The only thing more difficult than growing a baby inside you and birthing one, is taking care of them. The repeated cycles of feeding, burping, comforting, lulling to sleep, changing dirty nappies and dealing with wailing takes its toll HARD… but that’s where self-care comes in. Making out the time to take care of yourself in this period is not only recommended, it’s essential. Six months into this parenting thing, I find that a big part of self-care for me largely involves spending alone time in front of a bathroom mirror in a soft robe, ignoring screams from the other room and lathering on my cocoa butter body scrub, while giving my charcoal mask time to work its magic.
I start with my trusted companion, good old liquid African Black soap – Modara Naturals’ Asakwa, infused with hibiscus and soothing aloe vera, does it for me. It’s perfect because it’s 2021 and I don’t want to have to go through the trouble of lathering a bar of soap between my hands (call me lazy); I’d rather have it ooze out of a bottle and onto my skin with ease. After a minute spent working it into – what I imagine is – every pore, I rinse it off and apply a Revolution wash-off purifying mask, which helps remove excess oil and dirt along with dead skin cells, to give my skin a smoother look and feel.
This needs 10-15 minutes to really get the job done, so I light a candle, catch up on my reading, scroll through Instagram or send silly photos of my masked-up face to my husband, who’s most likely covered in baby drool and spat up milk by this time. After carefully wiping the mask off with a microfibre face cloth, enjoying the sounds of Joeboy playing in the background, I apply a few drops of Simple facial toner to a cotton pad. Although I’m often tempted, I try to avoid skipping this step, since toner is known for removing alkaline residue left after cleansing. It also helps to restore my skin’s natural pH level. I follow this with 2 drops of the amazing Sha face oil from Modara Naturals, which I love. Aside from its earthy, woodsy scent, I like the fact that it contains Jojoba oil, which is naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic and promotes collagen synthesis, and Chia seed oil, a wonderful antioxidant that protects the skin’s moisture barrier and guards it against environmental elements, amongst several other benefits.
When I’m done massaging it in and I’m satisfied with the moisture levels on my face, I move on to the rest of my body, smearing on another favourite from the Modara range – the Dara body butter. There’s something about applying locally-produced, cool shea butter to your dampened skin after a relaxing shower. This body butter in particular, infused with avocado oil and vetiver, is smooth, melts easily between your palms and does wonders for combination skin like mine.
Nothing beats the feeling I get when my full routine is done. After a long day spent keeping up with a super active little boy, in between Zoom calls, and trying to keep a family fed and loved, this is the absolute least I deserve.