larger role in our body than just a sulfur donor. It actually helps with sulfur metabolism and better incorporation of sulfur throughout our body. 

            It’s not just good for the liver, either. It decreases inflammation which in turn helps with arthritis, preserves cartilage, improves range of motion and physical function, reduces muscle soreness associated with exercise, reduces oxidative stress, improves seasonal allergies, improves skin quality and texture (you know we love this one!).

            ** Always, but especially postpartum, consult your doctors when taking any supplements etc. 


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