It’s hard enough to get a handle on your skin when you’re a single woman in her early 20s. Younger people are turning to more severe methods to preserve their good looks — like Botox treatments, which normally last for three to six months. But there are many who would rather go the au naturale route. Of course, things get even more complicated once you have children. Not only will your changing hormones have a big impact on your complexion, but even maintaining any kind of regular skincare routine will be a struggle, given your schedule as a new mom.
And if you’re planning on going back to work shortly after you give birth, taking care of your skin will become even more important. Since 46% of adults in two-parent households work full-time jobs, it’s no surprise your self-care routine may go on the back burner. Although 51% of consumers use hair care products every day, skin care can be considered less important to busy new moms. But if you implement these skincare tips now, you might be able to avoid some of the common dermatological pitfalls and prioritize your own needs while raising your little one. Who says you can’t have it all? Here are some skincare secrets to help you turn your former pregnancy glow into some new mom radiance.
Avoid Certain Ingredients
During pregnancy, you’ll need to avoid using products with certain ingredients. If you relied on retinoids or salicylic acid to keep your breakouts in check pre-pregnancy, you might feel panicked when you learn you’ll need to discontinue using those products once you’re with child. There are some decent substitutes, like azelaic acid and topical sulfur or zinc creams. But now that you’ve given birth, you might think you’re in the clear.
That might not actually be the case, however. Since your baby’s skin will be extremely sensitive during this first part of their life, you may actually need to refrain from using products on your skin that could irritate your little one through touch contact. Petroleum, parabens, retinoids, formaldehyde, and salicylic acid are still items you’ll need to refrain from using, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You can start using benzoyl peroxide and lactic acid though, so it’s not all bad news. Acne impacts up to 50 million Americans every year, but these two ingredients can help keep your breakouts under control.
Don’t Forget to Cleanse, Moisturize, and Protect
When you’re a new mom, the basics are important. You’ll want to cleanse both in the morning and at nighttime. Micellar waters are a great option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time hunched over the sink or have only seconds to spare. Just put some on a cotton ball and wipe it over your skin to get rid of excess dirt and oils. If you have time, you can follow this step by doing a second cleanse with a gentle product of your choice.
Just like everyone else, new moms need to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. If you wear sunscreen every single day, you can alleviate the signs of premature aging and even prevent post-pregnancy melasma from becoming more pronounced. Make sure your sunscreen is at least SPF 15. If you can get your sunscreen from a moisturizer, all the better. Just make sure your moisturizer is oil-free and hypoallergenic if you’ve experienced increased sensitivity or breakouts due to your changing hormones. Always apply your moisturizer after every cleansing, too.
Talk to Your Dermatologist
It may be difficult to prioritize your own appointments when dealing with a newborn and other responsibilities. But don’t forget that caring for yourself allows you to care for others more effectively. You won’t be the best version of yourself if you aren’t able to manage your hygiene routine or even take a few minutes for yourself. Your dermatologist may be able to help you streamline your skincare regimen so that it’s easier and more effective for you as a new mom. And if there are products that are simply no longer working for you, they may be able to suggest some welcome alternatives.
You may question whether your skincare should really be a priority when caring for a new baby, but you deserve to feel healthy and confident in your own skin (literally). That may not always mean you can get a facial every week or spend hours doing face masks and other at-home beauty treatments. But by ensuring you’re taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to take care of your family.