You are cuddling your baby in your arms. She is just about the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in the world (and it doesn’t matter if you are biased). You couldn’t be happier — but you have also never been more exhausted in your life. You haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in months, your complexion is chapped and your hair, dishevelled, is up in a permanent topknot. (Seriously, when was the last time you put a comb through it?) Whatever happened to the glorious pregnancy glow and how does one get it back?
Thankfully, there are ways to get radiant and glowing skin again, which does not involve having another baby (at least not yet, anyway!). Check out the list below; the main thing to remember is that it is absolutely okay to take time out for yourself. You deserve it!
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is numero uno when it comes to enjoying healthy and radiant skin and well, just about anything to do with your general well-being, too. So how much sleep do we need? For the average adult, the recommended range is between 7 to 9 hours. If you are a new mom, you know that you would be lucky to get more than 3 hours of undisturbed slumber (remember that it’s only temporary!). So try and get your forty winks (or cat nap or pillow time) whenever you can. That means that you sleep whenever your baby sleeps, or hand him or her over to grandma or auntie Susie for a couple of hours and hit the sack. The laundry can wait, and so can the pile of dirty dishes! You NEED your beauty sleep, pronto.
Stay Well Hydrated
You cannot begin to get glowing skin without proper hydration. When skin is dehydrated, its ability to regenerate cells and shed the dead ones falters; this leads to clogged pores and a dull complexion. And what about those pesky eyebags earned from many sleepless nights? Drinking sufficient water helps to prevent water retention and bloat, which goes a long way toward helping you lose the dark circles. So you need to make sure that you are getting your daily two litres of water. Make water palatable by adding a slice of lemon (drinking a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the mornings is purported to help with water retention, aid the removal of toxins, as well as help with digestion, thereby setting you up for a good day). Hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumber will also help you to chalk up your water intake.
Eat The Right Foods
When you are perpetually walking around with a baby in one arm, it is way too easy to grab a sugar cookie or stuff a doughnut in your mouth just when you need an energy boost. And when your baby is (finally) down for the count, vegetating in front of the television screen while binging on your favourite comfort food (does a pint of triple-chocolate ice cream sound familiar?) is just about the only thing you feel capable of doing. Unfortunately, those habits are doing nothing for your weary skin (or your waistline). Take a look at what’s in your pantry and refrigerator and think about stocking your fridge and pantry with healthier food options. That way when you are hungry, you can just as easily pick up an apple or a banana (feel free to dip them in some quality peanut butter), or a small tub of yoghurt instead. And guess what? When you are filling up mostly on healthy foods, then the occasional ice cream treat is more than okay!
Don’t Skip The Moisturiser
Moisturising is an essential step in skin care, but terribly easy to neglect when you are up at all hours of the night and day busy with nursing, feeding, diaper changes, and so on. And by the time your head has the chance to hit the pillow, the last thing you’re thinking about is moisturising. But if you want some semblance of a pregnancy glow, make it a point to smear on the good stuff, mommy. Put it in the bathroom so that it’s within easy reach and you can moisturise straight out of the shower. Or place it on your nightstand so that it takes minimal effort to slather some on just before you head to bed.
Work Up A Sweat
There are days when running a hairbrush through your hair feels like too much effort, so asking an exhausted mom to work out may be a tall order. But the fact is that exercise produces endorphins, which will not only lift your mood but boost your energy levels as well. And when you work out your pores open up (it’s akin to getting a steam facial), and the sweat helps to push out all the nasty stuff that’s been clogging them — so remember to wash your face after the workout to get rid of all the dirt. And that’s not all. A good cardio workout will improve your blood circulation, giving you that rosy hue on the apples of your cheeks, and is also anti-ageing, delivering much-needed nutrients to your skin, boosting the production of collagen among other things. If the prospect of a serious cardio workout seems daunting, start small. Working out doesn’t require getting all decked out in athletic gear and heading to the gym. Play your favourite tunes and just dance for 15 straight minutes (you can dance with your baby too), or walk briskly while pushing your baby in the stroller around the neighbourhood or nearby park. Baby steps!