Dull, tired-looking skin? We hear you! If you don't know your hyaluronic acid from your retinol, then you've come to the right place. Here's the skincare routine every busy mum needs…
If you’ve read and attempted to follow celeb skincare routines and paid a small fortune testing products that didn’t seem to do what they said they were going to, then you’re not alone – we’ve been there. As busy mums, we know that finding time to build a skincare routine into daily life can be a challenge – and where do we start? Our skin is our largest organ, and so we want to be mindful of what we are putting on our bodies on a daily basis, pregnant or not… but we still want that youthful glow and to look like we haven’t spent our weekend coaxing a toddler to potty train or at the football field cheering on our teens in the hot Singaporean sun (even if that is life as we know it). So what’s a mum to do? Read on, that’s what…
Our favourite mum-safe skincare products for glowing skin
Want glowing skin safely? We’ve done the research and tried the products, and here’s our list of favourite skincare products that have actually worked for us. If you’re new to a skincare regime, we’ve shared the order in which we apply, from cleansers through to serums and moisturisers. Don’t expect miracle cures. A regular cleansing routine and a beautiful moisturiser won’t take the place of a healthy diet and regular exercise (sadly). But it can give you a few minutes of daily me-time and form part of a self-care routine that will leave you feeling more connected to yourself and looking a little brighter, too!
Psst, you might’ve heard horror stories about skincare products that are harsh on our skin or, even worse, contain cancer-causing carcinogens. Fret not – we’ve made sure our recommendations pass the test and are gentle on your skin, making them suitable for all, even if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. Woop!
Step 1: Cleansers
The first step in our skincare routine is always cleanser. The type you use will depend on your skin type. There are various oil cleansers and cream cleansers, and some that contain exfoliant beads to act as a two-in-one cleanser and scrub. Hint: you don’t want to use a scrub daily, as it can strip your skin of its natural oils and barriers, which means your skin will produce even more oil to make up for this loss. Two to three times a week is enough.
We love Fenty. You only need a pea-sized amount that you can lather into a foam in the shower, so it’s fuss-free, easy and smells divine. It’s also gentle enough to repeat the process if you feel like you need a double cleanse to rid your face of makeup. Dr Jart+ Dermaclear cleanser is also a great option, and it lathers from gel to foam, so you get the best of both worlds.
Step 2: Micellar water, toner, and facial treatment essence
After your cleanser, it’s time to remove any last traces of makeup and refresh and tone the skin. We’re big fans of Bioderma Micellar Water, which can gently cleanse any last remaining dirt from your face and neck without compromising your skin’s natural oils. Wipe gently over your face with a cotton pad before you tone your skin in the same way. We like Caudalie’s Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner to give a refreshing boost of hydration.
SKII is a famous Japanese brand for a reason – it has proven results. If you can afford to splurge, then why not opt for their delicate toner and Pitera facial treatment essence, made from a special exclusive yeast strain that is power-packed with a cocktail of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids to help rejuvenate your skin.
Step 3: Serums (and optional face masks)
Now that your skin is clean and fresh, it’s ready to receive the vitamins and acids that can penetrate the skin to plump from within. We’re talking luxurious serums packed with collagen, vitamins and acids that go deep into the skin’s layers. Use serums sparingly, and as with all skin treatments, do a test before you lather all over your face. Some more sensitive skin types can react in a rash or acne if not compatible.
One of our favourite serums is the LAC Taut Intensive Recovery Serum, packed full of herbal extracts and antioxidants. When used daily, this super serum delivers the collagen boost we need to plump up our skin and reduce the appearance of pesky fine lines (especially around the forehead and outer eye area – we’ve really noticed a difference!). Not only does this serum help to repair damaged skin, it also acts as a barrier to environmental stressors when used in combination with a sunscreen moisturiser. Psst.. We also love the LAC Taut Collagen Mask for an indulgent addition to me-time at home, and an instant boost of radiance before a night out!
Other brands of our favourite serums don’t cost the earth; check out the skin care range by The Ordinary. We also like Paula’s Choice for a whole range of fuss-free skincare that really works. Look out for ingredients such as Retinol (which increases cell production and helps to unclog pores) and Niacinamide (also known as Vitamin B3, great for protecting your skin from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins). Another great serum ingredient to investigate is Vitamin C, which can even out your skin tone, firms and brightens a dull complexion. Other key ingredients that we have learned really work, are Hyaluronic Acid and Rosehip Oil.
Step 4: Eye cream
What’s the difference between eye cream and facial moisturiser, and do you really need it? We say, yes, there is a difference, and if you want to banish those fine lines and wrinkles without invasive treatment, then a good eye cream is a must. These highly concentrated little pots of cream can help to de-puff, smooth and brighten the eye area, which will make a difference to your whole face. Brands we love are Kora Organics Berry Bright Eye Cream, which is made of natural organic ingredients, firms and brightens, and on top of that, it smells delicious and comes in the prettiest pink pot we ever did see.
What’s just as important in what you apply is how you apply it. Use your ring fingers to gently dab the cream into the delicate under-eye area – these are your weakest fingers, and so you are more inclined to be gentle, and whatever you do, do not rub! You don’t want to damage the skin or bring capillaries (little red squiggly blood vessels) to the surface. You can also try using a jade or rose quartz facial roller to stimulate the skin in this area (keep it in the fridge for an added zing to wake you up in the morning!)
Can’t afford a pricey eye cream? Try dabbing a tiny bit of coconut oil around your outer eye area. Also works when massaged into arms and legs (just mix with moisturiser) and directly into your nails for a strengthening boost. You can’t get a more natural beauty product than that. Added bonus: you’ll smell like you’re on a tropical beach holiday!
Step 5: Moisturiser
Moisturiser locks all the goodness back in and also works as a barrier to protect your face from pollutants in the daytime and from drying out in the aircon in the evening. We prefer to use moisturisers with sunscreen for the daytime, as even indoors, you can suffer from UV damage if you’re near a window!
If you’re over 30, it’s an excellent idea to combine anti-ageing ingredients in your moisturiser to further nourish the skin and smooth fine lines. We love the products from local clean beauty brand Forest MD, as they are medical grade, effective, and created by Doctor Isabelle Yeoh. We especially enjoy the Muru Muru Age-Defy Cream, with its anti-ageing properties and skin replenishing, nourishing ingredients.
For nighttime, a thicker hydrating cream with sleepy scents of lavender is our preference – we love IT cosmetics ‘confidence in your beauty sleep’ cream for these reasons.
Step 6: Additional care: Acne busters
If you are having a breakout (eek!), then you might want to add some additional acne-busting steps and specialised products to your skincare routine. We highly recommend Skinlycious, which is suitable for teens and adults. There is a whole regime that is specifically targeted for clearing acne, including calming cleaner, exfoliant, clarifying serum, and a moisturiser that will calm and nourish the skin without clogging pores. Best bit: There is a fantastic starter kit available for you to give the routine a try without making a huge investment in full size products, which is also great for travelling!
Go forth and glow, mums! What’s your skincare or beauty must-have? Let us know at [email protected]!