The packed schedule of family life can leave you feeling, and looking, less than your best. We asked beauty expert, and mum of two, Abby Ireland for tips on looking fresh when you don’t feel it…
We all know that changing your diet and habits can help make a change in the way you look and feel. Reducing your intake of salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, as well as going to bed earlier could all make a difference – but when you’re a busy parent living for your next cup of coffee, it’s not always that easy. Luckily there are lots of ideas to help you look fresher, from long-term solutions to quick make-up fixes.
The issue: dark circles and puffy eyes
Dark circles tend to be genetic, so they’re almost impossible to get rid of completely, however their appearance can definitely be improved. Puffiness can be caused by tiredness, poor diet and bad skincare, so trying to get a better night’s sleep and finding the right products for your skin should both help. Use an eye cream to help stimulate and brighten the skin around your eyes. If your eye area is puffy, a serum or gel texture could work better than a cream, but take care not overload the eye area with too much product.
Your concealer could be the best option for temporarily hiding those dark shadows for a more wide-awake look. Use one that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter. Apply it to the inner corners and on dark areas – choose a matte finish as this will also help reduce the look of puffiness.
The issue: fine lines and wrinkles
Discovering a few lines and wrinkles is a normal part of the ageing process, but there’s plenty you can do to minimise their appearance if you want to. Keeping your skin hydrated is key, as dry skin can accentuate the look of lines, so don’t forget to pack a drink for yourself as well as for your toddler, or keep one in the buggy.
It could be time to give anti-ageing skincare a try if you’re not using it already. Glycolics, serums and peels, retinol* creams and vitamin-packed boosters contain some of the most effective ingredients to combat wrinkles. You should also include a good SPF in your morning routine to protect against sun damage, even on cloudy days.
Primers prep the skin for a smooth texture helping foundations to look their best. When you’re in a hurry, a tinted moisturiser is easier to apply and will provide weightless coverage and a dewy finish.
The issue: temporary dark spots
Dark spots can have various causes, like sun damage or scarring, but one very common cause is changing hormone levels during pregnancy, which can cause blotchy, brown patches called chloasma. This hyper-pigmentation is common in pregnancy and breastfeeding and can fade and reappear during and after – ask your Tesco Pharmacist for their recommendations. Using sunscreen every day is a must, as this will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects in the future.
If you feel self-conscious about dark spots on your face, make-up can be an effective way of disguising them. Choose a buildable foundation so you can reach a level of coverage you’re happy with.
The issue: problem skin
As with all skin issues, a good place to start is your cleansing routine. You may have relied on wipes as a sleep-deprived parent, but now things have settled down, it’s a good idea to cleanse your skin properly morning and evening with products that suit your skin type. If your issue is dry skin, night creams are a good way to add richness to skin. They’re also a nice way to fit in a little bit of pampering at the end of a busy day.
If your skin is dry, remember to use a moisturiser day and night, and allow it to sink in before applying a moisturising foundation or tinted moisturiser. If your skin is oily, don’t skip moisturiser – choose an oil-free product to better regulate your skin’s sebum production. A cream blusher can also work wonders by boosting radiance and giving you a healthy glow.
For a more tailored approach, see our feature on how to handle skin changes during pregnancy and beyond.
* It’s recommended you avoid products containing retinol during pregnancy, a common ingredient in anti-ageing products. Always read the label whether you’re buying new skincare or checking your existing products.