Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

The Beauty Hack That Saved My Life Postpartum

Ad failed to load

When you have a baby, your body is supposed to change. I expected this much before my daughter was born five months ago. But while I fully expected the stretch marks and the extra belly sag, I didn't anticipate the acne, the black circles that would forever etch themselves under my eyes, or the general oiliness of my entire face. To paint a picture: My skin currently has more grease than Danny Zuko's hair. I have large spots covering my forehead, and the hues of my cheeks are uneven, like a patchwork quilt of reds, pinks, and yellows.

I know that this is fairly common. Thanks to hormonal swings, sleep deprivation, and general stress, postpartum acne is a regular component of new mothers' lives. Nonetheless, my postpartum skin is unlike anything I've ever experienced before, and I admittedly still haven't come to embrace it as much as I have the rest of my post-baby body.

Even though I love makeup, most of it makes my skin worse right now. Personal faves like highlighter, powder foundation, matte lipsticks, liquid eyeliner, and golden blush have long been abandoned in a drawer, buried beneath long-forgotten tweezers. Sometimes, I just wanna wear some damn makeup without wreaking havoc on my already temperamental skin. I want a touch of something — anything — to make me feel slightly more ready to take on the day. For such moments, I've thankfully found a little beauty hack for oily, breakout-prone postpartum skin.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

As I looked through my beauty cabinet one day, I started separating out all of the products that had "oil-free" or "mattifying" on their labels, in the hopes of finding something to make my skin feel less slick and slimy. Among the rejects was a tub of LUSH's Magical Moringa primer and some old Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer by NARS. The former promised "velvety, matte skin." The latter was oil-free as can be.

Ad failed to load

Magical Moringa Primer, $21, Lush; NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, $45, Sephora

I then wondered what would happen if I combined the two. My gut told me that the primer would help dry out the greasiest bits of my face, while the tinted moisturizer would offer subtle coverage of pimples, under-eye circles, and splotchy bits.

Magical Moringa is jam-packed with corn starch, which acts as a drying agent, and moringa oil, which is known to help with acne, blackheads, and dark spots. It also contains essential oils such as argan, organic rose hip, rosewood, ylang ylang, and sandalwood. Combined, all of the oils keep the skin fresh and hydrated, while the corn starch prevents it from becoming too hydrated. As for the tinted moisturizer, I knew it would be more lightweight than solid foundation, something my postpartum skin would undoubtedly prefer.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

Although primers are typically meant to be layered onto the face before any makeup, my skin can barely handle being washed right now without growing irritated. I figured I should err on the side of caution and only use a little bit of each product.

Ad failed to load

I began by squeezing small drops (approximately half the size of a penny) of both the LUSH and NARS gems into my palm. Then I mixed them together.

Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

Splat! There it was: my impromptu concoction. Could this beige goop restore some glow onto my sleep-deprived, neglected, and semi-spotty face?

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

It was now time to dab it onto my face. As I put circles of the products on my cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead (placing a little more onto areas with the most spots), the remnants on my hand felt both drying and hydrating all at once. I was optimistic about the next step: Lightly blending the product combo all over my face, tapping it in gently wherever I had acne.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

Boom! I was correct in thinking that the tinted moisturizer would offer subtle coverage for my dark under-eyes and pimples, while the mattifying primer would help me feel less oily.

While the combination of products is by no means a full makeup look, it's just enough to make me feel a little less tired and a lot more human. What's more is that after wearing the LUSH and NARS hybrid product for a full day, my skin is no worse for wear.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Marie Southard Ospina

Although I am striving to love my postpartum skin just as it is, without any makeup necessary, I genuinely believe this small beauty hack will help me along the way. Before having a baby, I struggled to preserve any semblance of self-love when out in the world bare-faced. Lipstick, powder foundation, and mascara made up my toolkit for confidence. Nowadays, I just don't have the time or energy to put those things on my face on a regular basis.

Since I do miss having something on my skin, however, this new concoction of products has been a saving grace. It's easy to put on, easy to take off, and doesn't seem to breed any more acne. What's more, it's helping me grow more comfortable with my oily postpartum skin. No, it's not a "100 percent all-natural beauty look." But it's a hell of a lot closer to that than any makeup routine I have tangoed with in the past. Maybe for that reason it'll be a stepping stone of sorts: A small hack that goes a long way in helping me fall in love with my new mom-face.

Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack