When you become a mum, your skin can change completely: between pregnancy hormones, the birth and the tiredness of the first few months with a newborn, your features become more drawn, you have dark circles, the skin loses its firmness and you have blemishes. And above all, you have less time than ever to look after yourself! This is the time to listen to the pros’ advice, to adopt a few habits for a glowing complexion, to choose the best products and to fight the signs of ageing and fatigue.

At the end of June, we organised a special beauty workshop for young and expectant mums in our office in The Marais. On the agenda for our thirty lucky guests, a lesson with Marion, the beauty expert from the team behind the wonderful site, Oh My Cream. I was lucky enough to be there and so today I’ll be giving you a run-down of the three essential habits to adopt for beautiful skin.

Editor’s Note: This article is very long…but you will know all there is to know by the end! If you’re in a hurry, skip to the end for five top tips to bear in mind!

Les gestes beauté essentiels d'une jeune maman (2) - émoi émoi

1. Every evening, do a double facial cleanse. This is the first stage of your evening beauty routine and it transforms a grey and dull epidermis into healthy, radiant skin. It consists of a two-step cleanse, which sweeps the skin of all impurities. This allows the active ingredients in the treatments to penetrate deep into the skin and maximises their effectiveness.

The first stage of cleansing should involve a 100% oil product (a cleansing oil or balm) which will dislodge any greasy impurities (sebum, make up and sunscreen) because, as Marion says “oil attracts oil!” This stage is instead of your normal make-up remover. Prepare the product a little in the palm of your hand, and then massage the face (which should be completely dry), paying special attention to the T-zone. Apply the product onto the eyes and lips. At the end of the massage, impurities and make up are emulsified (Editor’s Note: With my running mascara, I looked like a panda, but apparently that’s normal). By adding a little water, the oil becomes more like a lotion and the dirt lifts off. Finish by rinsing with plenty of water. There are numerous benefits to this first stage, whatever your skin type: if your skin is oily, the oil eliminates excess sebum and regulates the production of grease, all without the need for astringents which strip the skin. If your skin is dry or dehydrated, the oil will help your skin become supple and nourished by giving it the fatty acids that it needs to stay healthy.

1- Le double nettoyage - etape 1 - la routine beauté des mamans - émoi émoi

The Oh My Cream Selection:
Dermalogica Precleanse: The most liquid cleansing oil, for all skin types
REN Skincare N°1 Purity Cleansing Balm: A creamy, eco-friendly cleansing balm, for normal to dry skin.

Second step: Once you have cleansed the skin of the main impurities, add the finishing touches by doing a deep clean to remove sweat, pollution and the residue from the make-up remover. This is the job of the second cleanser, so use a gel or a lotion with an aqueous base. Prepare a small amount of product in your hand and make small, circular movements across the face. Rinse with warm water and dry your face carefully by patting with a soft towel.

2- Le double nettoyage - etape 2 - la routine beauté des mamans - émoi émoi

The Oh My Cream Selection:
Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel: A deliciously scented foaming gel cleanser, for normal to oily skin.
Pai Skincare Gentle Rose and Camellia Hydrating Cleanser: A thick creamy cleanser, for normal to dry or sensitive skin.
REN Skincare Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel: A gentle soap-free foaming gel (with the scent of orange blossom), for all skin types.

So, I’ve followed the steps and I’m pretty happy with the result. My skin is feels deep-cleaned, but not tight. It can breathe.

The lesson of the day: always rinse your face with water after cleansing, as cleansing treatments can irritate the skin if left all day or all night. Throw out your micellar water! Originally created for professional make-up artists to take off make-up in one swoop during the catwalks, it is an astringent and leaves a film on the skin.

 

2. Exfoliate the face, two or three times a week. Why? Exfoliating eliminates dead, dull or polluted cells, which clog up the surface. The result is that the skin is smoother, more radiant and with fewer visible blemishes. Exfoliation boosts the production of young and new cells, with anti-aging and firming effects. Finally, exfoliation allows the active treatment ingredients to better penetrate the skin. You will use fewer products, but for a more visible effect.

There are several types of exfoliators: physical exfoliators, chemical exfoliators and enzyme exfoliators. Marion advises avoiding physical exfoliators, especially for sensitive or acne-prone skin. These contain small beads which open the pores, but irritate the skin. They are then likely to cause spots by causing the micro-vessels to break out, or imperfections (the beads can open the spot and allow bacteria to flourish).

Marion recommends enzyme exfoliators, which suit all types of skin. The enzymes are 100% natural agents, which are able to eliminate impurities deep-down. Enzyme exfoliators are powdery in texture (which is a little surprising at first) and transform into a mousse on contact with water. Tip a large pinch of powder into your hand, add water and gently massage the face. We tried the Micro Exfoliant from One Love Organics. The result: cleaner, softer skin, free of blemishes and irritations.

Practical tip: apply the exfoliator in the morning, before showering, so that you can rinse it off the shower and save time.

3- L'exfoliation - la routine beauté des mamans - émoi émoi

The Oh My Cream Selection:
Dermalogica Daily Micro Exfoliant: A skin-perfecting exfoliating powder, anti-spots and anti-blemishes.
One Love Organics Brand New Day: 100% eco-friendly gentle exfoliating powder

 

3. Moisturise to protect the skin. The skin deals with loads of external aggressors: the sun, the wind, pollution… The last step of moisturising will supply your skin with oils, prevent dehydration and rebuild the surface layer to retain water and regulate the production of sebum for those with oily skin. And yes: if you give the skin the oil it needs, it will stop producing excess to protect itself.

Marion recommends plant oils: as a serum or mixed with a day cream in the morning for plumped up, radiant skin, or applied on its own in the evening for dewy skin when you wake up!

4- L'hydratation - la routine beauté des mamans - émoi émoi

The Oh My Cream Selection:
Susanne Kaufmann Balancing Face Oil: A rebalancing oil, for normal to oily skin.
Pai Skincare BioRegenerate Facial Oil: A burst of healing and regenerating oil, for all skin types.
Antipodes Divine Face Oil: A nourishing and anti-ageing oil, for normal to dry skin.

Do not forget to moisturise around the eyes, an area which is very fragile and where the skin is very fine. Get into the habit of applying a specific treatment (it takes six seconds max, promise), going from the outer corner of the eye (the crows’ feet) and spreading the cream around the whole eye area.

Finally, apply sun cream to your face, EVERY DAY. SPF 50 is compulsory, especially when you are pregnant. This step is essential in order to protect the skin’s resistance to the sun and to limit the skin’s ageing.

5- La protection solaire - la routine beauté des mamans - émoi émoi

The Oh My Cream Selection:
John Masters’ Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30: An eco-friendly, 100% mineral sunscreen, for sensitive skin or those sensitive to chemical filters. Can even be used for Baby, from 6 months).
Alpha A Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50: A transparent, high-factor moisturising liquid, for all skin types.

I left the workshop delighted by the lesson. My skin was softer, more ‘glowy’ and more radiant, and it could breathe, too. I changed my ways that very evening, starting with the cleanse, washing off my make-up remover before appying my night cream.

So, to finish this long article, here’s a recap of the top five tips to remember:

1. Begin double-cleanising in the evening. Firstly with an oil-based product to remove make-up and secondly with a water-based product, to finish the cleanse.

2. Always rinse your face with water after cleansing. Throw out your micellar water!

3. Exfoliate two to three times a week, preferably with an enzyme exfoliator, which is gentlest on skin.

4. Moisturise your face every day with and oil or cream. Choose a specific treatment for around the eyes.

5. Apply an SPF50 suncream every morning, in summer and winter, to protect the skin’s youthfulness.

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