I recently celebrated my youngest child’s second birthday. While she ran around with her Minnie Mouse balloon I reflected on the past two years and beyond. Since my pregnancy, I have been busy with many things. I had given up my skin care and treatments while pregnant and was so preoccupied after that I never restarted.

During that time, my skin care routine was limited to sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and sun protective clothing, but nothing else. The sun protection was definitely helpful, however, I still experienced a mild flare of my melasma (patchy brown skin discoloration) and like many in their thirties, my first sun spot appeared. Unhappy with this discovery, I decided to take a moment for myself this fall to refresh my skin care regimen using in-office procedures and at-home treatments.

I kicked things off with a combination treatment. My combination was a pulsed dye laser, chemical peel, and a spot treatment with Q-switched laser. The pulsed dye laser improves rosacea and facial redness. The chemical peel helps with melasma and improves complexion. The Q-switched laser for that sun spot. A single treatment session put me back on track with only a slightly puffy, pink face that lasted a weekend. With this accomplished, I resumed routine Botox treatment to my brow completing my in-office treatment.

At home, I keep my daily skin care simple. I use a few “active” products to keep my skin looking its youngest.

In the morning, after washing my face with a gentle cleanser, I apply a topical vitamin C&E antioxidant. Topical antioxidants improve skin appearance and help decrease the risk of skin cancer by preventing damage from free radicals and ultraviolet light. I use our office’s compounded formulation that resists turning brown and losing its potency. I then apply a good sunscreen. I generally use EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41. I think it is great for dry skin and it is free of certain chemicals that typically cause breakouts for me.

In the evening, my “active” product is a topical retinol. Retinol creams contain retinoids, topical forms of Vitamin A. They promote cell turnover, helping to treat and prevent fine lines and improve sun damage and discoloration. I am currently in love with Skin Better Science’s AlphaRet. It is one of the few topical retinols that I can use nightly without drying out my skin, which is a common side effect of topical retinols.

And finally for the skin around the eyes, my go to is Alastin’s Restorative Eye Treatment. I apply it twice daily to help combat fine lines and also what I call “lack of sleep puffiness from having young children.”

Like many of us, I like to focus my time, energy, and money on products and treatments that make a difference to my skin. For me, this now consists of occasional combination treatments in the office, followed by at-home maintenance with a skin care regimen. This routine does a great job protecting my skin, maintaining skin complexion, and minimizing fine lines. It feels good to be back in the saddle and taking care of myself (and my skin) again!