by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
There is no doubt that motherhood is one of the most rewarding experiences that a woman can have. However, as most mothers would agree, it can also be one that takes a toll on their physical and mental health. Sleepless nights and early morning rises are often part and parcel of motherhood. One of the consequences of this lifestyle is poor skin health. Even though mothers in general are too busy to care for their skin with an elaborate routine, a few tips for skincare may benefit them.
Keep your face clean by using a gentle cleanser when you wake up in the morning and before you sleep at night. Also, wash your face after sweating because leaving the sweat on your face to dry can make acne worse. One of the ways in which you can keep your face clean is by not touching your face, because touching the face with hands can deposit oils, dirt and bacteria onto the skin. This can easily lead to breakouts.
The sun is not a friend of your skin. Sun’s ultra violet rays can cause dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and changes in the texture of the skin. It is safest to apply sunscreen on your face, neck and hands every morning even if the sun is not visible. Reapply in the afternoon to get protection the whole day long. To make it easier, you can use a BB (Blemish Balm) cream because it offers protection against UV rays while giving your face a touch of light make up.
Drink lots of water for healthy, youthful skin, and use a gentle moisturizer every day. Moisturized skin is hydrated and plump, and less likely to develop wrinkles prematurely. An ideal time to use a moisturizer is right after a shower or washing your face when the skin in still wet. Always remember to use a moisturizer after the skin has been cleansed or washed. Do not use hot water to wash your face, as it can dry out the skin and cause irritation.
Micellar water looks like water but actually it is a liquid made up of tiny suspended cleansing molecules called micelles. These micelles can capture dirt and oil, helping the skin to get rid of impurities without drying it out. For this reason it is often used as a base for moisturizers, face washes, and makeup removers. It is handy to have by your bed for a quick nighttime cleansing routine, as unlike other cleansers, it doesn’t need to be washed off afterwards.
Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree oil is an essential oil produced from the leaves of tea trees by steam distillation. Tea tree oil is one of the best ways to prevent breakouts and to treat eczema or dry skin, as it has anti-inflammatory qualities that help soothe pain or irritation. Tea tree oil also works as an excellent moisturizer. However, before using, it should be diluted with some coconut oil or olive oil.
It is understandable that as a busy mother you don’t have the time to visit a beauty parlor or spa. However, you can do the same skin care at home with easily available material. For example, you can apply a cucumber and yoghurt face mask on the face and wash off after 30 minutes to get a supremely cooled skin devoid of sun burns. If you want exfoliation, use honey and oatmeal facial mask and let it sit for 20 minutes before wiping it off with a warm washcloth. Even plain honey is very useful on the skin. Simply apply 1-2 table spoons of honey on the face and let sit for 20 minutes before wiping off with a washcloth. Honey is a great moisturizer on the skin. Honey can be combined with milk too and applied on the face to get its moisturizing goodness.
The connection between stress and skin is very real. Stress leads to heightened levels of cortisol and excessive production of inflammatory cytokines, which causes inflammation in the skin and makes inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema worse. Stress is also linked to an increase of oil production in the skin, which can result in acne. How can you manage your stress? There are plenty of stress management techniques that you can learn. Regular exercise, journaling and meditation are a few ways to keep stress under control.
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