In between feedings, diaper changes and endless loads of laundry, primping probably isn’t high on your list of priorities right now (a long, hot shower would be nice, though!). At the same time, there are some not-so-pleasant side effects from becoming a new mom that can take a toll on your skin and hair. The good news? You don’t need hours, or a personal glam squad, to perk up your look. Try these expert tips and tricks to combat common postpartum beauty issues—and feel more like your prebaby self again in just a few minutes.
Postpartum problem: No time to do your hair
It’s no surprise that dry shampoo and ponytails have become your everyday getting-ready go-tos. And when you do have time to wash your hair, who has the energy for a full blowout and styling?
Quick Fix: Use a hair dryer that dries ultra-fast—without sacrificing quality. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer regulates heat to dry your hair quickly while protecting it from extreme heat damage. “It has a superpowerful motor paired with a precise airflow and automatic built-in heat protection,” says celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey. Thanks to this combination, your hair will look shiny and smooth.
Postpartum problem: Dark undereye circles
Though you’re putting on your best brave face, those dark circles are a dead giveaway that you’re running on little-to-no sleep.
Quick Fix: Apply a creamy concealer like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 25 in a warm undertone a shade or two lighter than your skin tone to cancel out the purple hue of the dark circle. It’ll instantly make you look more awake, says celebrity brow and makeup artist Stevi Christine.
Postpartum problem: Thinning hair
Those hormone levels that were riding high during pregnancy—giving you thicker, shinier than usual hair—plummet after childbirth. The result? A major shedding event that occurs three to four months afterward.
Quick Fix: The good news is that the hair loss isn’t permanent. “It grows back on its own as long as you are eating a varied diet and are otherwise healthy,” says dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, MD, of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. Until it gets back to normal, use a volume-enhancing dry shampoo such as Dove Refresh + Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo, suggests Dorsey. Just spray it at your roots, leave it in for a few minutes and brush through, back-combing for additional volume at the crown.
Postpartum problem: Splotchy skin
One of the biggest (and most noticeable) postpregnancy beauty issues are those dark patches and irregular pigmentation that tend to show up on the face. “Melasma, freckles and other irregular discolorations can occur, or even darken, during pregnancy because estrogen hormones stimulate skin cells to make more pigment,” MacGregor says.
Quick Fix: Since pregnancy can leave lingering skin changes, like darker moles, MacGregor says it’s essential to squeeze a dermatologist appointment into your schedule. “A topical vitamin C treatment can help brighten your skin over time; just check with your doctor to make sure topicals are safe if you’re breastfeeding,” she says. In the meantime, try a radiance boosting foundation like Wander Beauty Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick to help even out your complexion. Ingredients like coconut oil, hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E hydrate your skin and impart a dewy glow.
Postpartum problem: Visible roots
If you took a break from coloring your hair during pregnancy, by the time you give birth, your roots may be looking less “cool girl” and more skunk-like.
Quick Fix: If you can’t get back to the salon right away, cheat a touch-up with a concealing powder like Color Wow Root Cover Up. Pick the shade that best matches your hair (there are eight colors to choose from) and apply it to the regrowth with the accompanying brush. “It looks totally natural and can also be used to perfect the hairline and make edges look fuller,” Dorsey says.