Emily Bromfield is the Chief Marketing Officer at Dr. Barbara Sturm. For our CONVERSATIONS series, Emily shares the skin changes she experienced during and after pregnancy and reveals the products, tips and tricks she used to deal with hyperpigmentation.
Before your pregnancy, what was your skin like and what Dr. Barbara Sturm products, if any were in your routine?
I now realize with hindsight that my skin was actually really easy pre-pregnancy. Never sensitive or overreactive. I had the odd spot with my cycle but apart from that it was low maintenance. I used to cleanse with the CLEANSER followed by HYALURONIC SERUM, FACE CREAM and in the sun, SUN DROPS SPF50. If I had time, I would use the FACE MASK and I would always use GLOW DROPS under and over my makeup.
Left: Emily’s skin with pigmentation post-pregnancy.
Right: Emily’s skin after following a routine prescribed by Dr. Sturm.
During your pregnancy what were some of the biggest skin changes you experienced?
For me pregnancy was the biggest “overnight” change I’ve ever seen in my skin. I didn’t have difficulties in my teens, so it came as a massive shock. I developed hyperpigmentation on my forehead first in the form of three strips divided by three forehead wrinkles. At the later stage of my pregnancy I started to develop a ‘moustache’ of pigmentation that I had no warning would happen. I didn’t realize just how much pigmentation could affect your confidence until I developed it myself - especially in embarrassing places like the upper lip area. And no-one ever told me that even after giving birth it could get a lot worse before it would get better. The pigmentation became even more extreme, to the extent that I couldn’t bear to be in any photos – which is a shame when I look back now at early photos of my baby - I appear in hardly any of them. Luckily, I didn’t really have breakouts and, on the positive side, I did get that second trimester ‘glow’ that people talk about and my lips got bigger which I saw as a positive!
Was is hard for you to find products that you trusted using while pregnant?
Not for me as I luckily had access to the best skincare – Dr. Barbara Sturm! I spoke to Barbara about my changing skin and she assured me all products are safe to use during pregnancy and prescribed a routine that mixed her DARKER SKIN TONES line and the BRIGHTENING line to fix and prevent pigmentation. She also, like many mothers before me, reaffirmed the importance of constant body moisturizing twice a day – and to never get lazy! The ANTI-AGING BODY CREAM is really a miracle cream; I didn’t get a single stretch mark and it actually helped to also prevent cellulite. I also constantly dry body brushed throughout.
Did you find you had to change your entire skincare routine during pregnancy or were you simply adding or swapping out certain products?
I changed it and definitely added to it. It’s really when I started to get super serious about my morning and evening routine. I exchanged my HYALURONIC SERUM for the DARKER SKIN TONES HYALURONIC SERUM, as well as my CLEANSER and still use the Darker Skin Tones range to this day.
What were some products you started adding to your routine that made a difference?
I started to use the SUN DROPS SPF50 immediately – as soon as I noticed the pigmentation. It really helped to prevent the development of the melasma on my forehead. I would sometimes be caught outside on a day that didn’t seem sunny and before I knew it even just ten minutes in the sun would make the pigmentation worse. So, I then started to use it religiously every day (even when the weather was cloudy). I added the BRIGHTENING SERUM a bit late into my routine, but I’m now totally hooked. In about three weeks I saw a huge difference in the appearance of my melasma - especially in the upper lip area.
What was your full skincare routine during pregnancy?
For my daytime routine I would cleanse with the DARKER SKIN TONES CLEANSER and a few times a week with the DARKER SKIN TONES ENZYME CLEANSER. I would follow my cleanse with DARKER SKIN TONES HYALURONIC SERUM, a spritz of the HYDRATING FACE MIST, BRIGHTENING SERUM, BRIGHTENING FACE CREAM and SUN DROPS SPF50 - always. I would use both the FACE MASK and CLARIFYING MASK depending on what my skin was feeling like day to day or if it needed an extra boost of hydration. My main concern was hyperpigmentation and this really did the trick.
Emily's Pregnancy Routine
What are some of the reasons why you would recommend Dr. Barbara Sturm products to other expecting mums?
They are safe and the best quality. When you are growing your baby inside of you, you are hyper aware of everything you are putting on and in your body. The Dr. Barbara Sturm range has simple, effective formulations that never cause, for me, irritation or a reaction. I also like that the range has really targeted solutions as well and not this “one product fixes all” approach that I find hard to trust. I find the full range really reassuring, especially as my melasma started to develop.
Now that you’re a mum how has your skincare routine changed?
I definitely have less time!!! I found post pregnancy and after breastfeeding my skin seemed drier than usual, so I now prefer the FACE CREAM RICH. Because I don’t sleep so well (or as much) anymore I’m obsessed with the NIGHT SERUM and GOOD NIGHT. I can now introduce supplements into my routine so I also started taking BRIGHTENING FOOD which has the most incredible mix of herbs and vitamins but also Biotin which boosts the quality of my hair and nails (another side effect of postpartum is that the lush, glossy hair you enjoy during pregnancy doesn’t last!)
What is your biggest piece of advice for expecting mums when it comes to skincare?
Take prevention seriously! My sister also developed pigmentation during her first pregnancy but because I had never experienced issues with my skin before I didn’t take it seriously. I now regret that and wish I had protected my skin from even cloud-covered sunlight from the very beginning. Also, never let even one evening go by without moisturizing your entire body – no matter how tired you are! You need to keep this up for at least one month postpartum too – this is also the advice my gynecologist gave me and I definitely do not regret it.
Is there a product you discovered during pregnancy that you can’t live without now?
All of them!
Are you using Dr. Barbara Sturm products on your little one now?
Absolutely and everyone comments on the quality of her skin, including her pediatrician! The best piece of advice Barbara gave me is to not wash her skin with anything but water for the first few weeks. I was super happy to do that as she never had eczema or a rash during this time, which can be quite common. The BABY & KIDS FACE CREAM is amazing, and I never thought I would have been using a face cream on my baby, but it really heals scars and insect bites by soothing and calming the skin. I now see it as an essential step.
22 October 2020
Delfina Forstmann is a skincare fanatic and a contributing writer for Doctor's Notes. She has worked closely with Team Sturm on product copy and social engagement giving her an inside understanding to Dr. Barbara Sturm’s unique approach to skincare.