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  • 5 Skincare Tips for Pregnancy Travel

    What to pack in your carry-on to save your pregnancy glow from traveling.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    I’m a firm believer in the importance of self-care. Pregnancy can be a difficult time to remember to take care of you, between all the preparation, the doctor’s appointments, the anxiety and fatigue. And when you travel, it’s easy to forget to be extra good to ourselves. But be careful, when you combine travel and pregnancy, you have a double-whammy of not great self-care waiting for you at your destination.

    Fear not, that’s pretty easy to fix. Here are 5 easy steps to take better care of your pregnant body while traveling.

    1. Start as you travel. As they say, it’s the journey, not the destination. Whether you are flying, driving, or taking the train, travel is hard on your body. So don’t wait till you arrive at the hotel or at your parents’ house to start taking care of yourself — your mode of transportation is where good self-care should begin. Since dehydration is common during travels, drink more water than you usually do. It’s not only good for your skin, it’s also good for your body and baby!

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  • Pregnancy Acne and How to Treat It

    We hear all about how pregnant women are supposed to “glow,” right? Sometimes, though, that infamous glow takes a backseat to another common side effect of pregnancy: acne. Acne is quite common during pregnancy and can affect women no matter their skin type. The most likely cause of pregnancy acne is—you guessed it—hormones. During the first trimester especially, your hormone levels increase, along with your skin’s production of natural oils. An increase in the hormones called androgens causes your skin to overproduce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum clogs pores and can also cause bacteria buildup and inflammation, which then leads to breakouts.

    Pregnancy acne is natural, and once hormone levels even out post-pregnancy, the acne usually disappears. It's safest for you, and your growing baby, to avoid heavy-duty acne medication, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through breakouts for nine months. Here are some safe, at-home solutions that can help you deal with pregnancy acne.

    Amend your cleansing routines. You want to be kinder to your skin, so stick to two gentle face washes a day. Washing more than two times a day can overstimulate your oil glands, which can lead to more breakouts. When you do wash (ideally at the end of the day or after a sweaty workout), choose calming cleansers free from alcohol and oils. It’s suggested you use lukewarm water to rinse and avoid harsh steaming water on the face. Since your hairline is close to where acne may form, you also want to be careful of the shampoo you’re using. Shampoo every day using a gentle, pregnancy-safe wash like Nine Naturals Citrus+Mint Nourishing Shampoo. If you find acne breakouts in other areas, follow the same guidelines and check out Nine Naturals Citrus+Geranium Soothing Body Wash.

    Be mindful of your diet. If you’re expecting, you’re probably already hyper-aware of the foods you’re eating. But if you find you’re dealing with problem skin all of a sudden, you might do a diet check-in. Are you focusing on eating whole foods and foods that have been minimally processed? Are you getting hefty daily doses of veggies and fruits? Are you doing your best to avoid sugar? Are you drinking enough water? The food you eat makes a difference in your skin, so be sure you’re being mindful of what you’re consuming. Some foods that make your skin happiest include avocados, salmon, and leafy greens.

    Go for straight-A’s. Speaking of food choices, upping your intake of vitamin A could help out with your pregnancy acne. Vitamin A is instrumental in keeping skin healthy. Avoid the supplements and go straight for the vitamin-rich foods like milk, fish, eggs, and carrots.

    Change how you wear makeup. During pregnancy, you may find it helpful to switch up your makeup routine. Ditch the makeup that are oil-based and opt for water-based products with the label noncomedogenic; this means that the makeup is not pore-clogging. You could also try an oil-free moisturizer or moisturizing product to help maintain balance in your skin.

    Notice the little ways you can take care of your skin. Acne is caused by bacteria, so the more you can avoid bacteria on your face (or wherever your breakouts occur), the better. Keep your hands away from your face, and try not to pick at the pimples. Change your pillowcases frequently as a defense against bacteria buildup. Keep your cellphone at a slight distance, and not pressed against your face. These small tricks can help you battle a massive amount of acne-causing bacteria.

    Talk with your doctor, because not all acne treatments are pregnancy safe. Pregnancy acne is a major pain, but it’s also usually temporary. With that said, it’s best to steer clear of chemically laden, and potentially dangerous, over-the-counter or prescription acne medications and treatments. If you want a natural at-home acne treatment, here’s a recipe we’ve tried: blend together raw honey, cooked (and cooled) oatmeal, and a touch of lemon juice. Apply to your skin and leave on for about 10 minutes. Wash off, then lightly moisturize. Save the intense acne treatments for postpartum, if you still find the need to restore balance in your skin.

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  • Best Salons in the US for Pregnant Women

    When you’re pregnant, your highest priority becomes taking care of your growing little one. Taking care of yourself is crucial, too! But when you want to pamper yourself with a trip to salon, it can be hard to know which ones are safe to frequent while you’re expecting. We’ve tracked down salons nation-wide that have gained reputations as agreeable to expectant mamas. It’s best to speak with your doctor about the safety of specific hair and beauty treatments during pregnancy. Craft your personal do and do-not list to bring with you as you book your next appointment. When you’re ready for a trip to the salon, there are fantastic picks across the country for you to choose from.

    Breathe clean in Hale Salon: New York, New York. Touted as the most environmentally friendly salon in NYC, countless expectant mothers come here with peace of mind. It’s a clean-air salon, which is particularly blissful when you’re living in the Manhattan area. Hairspray and similar products are off-limits, save for a specially designated room. The salon’s mission revolves around clean living, so the products they use are thoroughly vetted to be the most natural and clean they can find, including some vegan products. The rave reviews for Hale aren’t only for their nontoxic environs, but also the gorgeous beauty work they do. For the eco-minded, Hale Salon could become a main fixture even after the baby is born.

    Evolve your pregnancy style Evolve Hair and Art: Seattle, Washington. With an all-inclusive passion for holistic living, Evolve is an organic salon in the heart of the Emerald City. The products used here are the purest available, and even the hair color is organic and clean. Maintaining a toxin-free environment is a priority, and the stylists here are passionate about their mission. Customers call Evolve a peaceful and health-conscious place to be, which means you’ll be in like-minded company while you’re there.

    Blend style and substance at Garbo: Austin, Texas. Garbo is a salon and spa in Austin with a reputation for excellent service and an eco-conscious mindset. While you’re getting your hair done, you can relax knowing that the products used here will be as safe for your baby as for yourself. The award-winning salon is not only known for its cutting-edge style work, but also for its dedication to being green. Garbo also offers skin services and facial treatments, and remember to check with a doctor before you book your trip, to be sure about which treatments are pregnancy-approved.

    My Hair Trip Salon gives an offbeat, but eco-conscious, experience: Denver, Colorado. If you’re in Denver, book at appointment at the city’s most-frequented certified green and organic salon. The 5-star rated salon boasts hair stylists, but also a commitment to using organic, chemical-free products for every stage of haircare. An earnest commitment to nontoxic products and sustainable haircare choices makes My Hair Trip a special place to enjoy a pre-baby haircut or hair treatment. The offbeat salon also sells art, jewelry, and apparel, and with the clean-living environment, you’ll feel comfortable lingering and browsing in the stunningly green-designed long after your appointment is over.

    Go for the full treatment at Asha SalonSpa: Chicago, Illinois. Asha focuses on a natural approach to haircare and style, which makes this salon a worry-free choice for your haircare needs. Not only is their all-natural philosophy attractive for salon treatments, they also offer a stellar array of prenatal spa packages. With options like gentle mother-to-be massages, hydrating belly treatments, and prenatal waxing, this is a must-stop destination before the baby arrives. They also have a mother-friendly attitude: childcare (for children 8 weeks and older) is available for you during your time at the SalonSpa, just be sure to make a reservation first. Enjoy the eco-conscious spirit of Asha while you’re expecting, and you’ll want to make yourself a regular customer post-baby, too.

    Salon NOVO is your Bay Area pick: Sonoma, California. Sonoma County’s first eco-friendly certified salon, Salon NOVO makes green hair care hip. The main mission of the salon is to “detoxify the salon experience,” which makes it a comforting choice during pregnancy. They use a selection of the best all-natural hair, body, and skin care and are enthusiastic about their choices, which means they’ll tell you all about them if you’d like to know specifics. The salon receives rave reviews for their work, so you don’t need to feel like you’re trading quality for peace of mind.

    Go to Maria Heckscher Salon for an afternoon of care: Atlanta, Georgia. At MH Salon, going clean and green is a full-on philosophy that you and your bump can get behind. They are so dedicated to an eco-conscious (and pregnancy-friendly) environment, even the hand towels are made of soft, sustainable bamboo. The salon uses organic and all-natural hair products so as you’re maintaining your look, you can be certain that unwanted toxins will be avoided. Maria Heckscher Salon also has a boutique and cafe to spend a few blissful hours truly enjoying in worry-free relaxation.

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  • Nine Naturals Ingredient Story: Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Oil

    At Nine Naturals, we’re on a mission to make beauty simple, smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. Integral to that is understanding our ingredients’ science and benefits. Today’s Nine Naturals Ingredient Story, featuring Grapeseed Oil, is part of an ongoing series featuring the natural, plant-based ingredients behind our high performance beauty products.

    Vitis Vinifera, also known as the common grape vine, is successfully grown in various climates around the world, including the U.S., France, and South Africa. Grapes, which are the largest fruit crop on the planet, have a powerhouse oil within their seeds that is revealed as a byproduct in the wine-making process. While it can be used in food preparation (as a cooking oil or salad dressing base), grapeseed oil can be directly applied to the skin to treat acne, scars, and wrinkles.

    The Science and Extraction of Grapeseed Oil

    Extracting oil from the diminutive seed is both a time consuming and time sensitive process. To ensure the highest quality (and taste, if being consumed), grapeseed oil must be produced within 48 hours of the grapes removal from the vine, so as to avoid the commencement of the fermentation process. To yield grapeseed oil, the grape seeds are separated from the stems and skins of the grapes and then mechanically processed through a machine (expeller press) where high pressure is applied to release the liquid treasure. Grapeseed oil, which has risen in popularity since the 1990s, contains four fatty acids—linoleic (70.6%), oleic (16.2%), palmitic (7.2%), and stearic (4.4%)—in addition to vitamins C, E, and D.  

    Grapeseed Oil’s Benefits for Skin and Hair Care

    Grape seed oil is non-comedogenic, non-greasy, and easily absorbed, making it a suitable moisturizer for all skin types and ages. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and astringent properties, grapeseed oil attacks acne and residual scarring to leave your skin brightened and more balanced. Additionally, because it contains more linoleic acid than any other carrier oil, continued usage of grape seed oil will result in the restoration of firmness to your skin, thus reducing the look of fine lines.

    When massaged into the scalp, or applied as a hot oil treatment (either on its own or combined with other oils), grape seed oil can strengthen your locks and encourage new hair growth.

    Why Nine Naturals Loves Grape Seed Oil

    Grapeseed oil’s skin supporting compounds make it a prime ingredient in our skincare line. Reap its full range of benefits in our Vanilla + Geranium Regenerative Belly Butter.

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  • TODAY Style: Nine Naturals – Beauty Products To Save Your Pregnancy Skin

    Pregnancy glow is not as magical as it sounds. As Rachel Greenberg from TODAY Style says, “not everyone is blessed with this prenatal perk” as she described the skin ailments she faced. In her list of the 15 beauty products she recommends to create your pregnancy glow, she included our very own Nine Naturals’ Simply Natural Lip Balm.

    Natural lip balm

    This was what she had to say about our lip balm: “Trust was essential for a product that I used multiple times a day, and I felt totally comfortable with this pregnancy beauty brand’s natural lip balm.”

    Thanks Rachel and TODAY Style – glad to hear you loved our lip balm! Head over to TODAY Style to see her other recommendations to achieve your own natural, dewy pregnancy look.

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  • Is Charcoal Safe for Pregnancy?

    Why to indulge (or steer clear) of this wellness trend during pregnancy.

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    We’ve been hearing the buzz about activated charcoal for a little while now, but what about activated charcoal for pregnancy? While we’re excited about the prospects of this cutting-edge wellness trend — cleansing, toxin-removing, complexion-improving and more — when it comes to pregnancy, it’s not always best to be on the cutting edge.

    “There are very few studies investigating the safety of charcoal use in pregnancy, and it hasn’t been assigned a FDA pregnancy category for safety,” says Cara Dolin, MD, OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow at NYU Langone Medical Center. (Activated charcoal is basically common charcoal that’s been heated to help develop internal spaces to trap chemicals.)

    But she continues, “Since charcoal isn’t systemically absorbed it probably doesn’t result in any significant exposure or harm to your baby if you eat or drink it. There is even less potential exposure if you use it in cosmetics or toothpaste.”

    Below, we dig into the safety and effectiveness of activated charcoal for pregnancy, both on and in your body. And as with any health or wellness trend, talk to your doctor or midwife before giving it a try.


    Digestive Cleanse
    Product to Try: Dirty Lemon Raw Detox, which is made from a mixture of activated charcoal, pure, cold-pressed lemon juice, dandelion extract, ginger root extract, and filtered water. $65/1 weeks’ worth of juice.
    What it does: Absorb and soak up toxins and other materials and pull them out through the digestive tract. The ginger and dandelion root can help with morning sickness or nausea, too.
    What the experts say: “The source of the activated charcoal (in Dirty Lemon) is organic coconut shell, so you can feel safe and comfortable with its sourcing; along with the raw, cold pressed organic lemon juice,” says Dr. Laurie Brodsky, Naturopathic Doctor and expert for Dirty Lemon. “As with any cold pressed, unpasteurized juice, it is wise to be aware of the theoretical risks while pregnant, considering a weakened immune system against all kinds of foreign invaders. That being said, the dosage of charcoal is very low, yet highly therapeutic in the sense that in small, spread out dosages, you will still greatly benefit from its powerfully absorbing and cleansing mode of action.”
    How to use it: “If pregnant and planning to use it as a simple, cleansing part of your routine, then it is best to drink it in small dosages (through a straw!) throughout the day to see how you feel. I usually recommend sipping the juice away from food, medications and supplements by at least a couple of hours, but depending on your diet and how often you eat/snack, that may vary,” says Brodsky. “As with all pregnancies, I suggest that you tune into your body to see how you feel physically upon sipping.”
    Verdict: Sure, but with caution. Since charcoal binds to other substances in your stomach, it will decrease the absorption of your prenatal vitamin (or anything you eat around the time you take it), notes our OBGYN friend Dolin. Also, look out for unpleasant side effects, she says, such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation and even possible bowel obstruction.

     

    Teeth Whitening
    Product to Try: Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal Capsules, $6.99
    What it does: While activated charcoal won’t change the natural color of your teeth, it is said to help remove surface stains from coffee, tea, wine and even plaque. The fine powder is odorless, tasteless and safe to ingest.
    How to use it: Pick up some activated charcoal tablets, then break them into a cup. Mix with a tiny bit of water to form a paste-like consistency. Dab it on your teeth then wait a few minutes and rinse. But don’t scrub!
    What the experts say: “People don’t know how abrasive this stuff is and that it causes damage to the enamel if you brush with it. And there’s not enough information out there that convinces me that this really works. I haven’t seen anyone with major staining try it. I personally wouldn’t use it,” says Melissa Labbe, a registered dental hygienist at the Dr. Louis Spiegelman dental practice in New York. When it comes to pregnancy, she continues, “activated charcoal can have side effects when not used properly if ingested. Why take that chance of having problems during your pregnancy?”
    Verdict: Probably not. The American Dental Association has not approved it as an official tooth whitener, and the effects are still iffy. Why bother?



    Skin Detox
    Product to Try: SoapBox Elements Black Body Wash, which is made from activated charcoal, coconut oil, olive oil, aloe, and essential oils $8.99
    What it does: In this body wash, activated charcoal serves as a super-porous element that attracts toxins and purifies skin. Activated charcoal has been known to improve complexion and clear up acne, issues that can plague pregnancy skin.
    What the experts say: “Activated Charcoal absorbs toxins and draws it out of your skin,” Ildi Pekar,  facialist to lovely ladies like Miranda Kerr and supermodel Irina Shayk. “This, in turn, helps it to heal.”
    How to use it: Scrub yourself down in the shower. Go ahead, give your belly a little extra massage. You deserve it.
    Verdict: Yes!

    This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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