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Sometime in the last year, I had that moment I’ve heard many mothers talk about- looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person looking back at you. It was pretty evident that I needed a new skincare routine. Something beyond throwing on a big pair of sunglasses and calling it a day.
I wear make up and get “ready” maybe 2-3 times a week and I’ve never really been one to be self conscious about not wearing makeup, but three years of little sleep was really starting to catch up with my sad, tired face and if this was what I was walking around with half the week, things needed to change, stat. Wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes went from distant worries to immediate problems in just three short years of having kids. I felt like one of those before and after pictures of a president when he leaves office.
I have been thinking about this for a while and after my birthday at the end of October, I decided it was time (After thinking about it for a year…my response time definitely leaves something to be desired.) to switch up my skincare routine in the hope of reversing some of these changes. I’ve even started to consider Botox because I’m apparently that vain now, but 1) needles in my face and 2) money.
I decided to try my luck with skincare products first and then reassess. My skin has changed after two pregnancies and my old stuff did the job, but I wasn’t in love with it. I feel like I have slightly more time for me again and I can add a few more steps to my routine. I’m slowly, slowly moving from 100% survival mode to like 90% survival mode.
Now seems like a good time to mention that I’m no expert. I did a lot of half-assed “research” and took suggestions from beauty bloggers (Meg O. is amazing) and used what I know about my own skin, preferences and budget to come up with this. I have combination skin that leans more to the oily side. My pores clog easily and I am a blackhead magnet, although not too acne prone. I’ve been doing this for about a month or so and so far so good! My skin feels tighter, softer and definitely more moisturized without being greasy.
- Murad Essential-C Cleanser I’ve been using this cleanser for a long time and I’m sticking with it. It’s gentle, but effective.
- Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser This is my favorite exfoliator. I’ve been using it for several years a few times a week with my Clairsonic brush and I loooove it. I like the sensitive brush heads because they feel a little less harsh. The Clairsonic brush is definitely an investment, but mine has lasted several years and would be an excellent wish list item!
- Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water I’ve always loved a good toner. It always makes my skin feel so fresh and clean, but I’d noticed that recently it felt too drying. This stuff gets that clean feeling without drying it out. And it takes makeup off so easily!
- Hyaluronic Acid This sounds super harsh and terrifying, but this is my favorite addition to my little routine. From what I read you can also take this as a supplement, but it seemed more effective to me to put it where I need it. This one was the purest one I could find and had great reviews. If you only add one thing, I recommend this!
- Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream The other thing I kept hearing I needed was retinol. These can get pricey, and I like to keep it in the drugstore realm, so I went with a tried and true brand. This is a really rich cream and I’ve only been doing it every other night to avoid clogging my pores. It’s also a little stronger and I didn’t want to dry my skin out too much. Once my skin is a little more used to it, I may work up to every day. Bonus, it smells really good!
Mostly I’ve been doing this at night. In the morning I’ve been doing the micellar water and a generic moisturizer from Trader Joe’s that has SPF 15, which is a must for me. As a redhead, I can never have too much SPF. Moisturizers get tricky for my easily clogged pores and I’ve found the simpler, the better. I’ve been using this moisturizer for years now because it’s cheap (around $5!!), it works well for my skin and it has SPF.
Like I said, I’m making no claims of being a beauty blogger, but I’m really liking this new routine. My skin feels better and more moisturized. I think all the signs of aging are still there, but my skin feels healthier and until I can get regular, consistent sleep, this is probably the best I’m gonna get!
What changes have you made to your skincare routine after pregnancy or as you get older? I’d love to hear more suggestions! Especially if you think Botox is worth it! I’m scared and don’t want to get sucked in, but those forehead lines are deep! LOL!