As much as we’re told how important it is to take care of our skin, many working moms feel like they don’t have the time to—because more often than not, they’re busy taking care of everyone else. Can you blame them? When 10-step skincare routines are being hailed as life-changing, and some of the “best” moisturizers are around $200, what it means to nourish your skin today seems intimidating af, not to mention time-consuming and expensive. For some advice on an actually doable skincare routine, WorkingMother.com reached out to New York City-based dermatologist mom, Rachel Nazarian, M.D.
In addition to helping patients with their skin concerns at Schweiger Dermatology Group, Dr. Nazarian is a mom to two boys—a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old. “I work full-time, and barely keep my head above water!” she says. But because of her profession, she also knows better than anyone else how crucial it is to pay attention to her skin. “With two babies, I’ve been so exhausted I’ve neglected to floss, even forgotten to brush my teeth, but I never go to sleep without somewhat tending to my skin.”
So when we asked her to help pare down our medicine cabinet to just three skincare products, she delivered.
First up: sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30. Though the benefits of sunscreen are widely known, so many people still don’t wear it regularly. Dr. Nazarian’s advice for working moms is to spend time looking for one they love, “so that they’re committed to applying it every morning.” The doc personally uses Revision Intellishade.
The next: moisturizer, but not just any kind. Dr. Nazarian, who is also the consulting dermatologist for Proactiv, suggests choosing one with anti-aging properties, like peptides or antioxidants, so you can soften your skin and get some additional benefits in one fell swoop. She says she personally uses either Sente’s Dermal Repair or Proactiv’s Green Tea Moisturizer.
And last, but not least: retinol, which she calls, “the absolute basic ingredient of preserving and repairing multiple aspects of skin aging.” She tells WorkingMother.com, “This one product is a necessity for any busy mom—unless they’re breastfeeding or pregnant! A small amount can be applied nightly to decrease wrinkles, improve and even skin color, and prevent acne breakouts.” If you’re thinking, something so potent must be expensive, think again. Dr. Nazarian says, “You can find it in thousands of skincare products, but oftentimes at a super affordable cost. There’s no reason to pay a lot for this ingredient. Find an oil-free, affordable tube. A small amount is effective, even when used two to three times a week.” The one she’s been using: Proactiv’s adapalene .1 percent gel.
As for how to incorporate these types of items into your beauty routine, Dr. Nazarian suggests applying them after washing your face with a gentle cleanser; she typically uses an unscented Dove bar. In the morning, use the moisturizer and sunscreen—or even better, find a moisturizer with a sunscreen. And in the evening after cleansing, use a small amount of retinoid—but you don’t have to use it every night—and then put the anti-aging moisturizer on top.