postpartum beauty routine

Hair Cares: This Thanksgiving I’m Grateful for My Postpartum Beauty Routine

My postpartum beauty routine helped me feel like myself again.

My daughter was born in the early spring on a cloudy morning to the sound of ancient Hasidic melodies streaming from my phone. The window shades were raised, overhead lights turned down, and she arrived quickly and quietly, healthy and curious, head swiveling to take in the world around her.

What I wish I knew before giving birth and entering the tumult of the newborn stage was to prepare for the way there would no longer be any distinction between night and day. It takes time for a newborn baby to learn the difference, and until they do, your days and nights are a seemingly endless cycle of eat, play, sleep and repeat. My postpartum beauty routine brought some semblance of structure back into my life, and now, in my first year of motherhood, it has lent daily moments of familiarity in a life that often still feels new.

My Postpartum Beauty Routine

This week, as we reflect on gratitude in preparation for Thanksgiving, I feel especially grateful for my postpartum beauty routine.

postpartum beauty routine
24 hours old and ready for a hairstyle already.

It was on day three or four post-birth that I realized I hadn’t touched a skincare product in days, so caught up in this new life of caring for this tiny, helpless human that the most basic parts of my routine had fallen away. And while serums and hair conditioning mists might feel inconsequential compared to tending to new life, they would soon offer a few moments of carved-out time for me, something seasoned mothers had warned me would be in short supply.

Discovering Nurturing Self-Care

My adjustment into motherhood forced me to take the advice of a mentor, and I began to distinguish between essential and nurturing self-care.

In the early days of my daughter’s life, something as simple as a hot shower was the most I could expect in the way of self-care. As time went on, I began to see that I was setting the bar too low: a shower was essential, and nurturing self-care would have to consist of something more advanced to truly help me feel refreshed.

As a seasoned beauty editor with a cart full of beauty products ready to test stationed next to my vanity, tools for self-care were not in short supply. But in the early days, it was the return to the most basic parts of my routine that helped me begin to distinguish night from day. SPF in the morning, retinol at night, and a heavy dose of caffeinated eye cream at every opportunity created a distinction between sunrise and sundown.

My Postpartum Beauty Routine Now

With time, my routine became more complex. First, a brow gel, then a mascara, and eventually some liquid eyeliner too. As my daughter grew and began to engage with the world around her more independently, I had more time and brain space to dedicate to myself again.

These days, at almost 9 months old, she crawls around my bedroom while I sit at my vanity and get ready for the day before we head out to daycare. Some mornings are more hectic than others, but every day includes a few moments dedicated to caring for myself with the same love and attention I give to her.

I remind myself about the self-care I want to model for her, for the way I need to fill my own cup before I can offer anything to her, and how even on the most chaotic days, there’s nothing a little eye cream can’t fix.

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