This week our beauty expert Lucy E discusses the importance of taking time and looking after your skin.
It’s not easy taking care of children. You’re constantly in a guilt cycle. Are you feeding them the right food and enough of it? Are you damaging their development by popping on a cartoon while you make lunch for ten minutes? In the middle of going anywhere without them you suddenly feel bad. And the list goes on.
Guilt is a natural process and we all go through it. What I do feel is completely unnecessary, however, is when mums fall foul of self-righteous maternity websites that claim it’s a certainty (and in some cases an ‘honour’) that you neglect your looks. Not caring about your appearance is almost like a badge you’re supposed to wear of defiant motherhood – according to some mummy warriors.
It’s true that some days you don’t feel like wearing make-up, especially in the early days of a new baby. It is an absolute personal choice whether or not you stop wearing make-up, but the one thing I would urge you not to neglect is your facial regime.
A friend of mine, who has two small children, fell into this category. Not only did she scrap her make-up (which she actually looked fine without) but she also let her daily skincare process go by the wayside. This caused problems. When we went for a facial together (at my insistence, she needed some downtime) she admitted to the therapist that she now rarely cleansed her face; forgetting to do it most of the time and just ‘slapping’ moisturiser on every morning. Her skin lacked radiance, with dull and scaly patches and she had developed blackheads that she hadn’t even noticed.
The therapist improved the condition of her skin with an hour long PAYOT facial – leaving her with a stern warning to cleanse, tone and apply a serum and moisturiser daily. SPF was essential when she left the house. She also needed to exfoliate once a week with a gentle glycolic acid-based product.
What’s worse than no cleansing is the stripping you’ll incur if you wash your face with soap and water. It may seem like a quick fix in the shower, but soap and water is a sure way to make your skin devoid of moisture and can lead to spots, as the sebaceous glands compensate for the lack of oil and start to release more oil than the pores can deal with, resulting in spots.
If you want to help your skin out there are two ways. Invest some money into a professional skincare regime. Book into a spa or salon, get a professional to examine your skin and prescribe the correct professional care.
If that’s beyond your budget use pharmacy-based cleansers, toners and moisturisers that are advised for your skin type. Try to avoid wipes (especially baby wipes, I know we’re all tempted!). Instead, cut up some old muslin clothes and use them to remove your make-up with a cream cleanser at night, it’s a gentler method than alcohol infused wipes. You can also mix two-thirds of nettle tea and a third of witch hazel as a toner.
If you’re absolutely broke, invest less than a tenner in sweet almond oil or coconut oil as a face moisturiser / serum, both soften the skin, sinking into the epidermis very fast. Don’t forget to pay attention to the neck area and décolletage as well. Take the time out, use your requisite hour of television viewing in the evening to invest some time into your skincare regime.
If you absolutely insist on no make-up then do try to wear a high SPF when you’re outside. You might be joining the windswept, red-cheeked, righteous mummy brigade – but don’t add premature ageing into the bargain. Also, don’t forget, a layer of foundation keeps broken veins at bay by shielding the skin against the bitter cold.
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