Mommy Versus Mother Nature

Mother Nature can be an evil, spiteful witch. Etching fine lines and wrinkles on a 30-something mom’s face isn’t good enough. Oh no. She decides to invite our old friend from high school – Shiny McPimple – to the party.

Ten years ago, I never, ever would have thought I’d be broadcasting my acne troubles on the Internet. But hey, we’re all friends here, right? In talking with my fellow moms, I discovered I’m not alone – many of us, since giving birth, have noticed our skin is stuck in a weird limbo between The Wonder Years and The Golden Girls.

According to Dr. Michelle Tarbox, SLUCare dermatologist, via e-mail, these little grievances all come down to two things – hormones and stress. “Acne is actually quite common in women in their 30’s because there are hormonal fluctuations that occur as part of normal maturity as well as changes that happen with pregnancy and breastfeeding. All of these fluctuations can trigger acne outbreaks just as they did in puberty.”

She noted that many women our age often experience acne along our jawline, something known as “beard distribution” since this area is hormonally responsive in both males and females. “All women have some male hormone, and when there is an imbalance in male to female hormone, this hormonally responsive skin may over-produce oil, leading to acne,” explained Dr. Tarbox.

If that’s not enough, our 30’s can also bring on the first inklings of crow’s feet and fine lines, magnified by the constantly furrowed brow over why our 4-year-old insists on chewing her flip-flops and the puppet lines around our mouths from repeatedly yelling at our 1-year-old to stop taking off her diaper and twirling it like she’s at Spring Break.

So what’s a girl to do to strike the right balance and bring her skin back to life?

To treat acne, choose the right product for your skin. Dr. Tarbox suggested that women in their 30’s with true acne revert back to what worked in our teens – products with salicylic acid, which serves as both an exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory, or products with benzoyl peroxide. For those women who find salicylic acid too drying, she recommended Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Complete Acne Treatment System as a gentler choice.

Another type of acne women our age face is perioral dermatitis, or what Dr. Tarbox considers “the evil older brother of acne,” which occurs mainly around the mouth, is difficult to treat, and can be worsened by products used to treat traditional acne. For perioral dermatitis, Dr. Tarbox suggested gentler products like the Eucerin Redness Relief line which contains Licochalcone, a “soothing extract of licorice root which helps relieve perioral dermatitis,” or the CeraVe line that features ceramides or “the lipids the skin makes to hydrate itself.”

For acne that you can’t treat on your own or that worsen after an at-home treatment, it’s important to speak with a dermatologist to see what other options might be available. And as always, check with your doctor before using any products if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

To treat fine lines, choose the right product for your skin. “In a patient who has dry, maturing skin with fine wrinkles, a cream that replenishes lost moisture and improves skin texture is a good choice,” said Dr. Tarbox. She suggested the Olay Regenerist line for most women and for those with true acne, RoC products which contain Retinal, or the over-the-counter version of Retin-A. To those suffering from perioral dermatitis, one option might be the Eucerin Q10 moisturizing cream from its redness relief line.

Get down to the nitty gritty. A good exfoliating treatment can bring brightness back to the dullest of skin. “Use a mildly exfoliating product with glycolic or salicidic acid to slough off dead skin cells,” said Tami Scott, makeup artist and proprietor of Tami Scott Studio, through email. “It also aides with reducing the look of wrinkles and skin breakouts.”

Scott has a full line of makeup available at salons across St. Louis that features an under-makeup face primer which includes salicylic acid as well as SPF to protect the skin after exfoliation and silicone that provides a smooth palette for applying makeup.

Choose the right makeup to hide what you don’t like and emphasize what you do. The same products we used 10 years ago might not be the right choices for today. Too much powder, for instance, according to Scott, can get caught in fine lines and emphasize wrinkles. She suggested using a loose powder to set a cream or liquid mineral foundation (you can also hide adult acne by gently patting extra mineral foundation onto trouble spots using a makeup sponge).

Other great tips from Scott included choosing a concealer with a yellow tint to diminish dark undereye circles, a good eye cream to fill in fine lines (including around those around your mouth) and a lifting or firming cream to wake up tired eyes.

Hit the yoga studio. “Yoga’s upside-down poses get blood flowing to the face and energize and invigorate the cells,” said Scott. “A dedicated 10-20 minutes in the morning for 30 days will change how you look. Try it! You’ll be hooked by the way you look and feel. No one ever says yoga is good skincare – but it IS!”

Drink up! Water, that is. Both Dr. Tarbox and Scott agreed – staying hydrated, along with eating a healthy diet – is key to keeping healthy and supple. Remarked Scott, “Drink at least a liter of water a day, if not two. I swear, you’ll see a difference in two weeks if you drink two liters of water a day – it cures dryness, oiliness, tired skin and low energy!”

Stop looking so ticked off. A simple, free way to make your skin look its best? “SMILE!” said Scott. “It’s an instant facelift! Do it all the time!”

A mom’s vanity quickly diminishes after having kids, but we still want to look great – even if our interaction is limited to toddlers and the Imagination Movers. By following a few simple steps, our skin can appear youthful and healthy, no matter what the day might hold.

By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle Blogger for SmartParenting

Share This Story

Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

Our Daily Things to Do email is the easiest way to plan your day.
Follow Us
   
Want daily ideas of things to do? How about special offers & giveaways? Sign up and we’ll handle the rest.
Things to Do

Toddler Tinker Time
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bring your little ones to Toddler Tinker Time at The Magic House for special experiences designed especially for preschoolers. Weekday mornings, families will enjoy hands-on activities in the Art Studio, plus private playtime featuring limited capacity in Wonder Works and Wonder Why.

View this event »
Snow Town at The Magic House

Plan your visit to Snow Town, an outdoor adventure at The Magic House complete with a Snowball Carnival, featuring whimsical winter outdoor games, a variety of snowball-themed carnival booths, snowball putt putt and lots more! This completely outdoor experience is SNOW much fun!

 

 

View this event »
Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym
Friday, February 26, 2021

Kids can work on existing gym skills, learn new skills or just play around during Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym. Space is limited to 10 kids per session. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

View this event »
You Might Also Like...

From Our Sponsors
Popular Stories

How to Lessen the Impact of Social Isolation on Your Child's Mental Health

This need for regular socialization all comes down to nature – we are biologically human wolf packs who need to connect with each other, especially in our early years. We asked local experts how to help kids handle the isolation resulting from the pandemic and remote learning, and how it may impact their futures.

Continue reading »
Spring Break Camps Offer a Variety of Activities for Kids and Teens in St. Louis

Welcome 2021's much-awaited springtime with a variety of fun Spring Break camps for kids as young as Pre-K. From rocketry to wildlife, science to arts & crafts, sports to healthcare, in-person or virtual Spring Break camps offer kids a way to meet up with their peers, learn a new skill, or return to favorite fun activities. Here is a roundup of Spring Break camps available in the St. Louis area:

Continue reading »
How Are You Holding Up? Here's What Experts Say About Coping With Anxiety, Stress and Uncertainty

Telling children they shouldn’t worry about something doesn’t make that worry go away. Instead, we want to help them develop skills to manage worries so they can feel empowered to cope with future worries.

Continue reading »
The College School Announces Diversity Scholarship

The College School, an independent school for grades Pre-K through grade 8, has launched a new Upper Division Diversity Scholarship for students of color who are entering fourth through seventh grades. The scholarship award will include up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for the student's time enrolled at the school.

Continue reading »
SLSO's Soundlab for Families Offers an Exploration of the Power of Music

Families are invited to explore the science and emotion of music during the SLSO SoundLab, a month-long, free virtual experience from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Every Saturday in February, families can tune in to Soundlab host Alicia, who will lead them on a journey that begins with how sound can be heard, felt and seen.

Continue reading »
Follow Us