A five-step, five-minute beauty routine for the fourth trimester

Ok, before you’re like, “f*ck off, I barely have time to poop, let alone put makeup on,” hear us out…

Adjusting to being a mom is tricky as hell. It can feel like the woman you were pre-baby is gone, buried under nasty-a*s breast pads, burp cloths, and adult diapers, and attached to a pump like a goddamn dairy cow. But she’s still there, we promise. 

Taking time out in the day for yourself can help you remember this (and is vital for keeping your wellbeing in check during the sh*t show that is the fourth trimester). So here’s a postpartum beauty routine that will only take five minutes and will make you feel a little bit more like you again. 

Disclaimer: You’ll still look tired AF, but we promise that gets better eventually. There’s always coffee in the meantime.

Before we get started, here’s what we want you to do. 

First, hand your baby over to your partner, a friend, your mom, whoever. Next, make yourself a fresh cup of joe, because we know it’s been a minute since you drank anything hot. Then, walk into the bathroom, and lock the door. This is 100% your time.

Step one: Cleanse

Start by giving your gorgeous face a wash, mama. It’s good for your skin’s health and appearance (so it may help you look a little less like you’ve had two hours’ sleep, which you probably have). And while you’re at it, wash away those thoughts of self-doubt, those fears of what the night ahead will hold, and those feelings that you’re not doing it right. Because you’re doing the best you can, and that’s all your baby needs.

Step two: Treat

Treat your skin to a dash of serum (something with vitamin c, for a healthy glow). Work it in with a bit of gua sha, a Chinese healing technique designed to reduce inflammation which involves running a massage tool across your face (though you can do it on your body too). Here’s a video on how to do it. Finish with your favorite moisturizer. And don’t forget to take a sip of your hot coffee. Goddamn that feels good!

Step three: Protect

Layer on some sunblock, girl. It takes no time to do and is the ultimate gift to your future self; it’s one of the most effective protections against wrinkles and other signs of aging. You’ll also feel smug as hell for doing it: you’re keeping a human alive, and you managed to put on sunblock. (If that’s not crushing it, we don’t know what is).

Step four: Add a little glow

The fourth trimester is your time, mama, and you can look however you damn well please. But if putting on a streak of blush, a swipe of mascara, or adding eyebrows back to your face will make you feel like the goddess we know you are, do it. Some brands, like this one, even sell pre-bundled makeup sets with the essentials to take the thinking out of things for you.

Step five: Brush  

If your mom-bun is looking more like a rat’s nest right now (we’ve all been there), it’s time to brush it out, girl. Not only will running a brush through your hair make you feel like you’ve got your sh*t together (even if you don’t), it can help with your locks’ health and shine. Do brush gently, as going at your strands too vigorously can cause your hair to fall out if you’re experiencing postpartum hair loss. 

And mama, before you open that bathroom door, here’s what we want you to do. 

Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders. Then look at yourself in the mirror, and smile about all that you’ve done today, and about the fact that you’re keeping a tiny human alive. You’re a goddamn boss.

There you have it: five minutes, five steps, and a whole lot of self-care. For more ideas on how to carve out time for yourself, read our piece on asking for help after having a baby. And make sure you finish that coffee while it’s still warm.

Read next: Why the first six weeks is just as much about you as your baby

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