Beauty Guru: Guide to Fresh, Healthy Skin After Having a Baby

My face has taken a beating over the last year, with all the hormones raging through me. It has gone from combo to oily (during mid-pregnancy) to dry and back to combination now. I've had my fair share of breakouts and discoloration since baby girl was born. I've always washed my face but never really had a "skin care routine" until recently. I read Lauren Conrad's "Beauty" book and the skin chapter really stuck with me. It's so important to take care of your skin! Your skin will show your age faster than any other thing. So why mistreat it? Since reading, I've adjusted my skincare routine and my face is brighter, smoother, and fresher looking! I've only had minor blemishes and I feel much more comfortable going out without foundation. With just a few easy steps and maybe two minutes more to your daily routine, it's so simple to have better skin!

Wash your face.

This should be a no-brainer. Even if you don't wear makeup, oil, dirt and grime penetrate your pores. At least once daily, wash your face. Scrub in small circles all around the face. Make sure you get all the makeup off, around your nose, chin and hairline. I usually scrub once a day, but if my skin feels oily in the morning, I'll lather up first thing before getting ready. My preferred product is Oil of Olay Total Effects 7-Revitalizing foaming cleanser.

Moisturize.

This is the step that I think has made all the difference in the past few weeks. First let me say, I hate greasy skin. Hate, hate, hate. I always assumed moisturizing made my skin greasy. I would apply it once every few days and hate the way it felt. This time around I made a commitment to stick with it and apply every day. Ladies, if applied right, it does what it's supposed to! Shocker! It also depends on the formula you use and how much. It took me a few different tries before I found the right kind. Olay Professional ProRX is just right for my skin. I use sparingly to avoid feeling greasy and then spot moisturize anywhere that still feels dry after I've washed my face at night. One thing to ALWAYS look for in a moisturizer is SPF, especially as summer approaches. Leathery skin is never pretty! Stick with an SPF of 30 or more.

Spot treat.

Another easy way to fix blemishes is to spot treat them. DON'T pop pimples. It makes it worse! Dab on a little treatment before bed and it will be on its way out the door by morning! If you have severe acne, visit a dermatologist. I used to have a prescription for Differen gel and loved how quickly it worked. If you just want an over-the-counter fix, I am currently using Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment and loving the results. Depending on the severity of the blemish, it usually goes away within 24-48 hours and doesn't leave my skin overly dry.

Don't touch your face!

This might be the most important part of having good skin. Keep your hands off of your face. It's so easy to absentmindedly touch your face, from wiping your forehead, rubbing your eyes, or resting your cheek or chin in your hand. But don't; you know where your hands have been! Even if they feel clean, there is plenty of grime to clog your pores. It is a hard habit to break, but you'll notice a difference when you do. It used to be one of my worst habits.

Extra Tips:

Wipe off your cell phone. Your makeup, hands, and goodness knows what else touch your cell phone which you then put to your face.

Use an eye-roller to help with dark circles and fine lines. I'm loving Simple's Revitalizing Eye Roll-On.

Apply a pore minimizer before foundation. Benefit's The Pore Fessional feels light and airy under foundation and helps for a more flawless finish.

Consider a BB Cream. I use Stila's HD Beauty Balm as my foundation. It has 10 + benefits for helping my skin.

With a few simple changes, your skin can feel healthy, refreshed and balanced just in time for summer.

What is your skin care routine? Do you keep it simple or have a full arsenal of products?

Sarah Michelle is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogger at www.thefierceglamourblog.com.