Nurture the Skin You’re In

Nurture the Skin You're In | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Anna Ligocki Photography}

“Throwback Thursday” – ugh! It’s even worse as a hashtag: #TBT. Looking at old photos of myself is a blunt reminder that any ounce of style or grace I now have was hard-earned. Every old photo evidences past mistakes: barrel bangs, blonde streaks, flannel shorts, head-gear, awkward poses.

Throughout my cringe-worthy judgment lapses, one feature is recurring: my face consistently shines. Not the good kind of shine, beaming with happiness, although that was sometimes true. Rather, my skin looked oily. 

In new-mom hibernation, I began considering the lessons I wanted to teach my daughter about self-care and self-confidence. Before kids, I often found myself trying to change my features based on what I saw in other women. For example, I tried to lighten my dark hair, jealous of honey and sun- kissed tones. But as a mom, I began to appreciate my features because they are mine, they come from my parents and they make me similar to my sisters, although not always as luminous (smile, girls).

In motherhood, I began treasuring my own features in the same way that I want my daughters to admire theirs. After my first daughter was born, I started caring for my skin.

Gentle and natural, with frills

I knew I wanted a gentle and natural product. I had been using Cetaphil and CeraVe. Both are billed as gentle products recommended by dermatologists. Both are also no-frills and inexpensive. Cetaphil even makes a cleanser for babies. 

Yet, I wanted something gentle and natural with frills. I wanted a product that felt nourishing and even luxurious. In my pregnancy, I had used argan oil to help moisturize my bump. One day I read about using oil to control facial oil. At first it seemed counter-intuitive for my skin. My sister-in-law has beautiful, rich skin. I’ve witnessed her apply oil to her face; and at the time, I was shocked. But then I read about how facial oils can help to balance your skin.

For me, it’s true! What I love about applying oil to my skin is that it seems to nurture my skin. Oil seems to saturate into your skin in a way that lotions don’t. There are several oil-based cleansers on the market now, but I’m partial to Josie Maran’s. There are also many oil-based facial moisturizers available, and even virgin facial oils, such as argan oil. 

For my body, I keep a large jug of cooking oil in my bath/shower. I’ve used a long list of different oils including grapeseed, almond, avocado, olive, and coconut. I prefer to use cooking oils because I’ve found them cheaper in the cooking aisle than the beauty aisle/store. I apply oils in the shower, after the shower, and/or added to bath water. 

Kid-friendly 

I know better than to lather my girls in oil around the tub. I am certain that I bathe them significantly less than every mom reading this (and not based on principle), but at a minimum, I’m conscious of bath safety. Yet, after every bath, we lather up in lotion (Kiss-My-Face is my favorite) and we talk about taking care of our skin. Sometimes it works, other times my girls run away and streak naked throughout the house. I take what I can. 

These days, my photos don’t show the same gawky shine. But if I’m with my girls, I glow. 

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