I’m sure you can relate when I say this winter has me motivated to do nothing more than sleep, snuggle and sit on the couch. With the artic air, icy streets and rounds of pre-school induced illness, I’m lucky I fall into bed before brushing my teeth, let alone follow a beauty routine. But despite the havoc motherhood, work and winter has wreaked on my skin, I cannot forget the good habits my mother instilled in me. Over the years, she taught me skincare, like health and fitness, requires commitment and time – something working moms look hard to find. Here are some tips and products that allow me to get it done – as best I can:
1. Know thy skin you’re in.
Hormones, stress and seasons have caused my skin to change at a moment’s notice. However, I know I am mostly dry and my pores can clog. I search for products that moisturize and hydrate without causing build up. A good way to test your skin is to examine it and blot it with a tissue when you wake up. Any place the tissue has residue is oily. If you have some tightness and patches, you are dry. If you have neither – high five the mirror – gently.
This is a must, but again, choose wisely. You want to slough away dead skin, not strip your face of natural moisture. This does not have to be an extra step; do it before you step into the shower and let it seep in while you bathe. If you can, invest in a Clarisonic brush and spend an extra two minutes in the shower. There are brushes for all skin types, and I swear, it will rejuvenate your morning. Neutrogena and Olay also make over the drugstore options that are less costly. Baking soda is a home remedy that can work wonders.
3. Do what you can
This means that even if you want to collapse, wipe your face at night. It’s not as good as a thorough cleanse, but there are enough facial wipes on the market to make the process easier. Garnier, Neutrogena and Yesto all make great wipes that soothe, cleanse and/or exfoliate. On rough nights, these save me. Rough nights take on a different meaning now, but still…
4. Treat from within
Water, salmon, spinach, blueberries, fish oil, vitamin c. I’m sorry. They are not fun, but they work with consistency. They also offset consistent consumption of wine.
5. Pick your poison
Or in this case, your serenity. A friend/co-worker recently asked me why I don’t get my nails polished. I responded: “Because I get my hair blown out.” It’s true. Some women do nails, some spray tan, some even get facials or massages. Whenever I can I get my hair blown out. At night I ponytail it in a 1980s scrunchie, when I shower I wrap it in a turbie twist, and it lasts for a week. It’s my indulgence and I love it. Pick one. When you can sneak an hour, get it done. Don’t feel guilty.
6. Don’t be afraid of ingredients – or the dermatologist
Hyaluronic, glycolic, lactic acid, retinol, vitamin c, argan, coconut, Moroccan oil – products and ingredients can be overwhelming. They key is to know your skin and understand what these ingredients do. In mild form, glycolic and hyaluronic acid work wonders. More and more products offer these ingredients at affordable prices. A once a year visit to the dermo eases the mind and clears the skin.
7. Problem solve
Make the most of ten minutes. Cleanse, tone, serum, moisturize. That’s it. Twice a week turn the cleanser into an exfoliant. Let one sink in while you put on deodorant, undies and bra. Use the face wipes in a rush. Inhale the steam over pasta you drain in the colander, and then splash your face with cold water. (It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.) Invest in a BB cream or a moisturizer with SPF. (I don’t need to tell you to apply sunscreen. We are smart, gainfully employed women.)
Here is a list of brands/products and websites to make good skin attainable:
v Mario Badescu (affordable and high power ingredients. They have online consultations for all kinds of skin. Visit their website or buy at Ulta stores)
v www.skinstore.com They offer 20% discounts and have a lot of starter kits to choose from
v Sephora and Ulta in stores and online also offer reward points and starter kits to suit all kinds of skin.
v RMS Beauty – they sell a luminizer and a coconut oil moisturizer that are amazing. My sister in law even called them Fountains of Youth
v For the organic/natural lovers: Eminence, Boscia, Burts Bees, Juice Beauty, Aveda – they are gentle and safe for sensitive skin.
v Some tried and true products that will work on you and Baby: Aquaphor, Vaseline, baby oil, and baby powder for a quick dry shampoo.
v Don’t forget Daddy – The Hubs used to scorn lotion or any form of skincare. Ten years after meeting me, he is a devote of Anthony products for men, and he exfoliates with Mario Badescu almond and honey face scrub. (I totally sold him out here.) I even steal his glycolic face wash in a pinch. It’s awesome.
I hope I helped some of you. If anyone has suggestions for skin that has recently become red and inflamed this winter – I would love it. My nose resembles Rudolph these days!