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As moms, our bodies go through a whirlwind of changes, and our skin is no exception. The hormonal rollercoaster that accompanies pregnancy, postpartum, and breastfeeding can lead to a variety of skin issues, from chloasma to dry skin to breakouts. Lifestyle factors that seem to go hand in hand with new motherhood - like lack of sleep, stress, and diet - can also play a significant role. But we’re here to help! We’ve compiled our best tips to transform your tired mama skin and give you back that gorgeous glow you’ve been craving:
Understand the Causes Behind Your Skin Changes:
First of all, what you’re experiencing is normal! But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for it. Many of the skin changes during pregnancy and postpartum arise from the rapidly shifting hormones in your body. We can’t control this, but we can take steps to minimize the effects.
As moms, our stress level is often higher as we navigate our new role and shifting hormones. We are also faced with the challenges of dietary needs for both mama and baby. Lack of sleep is another significant factor. Those precious hours of shut-eye can become a rare commodity in the early stages of motherhood. The impact of sleep deprivation on the skin is evident in dark circles, puffy eyes, and a dull complexion. The stress of caring for a newborn, managing household responsibilities, and often, juggling work, can also take a toll.
Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out:
A balanced diet lays the foundation for healthy, glowing skin. The nutrients we consume directly impact the health and appearance of our skin. This is the time to load up on fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that combat free radicals, prevent premature aging and give your skin a youthful radiance. Incorporating lean proteins and healthy fats supports the skin's natural barrier function. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and flaxseeds, are particularly beneficial for maintaining skin elasticity and hydration.
And remember: water, water, water! Hydration is a cornerstone of any effective skincare routine, especially if you are breastfeeding. Drinking an adequate amount of water keeps your skin plump and supple, and breastfeeding naturally dehydrates your skin.
Additionally, consider the role of collagen-boosting foods. Collagen, a protein that provides structure to the skin, naturally declines with age. Foods like bone broth, berries, and leafy greens can help support collagen production, contributing to a firm and youthful complexion.
Remember, nourishing your skin from the inside out not only enhances its appearance but also supports its overall health and resilience, helping you achieve that coveted healthy glow.
Simplify Your Skincare Routine and Choose Ingredients Made for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:
Motherhood is anything but simple, but your skincare routine should be. Streamlining your skincare routine ensures that you can still give your skin the attention it deserves without adding unnecessary stress to your day. The more time consuming your routine is, the less likely you’ll stick with it. A simpler routine takes less time and is easier to follow for us busy moms.
In the morning, start with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities from the night. Follow with a nourishing essence to help brighten dull skin and reduce areas of hyperpigmentation. Finish with a hydrating moisturizer that acts as a protective barrier for your skin throughout the day. At night, make sure you are removing all of your makeup and sunscreen before bed and repeat your 3 step routine.
When choosing products, opt for gentle products that are designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding in mind. Avoid products with harsh ingredients or fragrances. Botanical products can provide effective and soothing care for your skin. Truly, it’s a great standard to keep in mind throughout your skincare journey: if you can’t use it during pregnancy, you shouldn’t be using it at all.
Remember, for ongoing or severe skin issues, it may be necessary to consult a dermatologist or other skincare professional for specialized care.
Prioritize Self-Care and Rest:
It’s easy to put our own needs on the back burner, and that seems to happen more than ever in the new mama stage. However, prioritizing self care and rest is not only essential for your well-being, but it also plays a crucial role in achieving that healthy, radiant glow.
Consider ways to reduce your stress level like meditation, a soothing bath with candles and music, and carving out clear boundaries to your family regarding your self care time and your needs. And as much as you can (and yes, I get it, I’m sleep deprived from an early waking toddler while typing this!) focus on quality sleep. Simple changes like dropping the temperature a few degrees in your room, or reading a book for 30 minutes before bed rather than scrolling your phone, can help your body’s internal clock. One of the biggest triggers for “tired skin” is literally, being tired! By prioritizing self-care and rest, you're not only nurturing your skin but also replenishing your energy reserves and supporting your overall well-being.
Create an Exercise Routine:
The pressure to “bounce back” as a new mom can be overwhelming, but rather than focus on exercise for weight loss, try to look at working out as an act of love toward the body that just created new life. Physical activity isn't just for toning muscles; it's also fantastic for your skin. Regular exercise promotes healthy blood flow, which is a huge factor behind that coveted pregnancy glow. As a mom, finding time for exercise can be a challenge, but it's well worth the effort.
Consider things that can be integrated into your daily routine. For example, I walk my daughter to school rather than drive. Have a mini dance party with your little one or do a mommy and me yoga session. Finding small pockets of time for movement will not only benefit your skin but also contribute to your overall well-being as a mom.
Embrace Imperfections and Practice Gratitude:
It's important to remember that those changes to your skin, and your body as a whole, are a testament to the incredible feat of bringing life into the world. Stretch marks, fine lines, and other marks are badges of honor, signs of a body that has nurtured and sustained life. Embracing these imperfections is an act of self-love and acceptance. It's a declaration that your worth and beauty are not defined by societal standards, but by the incredible journey you've undertaken as a mother.
Practicing gratitude is a powerful tool in this journey. Take moments to reflect on the abundance that is all around you, in your health, love for your family, and small miracles. By focusing on the positives, you cultivate a mindset of appreciation for the amazing role you play as a mother.
The journey to transforming tired mama skin into a healthy glow is not just a physical process, it's a celebration of self-love and self-care. By prioritizing your needs, you're not only investing in your skin, but also in your overall well-being. Your healthy, glowing skin is a reflection of the beautiful journey you're on.