For starters, might we remind you that your body hosted an entire additional human for a very long time? So give yourself a break. Dermatologist Sam Hanna, medical director at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto, says his patients sometimes express frustration over how their skin fared after pregnancy—dullness, hyperpigmentation and acne that could rival a teenager’s are common once the glow fades.
“Be proud of what you did and recognize that what happened with your skin is recoverable,” he says, stressing that you didn’t do anything wrong (even if applying moisturizer a couple times a week summed up your skincare routine for the past nine months). Since there might be days postpartum when washing your face feels like summiting Mount Everest, skip the 12-step system and focus on simply nourishing and feeding your skin in three simple steps.
1. Stock your shower with an unfragranced, non-soap cleanser you can use when you finally get a chance to hop in there. Try La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet AP+ ($21, at drugstores and mass market retailers), which feels like a luxurious French facial in an easy-to-use pump. The best part? It does triple duty—use it on your face, your body and it’s safe for your newborn’s skin, too.
2. Give your face another pass with a spritz of toner to cleanse, clarify, and wick up any remaining residue. You’ll feel utterly refreshed in the process. Try Pai Skincare Living Water ($48, thedetoxmarket.ca), which keeps the moisture barrier intact and won’t alter your pH balance, causing needless skin irritation like redness and flakiness. Use it at any point in the day when you need a refresher.
3. Finish with a moisturizer devoid of fragrance and artificial colour. If you don’t know where to start, Hanna’s general rule of thumb is to avoid products you wouldn’t feel comfortable putting on your baby. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($12, amazon.ca) is a non-greasy option containing three essential ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid—which translates to super hydrated and happy skin.