How First-Time Motherhood Gave Me A Fresh Start With My Skin Care & Beyond

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It would be impossible to count how many times I heard that my life would change once I gave birth. I heard it from family, from friends, from coworkers — even from perfect strangers on the street. And no matter who it came from, it was always followed by “but, you’re gonna love it.”

I’m now the mother of a four-month-old baby girl, and I can say that each of them were right. But not for the reasons I expected. I love my daughter. Starting my days with her drooling smile and ending them with her sleepy sighs are absolutely life-changing moments, but I’m finding there are more changes than just those. The way I see myself as a woman has shifted.

I’ve always been a supporter of the self-care movement. Want to try yoga? Do it! Need a mental health day? You deserve! The need to take care of one’s self is unarguable, and now that we're all at home for an extended time, it's more important than ever. But as a mom, how I take care of myself doesn’t just affect me anymore. It affects my daughter, too. So, after my maternity leave, I decided that I would start fresh. It was the perfect opportunity to rethink how I would actually take care of myself — my new self.

For starters, I started buying more fruits and veggies when I went grocery shopping. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use junk food as a way to boost my mood when I would get a wave of the baby blues. More nutritious meal planning helped me feel organized and ended up giving me more energy to deal with rough days. I also started working out again. During my pregnancy, I was so busy preparing for the baby, I completely ignored exercise.

Another thing I ignored was my skin care. I never stopped washing my face or using a night cream, but I did stop caring about what I used. I didn’t have the mental energy to research and invest in the newest skin-care drops. As long as I went to bed with a clean face, I was fine. That was until I noticed that my pregnancy glow was gone, and in its wake was dullness and tired new-mommy under eyes. Skin care had always been fun for me to experiment with, but now I had real concerns.

With the baby in one hand and my phone in the other, I spent 2 a.m. feedings scrolling to see what the skin-care gurus of the world were swearing by. Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Créme came up more than a few times while I was searching for a solution that would make me look like I knew what eight hours of sleep felt like. And let me tell you, the hype is real. It’s made with a potent mix of vitamin C, shea butter, and jojoba oil that have helped brighten my under-eye circles after frequent use. The formula also includes a special “banana powder-inspired” pigment that instantly color corrects – like a very subtle concealer (perfect for moms like me who don’t have time to put on makeup every day).

Trying the eye cream and seeing a version of myself that looked well-rested was enough to turn me onto the newer Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum in the hopes of getting rid of my dull skin and hyperpigmentation. Much like the eye cream, the vitamin-C-packed formula did not disappoint and resulted in brighter, bouncier skin in just seven days (plus instant illumination). It combines three key ingredients: 15% vitamin C with the same “banana powder” pigment for brightening and firming, 5% PHA for smoothing and exfoliating, and hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps skin.

It was like this silky, magical cocktail that left my skin looking brighter and more supple pretty immediately. After weeks of daily use, any uneven texture leftover from my pregnant skin breakouts were gone and replaced with skin almost as smooth as my little girl’s. Plus, it smells incredible, like vacation in a bottle. So if you're looking for brighter, tighter, and overall better-looking skin, this vitamin C serum is it. And with my baby girl learning to plant slobbery kisses all over my face, I also appreciate that it’s clean and vegan.

I’m sure as she grows — and as I grow along with her — I’ll find new things in my life that could use a refresh, new ways to take care of myself. And I look forward to it, because I know it’ll help teach her to eventually learn to take care of herself, too.

This post is sponsored by OLEHENRIKSEN.

Images courtesy of Audrey Williams.