Between the chronic sleep deprivation, zero time for myself along with the stress my kids cause me daily, let’s just say motherhood has not been kind to my skin.
So, I needed to find simple and easy ways to keep my skin healthy and happy in my spare five minutes before I started being mistaken as their grandma.
Thankfully, there were some things I could do and they have helped so much that now people usually think I am a lot younger than I am. Here are my go-to habits that I have found and absolutely swear by.
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While I rarely go and do something like this, I am really glad I tried a retinol peel. Retinol is a no no while pregnant and breastfeeding but after I was finally done, I decided to go for it. I was surprised at how much it helped with all of the fine lines. Additionally, it really helped with the sunspots.
Honestly, I was so impressed with the results that I really wish I had done it sooner. Just be prepared for the flaking and you cannot go in the sun for a week or so after so do not do this in the summer. I also use retinol in my daily skin regimen. I use this retinol serum every night to maintain.
Avoid foaming face washes
While at my appointment to get my retinol peel, the esthetician told me to avoid foaming face wash at all costs since they are so drying to the skin. This was hard for me. There is just something about suds and the squeaky clean “dry” feeling you get that I liked.
Dry skin is a huge problem as we age since our skin loses the ability to hold moisture. Therefore, switching to a cream cleanser can do wonders. I finally switched over and now really like cream cleansers after I found ones that worked for me. My two favorite cream cleaners are Burt Bee’s Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream (I love the smell SOOO much) and the Shea Moisture Youth Infusing Cream Cleanser.
Be religious about “shower” lotion
I have used a body lotion for years and I’m going to be real honest here and tell you I never knew how lotion worked. Lotion doesn’t actually hydrate your skin. Instead it keeps water trapped on the surface of your skin. So in order for lotion to act as a barrier and trap water on the surface of your skin, you need water on your skin.
And here is where the shower part comes in. After a shower, your skin is saturated with water meaning this is the absolute best time to put lotion on. After your shower, stay in the shower and pat your skin dry. Now grab your favorite body lotion (that you now store in the shower) and coat your whole body.
Before learning this, I always had dry skin in the winter and this has helped tremendously. Really any body lotion works. I use Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe. The best ingredient to look for is hyaluronic acid so make sure to look for it in your lotion. It is naturally found in our skin and its job is to hold water molecules and it can hold a crazy amount, hence why it’s so good in a lotion.
Become sunblock crazy
The beauty industry is gigantic and anti-aging is a huge part of that market. Over the years, especially since I had kids, my skin has started to really show signs of aging. I went on a huge search to find the best products for my skin. I then went on another search to determine what I could do that was preventative and was shocked.
Honestly, this blew me away. All I had to do was wear sunblock every day to prevent 90% of aging!?! Inexpensive plain old sunblock! I wish I had started wearing sunblock everyday sooner.
The best I could do was to start immediately. I invested in a face sunblock that didn’t feel like sunblock. That way I was more willing to put it on every day and reapply it.
Since sunblock should be reapplied every two hours, I started the habit of always reapplying my face with sunblock when I washed my hands, so it became a habit. And even if I am not outside, I still wear it. Why not? If it can prevent that much skin aging, then I want all 365 days of prevention.
I also have invested in some really cute summer hats (this one is my favorite) and chase my kids around to apply sunblock because one day they will thank me for their beautiful skin.
The other benefit to zinc oxide (found in most sunblocks) is that it is antibacterial. After starting to use sunblock daily, I saw a significant decrease in my acne, which was a nice bonus.
My go-to dull skin fix
I never really used toners before on my skin until after my first pregnancy. My skin was so dull and as the months ticked by, there was no improvement.
After a google search, it seemed the popular choice to combat dull skin was glycolic acid. It comes from sugar cane and exfoliates the outer layer of the skin. I was willing to give it a try and am glad I did. I use it only once a week and see the difference immediately when waking the next morning. These are the mornings I wake up thinking “maybe I don’t need foundation today”.
The glycolic acid toner I use is by The Ordinary, since I am an Ordinary cult follower. Seriously, if you haven’t heard of this brand before, you need to check them out. They have amazing prices.
In addition to helping my skin have that youthful glow, I recently learned it is also great for acne because zits can be caused by dead cells clogging up pores.
Switch to a “yellow” and creamy foundation
Just like your skincare products change as you age, your makeup should also change as you age. The best advice I ever got from a makeup artist was to always opt for a foundation with a yellow undertone.
No matter if your skin is neutral, warm or cool, everyone looks best with a yellow undertone foundation especially as you age. I am sure there are a lot of foundations that have yellow undertones. I used to use Bobbi Brown Foundation Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40 and still REALLY like it a lot. If you have the budget, then I would try it out. However, it is a bit pricey, so I have recently switched. My new go-to is LUX Liquid. It is aloe-based, organic, free of synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and artificial colors, which I really like. If you have been struggling to find a good foundation, then I would try this brand.
Additionally, grabbing a creamy undereye concealer really helped a lot too. I have yet to find a better one than the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector so that is still the one I use. It is expensive but it lasts a long time. I highly recommend investing in one if you are as chronically tired as me.
Become a hyaluronic acid junkie
As you age, you skin loses its ability to stay hydrated. This is due to your skin having less hyaluronic acid, the molecule that uptakes and holds water.
There are a lot of hyaluronic acid products out there, but they are expensive, and I can’t spend that type of money. The one I use and really love is by The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%. And don’t worry about the low percent of hyaluronic acid. If you do a google search, then you will find out that a higher percent isn’t more effective.
I use it every morning after washing my face and feel like it keeps my skin hydrated all day.
The tea tree shampoo that changed everything
While shampoo’s primary purpose is for hair, I actually use this shampoo because of my skin. I used to have really bad back acne and would also get a lot of zits on my forehead. I can not remember when or why this came up but someone a long time ago recommended Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo to me. They said it was the only thing that worked for them to finally have clear skin.
To say I was a little intrigued would be a huge understatement. I just had to try it. I had never even thought about how my shampoo and conditioner might be affecting my skin. Your skin (especially your face and back depending on how you wash your hair) are coated in these products if you use them in your hair.
I bought both the Tea tree shampoo and conditioner and seriously they changed my life. My acne was gone and I had never used a shampoo that has ever smelled this good. I also started trying to only wash my hair by leaning my head back so my face wasn’t coming into contact with my hair products.
Pursue your skin Today
It is hard to find good beauty tips and even harder to find great skincare products without breaking the bank. I hope I gave you some new ideas to try in those few seconds you get to do that all-important self-care.
Some days, I can’t seem to even find the time to brush my hair, so I go throughout my whole day with bedhead. And that’s mom life, but hopefully I have given you some easy habits you can do to help you look your best and feel your best.
Cheers to enjoying our kids while we age gracefully.
P.S. Share your best skincare secrets in the comments!!