Skincare for new mothers


This summer in the UK the weather has been positively indecisive. When you have a baby, there is absolutely no time to be indecisive, so I expect my skincare regime to be quick, easy and fuss free, whether I'm up at 5am, or not. This summer I have stuck to a selection of skincare products that have worked well for me as a first time Mum, whatever the weather.

I had to switch up my skincare after Baby T was born, due to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding? Really? Like in pregnancy, your change in hormone levels means that more often than not, if you're prone to breakouts, you will have waved a very welcome goodbye to those for a while. Seven and a half months on and I can't believe it, still no breakouts! And the only contributing factor really is breastfeeding. Hallelujah I might hear you cry! And yes, I have been very pleased not to have to deal with spots for so long (bye bye products for acne prone skin), but breastfeeding, and being a new mother, has played havoc on my skin in many other ways, so here are my favourite products that have helped manage (but not necessarily combat) those problem new mama skin care problems.

Facial skincare
I have had to change up my facial skin care routine. I still use Garnier's Micellar Water morning and night, whether I've worn make up or not. I started using this probably two years ago, and even packed a bottle in my hospital bag when baby was due. I love it! I try to avoid harsh or strongly perfumed products on my face as personally, I feel it upsets the natural balance of my skin, so I love how Micellar water cleanses without feeling like you're stripping your skin.

To moisturise, I've gone all things Simple! I'm using Simple's Age Resisting Day and Night Creams, and also their Illuminating Radiance cream. One of my favourite things about all three of these products is their pump-action dispensers. I hate creams in pots with a passion! I hate the idea that even if I've just washed my hands, I'm probably still putting bacteria back in a jar that potentially could stay there for a month until I've used all the product. I don't use a full 'pump' as half is enough for my face, neck and décolletage, which in turn makes them pretty good value for money. I also love mixing their day cream with my Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation to make my own BB cream, on days when I don't want to wear a full face of makeup. Both the day and night creams soak into the skin quickly, and really do balance out the patches of dry skin I have on my face and neck so when I apply make up, I get an even finish.
Make up free (L) and My everyday make up look (R)

 So let's be honest, who isn't dubious about the effects a 'radiance cream' supposedly provide? I'd never used one before now and thought, since they were on three for two at Boots, what's to loose? I LOVE this cream! I didn't expect it to smooth out my skin so much! It has light reflecting particles so I particularly love this for make up free days, but it also works wonders under foundation. I find it gives me that lovely glow to my skin that I used to have before I was pregnant (... and in my twenties!)

Each cream has quite different textures. The day cream is much thicker than the night cream, but still isn't what I would call a dense moisturiser, like a lot for dry skin are. It also doesn't leave you super shiny/greasy too (see the first photo). The night cream reminds me more of a vaseline-type texture but is very absorbent, not sitting on the surface of the skin, and the radiance cream is really rich but disappears quickly - a little definitely goes a hell of a long way.

Combating Dryness
Breastfeeding can leave you dehydrated, which even when I try my hardest to drink a lot, my skin is still left feeling dry and dull. When I was pregnant, I absolutely loved Argan Oil 'Mum to Be' Body Butter, but once I'd used up my supply, I went back to an old faithful - Neutrogena body lotion. This time though, I've been using their Nordic Berry for normal to dry skin (however, I have continued to use some of Argan Oil's other products, as per below). I am prone to dry skin, particularly on my arms and legs, but whilst I've been trying to regain my pre-pregnancy body, I've gone through a huge array of different products and none have lived up to the challenge like Neutrogena. I wish I'd saved my money! I love that it lasts for up to 48 hours, and that you can put your clothes on straight away after moisturising without having to wait for it to soak on / do the crazy chicken dance.

Soothing rough, dry hands
Without exaggeration, I would say I wash my hands a minimum of 30 times a day, either with a bar of soap or antibacterial liquid soap. There are times where I can go from washing my hands, to picking something up and then washing them again before I even dried them in between! I feel like I've used every moisturiser under the sun but the best by far is Garnier's Intensive Restoring Hand Repair Hand Cream. It's currently on offer in Boots too, so I've just been to stock up. It soaks in quickly and is one of the less greasy hand creams I've tried, so I feel fine using it when I've got to pick up my little girl straight away. The best thing though is that even when your hands are really dry and cracked, it feels really soothing and doesn't sting like some strongly perfumed creams can.

Since it's August, I thought I'd also mention self-tan. While I was pregnant, I was reluctant to use products that weren't specifically designed for pregnancy, so I used Palmer's Coco Butter Stretch Mark Cream as a moisturiser. I know it's probably just down to genetics, and not being overdue, but I only got one tiny stretch mark on my tummy button while I was pregnant. So I decided to try Palmer's Natural Bronze Body Lotion and oh my gosh, I AM IN LOVE! I only use it once a week but feel like it's given me a lovely summer glow without being in the sun (I don't do tanning). At one of my baby groups a friend asked me where I'd been on holiday - haha! Now that's a good review.

Fighting Dark circles
I've always said that if I've had a lack of sleep, lack of hydration, am stressed or anxious, it always shows first under my eyes - think a walking Day-of-the-dead Sugar Skull. And let's face it, those four things are just a given as a new mama. I've been using Argan Oil's Multi Action Eye Cream for about four weeks and have noticed a distinct improvement. Firstly, the skin is not as dry, and a lot softer and plumper too, so I've noticed my foundation and concealer blends MUCH better, especially when using only my fingers to apply it. How do I know it's the cream that's helping? Well, nothing else has really changed - the little lady's routine is following a similar pattern, but she can still have full on two hour screamathons going to bed at least once a week, and she's still waking up in the night. Lucky me!

Helping cracked lips
I have always suffered with dry, cracked lips which gets so much worse in the winter months. When I was pregnant, it got so bad they were constantly splitting and cracking so I felt like I tried every lipsalve under the sun! In the end I stuck to good old Vaseline, but while it does make an excellent barrier, it wasn't really nourishing or helping to combat the problem. Hello Argan Oil Nourishing Lip Balm! I love the tube applicator, that a little goes a long way, that it lasts for HOURS and I don't feel bad wearing it and kissing bubba ha ha. Better yet, it means I can say hello to my favourite lip sticks again.

I hope you enjoyed this skincare post. Be sure to leave any comment or questions if I've not mentioned something you'd like to know - and if you're interested in my everyday make up look, watch out for a video soon.


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