It’s a well-known fact that kids gobble up time like so many birthday party lolly bags. And when they’re done, there’s not much time left for parents.
A woman whose pre-kids make-up routine was a practiced, 10-minute-face might turn into a mum whose routine is lucky-if-I-have-time-to-wash-my-face. But there some things that just can’t be ignored.
We’ve come up with our favourite products that will solve those little beauty challenges. These products aren’t super-glamorous. They don’t come in gold packaging with free gifts if you spend over $100. But we love them because they work and because they take care of the little (sometimes embarrassing) inconveniences life throws at us.
Eczema, chapped lips, stretch marks, you name it
Call me late to the party (I didn’t grow up in Australia), but I’ve just discovered the seemingly magical properties of this Australian cult product. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment seems to cure whatever ails you: eczema, sunburns, nappy rash, chapped lips. And while the jury is out on whether stretch marks are a genetic inevitability or not, the ointment will certainly help with the itchy belly you get when your skin is stretching during pregnancy.
You’d think after childbirth, nothing could embarrass a mum, but for some reason dandruff remains firmly near the top of the list of embarrassing problems. Head & Shoulders is our dandruff shampoo since forever, because it works. Plain and simple.
It works when your pregnancy hormones are going haywire and your scalp is that seemingly impossible combination of flaky and oily. It works in the winter when the cold air sucks all the moisture out of your skin. It works when you just have regular old dry scalp. It doesn’t hurt that it makes your hair smell lovely too.
If dandruff is near the top of the list of embarrassing problems, weeing when you sneeze or cough or laugh or when someone looks at you funny has got to be the most embarrassing problem. Besides setting a 10 minute alert on your phone to do Kegel exercises, the best thing is Modi Bodi undies. They’re leak-proof and moisture-absorbing, which means no more worrying about wee leaks or period leaks. There are undies for sport, every day and maternity. For breastfeeding mamas there are also tanks with absorbent cups for milk leaks.
Super sensitive skin
Sorbolene is the ultimate minimalist product. It moisturises, it washes, it’s good for sensitive skin, and everyone from the baby to Nan can use it. That means you can get rid of all those bottles that are cluttering the shelf in the bath.
For those days when you don’t have time to wash your hair, and you decide dry shampoo gets used up way too fast for the price it is, use baby powder. Dust some into your part and along your hairline, pat it out with a damp towel or even a baby wipe if that’s all you’ve got handy. Voila! Your hair lives to look clean for yet another day.
Sunburns (or avoiding them)
Gotta do it people. On your face, your arms, your shoulders, the tops of your feet where you sandals don’t cover. Summer is coming, and if you’ve got young kids, you’ll be outside a lot. Don’t forget to protect yourself. I swear by Banana Boat Sensitive. It smells like holidays, it stays put and doesn’t feel greasy. What more can you ask for in a sunscreen?
Dry skin build-up
Remember being a new mum, putting the baby in a bouncy chair just outside the shower door and showering as fast as you could? What did you do when she started to crawl? Or climb? I often took my kids in the shower with me, safely within reach and sight. The benefit of this was that they were happy to splash around on the floor while I took two extra minutes with the loofah to give myself a good scrub. There’s nothing quite like being squeaky clean when the house looks like it exploded and you haven’t slept in months.