If you’ve just had a baby – the chances are you’re more sleep deprived than you’ve ever been in your life. If you’ve had kids for a while, then feeling tired is probably your version of normal – and while motherhood is a privilege and a joy, those night time interruptions and long days certainly take a toll.
Unfortunately one of the first places that exhaustion shows up is on our skin. We spoke to leading dermatologist Dr. Lian Mack to discover what changes you can expect from your skin during those post-partum weeks and much further beyond and what all mums can do to give their skin a little extra attention and care.
In an ideal world you would be getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Not only is sleep important for our energy and concentration levels it also helps our skin to repair itself. Dr. Lian Mack explains, “While we sleep our bodies drive blood flow to the skin, which helps increase collagen production, making our skin look fresher. After all, sleep is our body’s restorative process.” But with regular interruptions to your kip, puffy eyes, dark circles and fine lines might all start to be things you notice in the mirror.
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to prioritise as many Z’s as possible. If you have just had a baby, Dr. Lian Mack says, “Nap when your baby does,” or why not try Maytal’s hack? She says in the early days she and her partner did night shifts to allow each of them to get an unbroken block of sleep. She says, “I recommend this to all new parents. It’s the only way we could both manage to get some deep sleep. I had to express my milk before heading to bed, so if you’re breastfeeding – make sure you get a good pump!” Those extra minutes in bed will not only restore your skin, they’ll no doubt lift your mood too.
Glow Glow Glow
Remember that pregnancy glow people used to say you had? After giving birth the oestrogen levels that were responsible for your glowing skin and luscious hair, start to fall and as a result you could suffer with post-partum hormonal acne. Lara says, “I had the best skin of my life during pregnancy and the worst after!” Great right?
If your kids are a little older, you may also find that your skin has lost a little vitality as the accumulation of mum life starts to show. Clay treatment masks are a great way to reclaim your radiance, but you’ll need something fast acting because let’s face it – us mums don’t have much time to spare! We developed our Just A Minute 60 Second Clay Mask with bentonite clay and daikon radish, making it rich in antioxidants and minerals. Bentonite clay because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory to ease hormonal acne, and daikon radish to reduce blemishes and revive your skin’s glow. Dr. Lian Mack says, “I love Mum & You because the ingredients are naturally derived, safe and effective.”
If you’ve noticed brown or dark patches on your face during or after pregnancy it’s most likely hyperpigmentation due to increased melanin levels. These patches should begin to fade after pregnancy but Dr. Lian Mack recommends avoiding direct sun exposure and wearing a high SPF every day. This is good practice for all mums, no matter what stage of your parenting journey you’re at. Wearing a daily SPF is an effective way to maintain an even skin tone, protect your skin from sun damage and prevent the signs of ageing.
Dr Lian Mack advises any busy mum to keep their skincare regime simple. Motherhood is demanding, “so be kind to yourself,” she says. Self-care is especially important on those days when it all gets too much. Ruby says, “With a toddler, a baby and a five-year-old to juggle, I get a lot of comfort in taking a few minutes to cleanse and moisturise my skin and put on a little bit of make-up – nothing fancy, just mascara and concealer. It makes me feel more in control and less neglected!” You don’t have to spend a lot of time on pampering to lift your mood.
Another way to boost your skin is to stay hydrated. Dr. Lian Mack says drinking enough water is important, especially if you’re a new mum who is breast feeding. In any case, try to drink six to eight glasses of water a day and your skin will thank you for it. Mum of three Stephanie says, “When I had my youngest son I bought some reusable bottles, filled them up at the start of everyday and placed them all over the house in the places I knew I might find myself captive under the weight of a sleeping baby. It definitely reminded me to drink more.”
Puffy undereye bags are your skin’s way of saying ‘help!’ Placing a cold compress on your eyes for a few minutes can improve their appearance (and feels wonderfully soothing). Cara says, “I keep an eye mask in the fridge to use whenever the opportunity strikes!”
As a team of mums, we know motherhood is as wonderful as it is overwhelming. All our products have been made with efficacy and simplicity in mind. Discover our Just A Minute Mask or browse our other mum made skincare and eco baby nappies and wipes.