Smooth, even, dewy skin…nothing screams healthy quite like it. After frying myself most of my twenties (eek), I’ve spent the last few years trying to undo the damage. I’ve come up with a routine that works well for me (although having a baby has thrown things off again). Since I’ve officially lost my pregnancy glow, I’m getting back into the habits that always turn my skin around:
Hire a professional. You could read through all of the anecdotal info out there, but nothing will work quite as well as a dermatologist or esthetician analyzing your skin and helping you find specific products for you. I did a lot of trial and error with my own skin, and found these other tips work for me.
Water: Getting plenty of water is crucial for plump, glowing skin. The recommended amount is half of your body weight in ounces (so if you weight 150 lbs, you’d aim for 75 ounces water). Then, add another 8 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise. Of course you can always drink more if your body’s giving you thirst signs, however, more is not necessarily better with water. You can overdo it. Too much water flushes important minerals and can create an electrolyte imbalance in your body. Your pee should be a pale yellow. If your pee is dark or completely clear you’re probably under or over consuming water, respectively. Try keeping a bottle at your desk to keep you sipping all day.
Leafy greens: Leafy greens are incredibly dense in antioxidants and micronutrients. I truly believe if you change nothing else in your diet, but simply start each meal with a few handfuls of leafy greens, you’ll notice a difference right away. I love a green smoothie (simply add a few handfuls of spinach to your morning smoothie), sautéing kale and garlic with olive oil, or tossing field greens with a simple dressing. Vary the type of green and the preparation and soon it will become second nature to always include greens!
Collagen: I’ve noticed a big difference in my digestion and overall gut health since adding in collagen to my daily routine. A morning smoothie or cup of coffee/matcha are the perfect places to add it in. I notice when my gut is in check, so is my skin.
Double washing: This has been a game changer, primarily for preventing breakouts. I think when I was single washing I just wasn’t completely removing my makeup. I always start with an oil wash. If you’re on a tight budget, I have straight up used olive oil for this step and it works beautifully…but I do prefer this wash. For my second step it depends on my skin. If I’m feeling oily or breaking out I go with the chamomile wash. If I’m dry, I go with a cleansing balm.
Exfoliation: My skin craves exfoliation. I find every other night works best for me since I run a bit dry and sensitive. Work with an esthnetitian if you’re not sure what works for you. During pregnancy and breastfeeding lactic acid has been my go-to. This is probably my favorite product of all time. I love an exfoliating mask too. Before pregnancy + breastfeeding I found retinol to be a game changer for me.
Microneeding: I started by getting a professional treatment with my dermatologist (this is a much more intense treatment than at home). She showed me how to do it on my own, which I aim to do 2-3 times a week. This is the only thing that really touched my dark spots, which have become much worse through pregnancy.
Less is more. During pregnancy I found that I had to remove a lot of products because they contained retinols or other ingredients considered unsafe while pregnant. Call it hormones, or fewer products but my skin really loved the simplification. Now, I only use 1-2 serums and my skin seems much happier. Also, this is the order my ethnetitian instructed me to use products: wash, tone, serum (applied in order of thinnest to thickest), eye cream, moisturizer, skin oil.