MOM Squeezing In “Me Time”
No matter what your day holds, you can find ways to nourish your looks and mood.
Stress—even the so-worth-it kind related to raising kids—can take a toll. “Research shows a direct link between our emotions and our appearance. Sleep deprivation and negative emotions can damage skin and hair,” says Evan Rieder, M.D., a Dove dermatologist and psychiatrist. The antidote? Self-care, and we don’t mean a never-gonna-happen spa day. We mean these doable ideas to nourish your mood and your looks while at home.
You have 2 minutes.
The kids are all somehow miraculously entertaining themselves for, you’d guess, the next couple of minutes. Take advantage of it with one of these quickie self-care ideas. Even a supershort pampering session gives your mind a chance to process thoughts and focus inward, says Dr. Rieder.
ROLL AWAY PUFFINESS
Distribute a few drops of facial oil across your face, then glide a jade roller (like Boobeauty Royal Jade Roller, $9; walmart .com) on top. The cooling crystal feels amaaazing and can boost lymphatic drainage to help de-puff.
NOURISH YOUR NAILS
Leave a bottle of Pacifica Rose Revive Nourishing Cuticle Oil ($12; ulta.com) in a bowl of hot water for 30 seconds, then brush the warm, hydrating oil over your nails and cuticles.
REV HAIR FOLLICLES
To recreate the Zen vibe of a head rub at a salon, run a scalp massager (try Iridescent Head Massager, $8; kikkerland.com) up and down your scalp to help stimulate hair growth.
MIST, MIST, AAH
Spritz Garnier Skinactive Hydrating Facial Mist ($9; drugstores) onto your face to soothe skin, then take a few mind-centering deep breaths.
You have 15 minutes.
The baby is asleep! You can shower! Rather than just rinsing off, as usual, take this chance to luxuriate. “Your shower can absolutely be the enjoyable thing you do for yourself,” says Amy Wechsler, M.D., dermatologist, psychiatrist, and author of The Mind-beauty Connection.
MASK ON, WORLD OFF
While the water is heating up, smooth on a face mask. To boost radiance: Apply a thick layer of Fountain of Truth Honey Glow Mask ($60; fountainoftruthbeauty.com). Massage for two minutes to activate its warming sensation. To detox: Swipe on Olay Masks Fresh Reset Clay Stick ($10; drugstores). Its kaolin clay and pink mineral complex have detoxifying powers. Rinse off at the end of your shower.
SET THE MOOD
Your bathroom becomes a spa when you unwrap a Hydra Aromatherapy Shower Burst ($5; hydraaromatherapy.com). Place on your shower shelf, and splash with water. Each pod is infused with a different blend of essential oils to lift your spirits.
You have 30 minutes.
A new episode of PAW Patrol has begun, which gives you the perfect escape plan. “I often tell my patients to devote what extra time they have to skin care. It can be so therapeutic and offers long-term results,” says Dr. Rieder. Try this four-step brightening facial.
Apply Pond’s Cold Cream Cleansing Balm ($10; drugstores) to dry skin. Then place a warm, damp washcloth on your face to transform the balm into an oil, and wipe clean.
Slough off dry, dead skin cells with L’oréal Paris Coffee Pure-sugar Scrub ($13; drugstores); its java scent will leave you feeling energized. Don’t want the jolt—or you have sensitive skin? Swipe on a lactic acid–soaked pad, like Go-to Exfoliating Swipeys ($35; sephora.com).
Spend time massaging your face with a soothing moisturizer. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Barriair Cream ($30; sephora.com) calms stressed skin with colloidal oatmeal, while Dove Dermaseries Replenishing Face Cream ($11; drugstores) helps heal extremely dry skin with super hydrators and vitamins E and B3.
Finish by doing absolutely nothing (!) as you lie down wearing de-puf ing Bliss Eye Got This Holographic Foil Eye Masks ($4; ulta.com).
You have the afternoon.
The kiddos are at a birthday party or the grandparents’ house … wherever. Doesn’t matter, because you have a free few hours! Gather your squad: “Even more than texting or calling, spending time in person with people you love has been shown to reduce anxiety,” says Dr. Wechsler.
PUT YOUR FEET UP
An exfoliating trifecta of acids plus a built-in pumice stone in Beekman 1802 Walking on Clouds Goat Milk Foot Polish ($30; shop.beekman1802.com) remove flaky skin from your soles. Or wear Boscia Baby Soft Foot Peel ($20; sephora .com) treatment booties for an hour. In about a week, dead skin cells will peel and leave behind soft, callus-free feet.
HAVE A MASK PARTY
Smooth on a layer of Ulta Beauty 24K Magic Metallic Peel Off Mask ($14; ulta.com). You’ll want to snap selfies of your rose-gold face while you wait for it to dry. After 20 minutes, peel off in one sheet.
TREAT YOUR SCALP
Wet hair and work Nexxus Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub ($15; target.com) onto your scalp to remove product buildup, then rinse. Apply a nourishing oil, then wrap hair in a warm towel for five, ten...heck, 15 minutes.
Pressing lightly, roll upward and outward on each section of the face.
Almond and coconut oils nourish justscrubbed skin.
Social media can pull even the best of us into a comparison trap, says Dr. Wechsler. Use your unplugged shower time to hum a song or think about a fave vacation memory.
Move over, Baby Shark. Listen to something you find hilarious while you bliss out. We're loving the podcasts Anna Faris Is Unqualified and Mom Brain. Dry-shampoo addicts: This scrub removes all that leftover product.