Finally—baby’s asleep. As soon as those little eyes close, the inner dialogue starts: Time to fold the laundry, do the dishes, pay the bills, walk the dog, and did I remember to shower today? Whoa. Take a breath, mom.
As instinctive—and important—as it is to put family first, self-care should always be a priority. When you don’t feel good, baby picks up on that energy—seriously. A study from the University of California, Berkeley found that 14-month-olds could interpret positive and negative emotions in adults.
Treating yourself can make a big difference in your well-being, but moms everywhere can definitely relate to putting facials and manis when there are chores to do. But it doesn’t have to be a pipe dream—and it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort either. The average baby naps for two to four hours at a time. That means you have permission to use at least a little bit of that window to relax and recharge. Follow this game plan—it only takes 35 minutes.
Here’s a bona fide spa treatment you can easily pull off at home. Steam helps to soften sebum and skin cells that can clog pores. The heat also increases circulation and helps you sweat out toxins. The result: radiance. All you need is 10 minutes.
Follow up steaming with an all-natural scrub to slough away dead skin cells and cleanse pores. Here’s the easiest DIY scrub that’s seriously skin-softening (promise!). Brown sugar is a gentle exfoliant with buffing power, and cacao powder and grapeseed oil provide anti-aging antioxidants. (Grapeseed is also a non-greasy carrier oil.)
Combine dry ingredients, then mix in oil to desired consistency. Gently work in circular motions into face for 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse.
Put on a sheet mask
A sheet mask is amazing in a pinch because there’s no need to even rinse (in case baby starts crying, you can just peel it right off and go back to mom duties really fast). It’s ideal for moisture retention and anti-aging. If you don’t have one handy, make a DIY version with a few common household items.
Try a serum like Acure's Seriously Firming formula, which is vegan and made with antioxidant plant-based oils. Add rosewater to soothe irritation and perk up the complexion, plus vegetable glycerin to attract and retain moisture.
Combine these ingredients and infuse them onto some cotton pads. Pull the layers of the pads apart and place them all over your face. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, peel off, and simply massage the residual fluid into your skin.
While you have the mask on, give your nails a treat, too. Soaking them in olive oil for 15 minutes will not only strengthen them, but also provide a salon-worthy sheen. So kick back and let your skin and nails absorb all the good stuff simultaneously. When the time’s up, use a nail brush to clean up your cuticles and buff the nail beds, then rinse off any excess oil.
Done! And still with at least and hour and a half left to kill. Now, to do the dishes, or to watch an episode of House of Cards? Whatever makes you happy!