We Swapped Skin Care Routines With Our Moms.. Here's What Happened
As little girls, we looked to our mothers for beauty inspiration—after all, they did buy us (and teach us how to use) our very first skin care and makeup products. Though a lot has changed since our days of ransacking our mother’s beauty stash, there is one thing we can all still agree on: when it comes to beauty—more specifically, taking care of our skin—mothers know best. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to bond with our mothers over their beauty—literally, and figuratively—and get our hands on their skin care products once again. Find out what happened when we swapped skin care routines with our moms for a week, ahead.
I get my sun protection obsession from my mom—and her “what not to do” horror stories of using baby oil as suntan lotion when she was a teenager (yikes!). Another thing I get from her? Dry skin. While I’m usually not too thrilled about my dry skin woes, it actually served me well in this experiment since she uses products formulated with our shared skin type in mind. With that being said, I had high expectations for her skin care routine.
After rummaging through her collection and asking her to select the products she uses daily—like her daughter, she is a collector of skin care—I was face to face with a micellar water (snaps for mom for being up-to-date on skin care trends!) that removes makeup and can help lift and trap impurities lingering on the skin’s surface, a toner that balances the skin’s natural pH, three serums that each target an anti-aging concern (dry, dull-looking skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark spots), a facial cream that can be worn both as a day cream and night cream (yay for multitasking skin care products), and a broad-spectrum sunscreen. I also asked her to choose an exfoliator and mask that she can’t live without… she chose peel pads infused with glycolic acid and an anti-aging face mask she jokingly refers to as “her skin care time machine.” Time machine, or not (though I secretly had my fingers crossed that it was “not,” because I did not sign up to go back to my blemish-prone teenage years), the face mask she raved about was formulated with antioxidants and hydrating—one of my favorite anti-aging combinations. Needless to say, I was looking forward to spending the week with my mom’s skin care routine.
Of all the products my mom uses, the products that stood out to me the most actually caught me by surprise. I was expecting to be wowed by her sunscreen and facial cream choices, but the glycolic acid peel pads and anti-aging serums completely stole the show. Though I don’t have many dark spots, I do have dull-looking skin and fine lines around my eyes, so I was diligent about using the two serums in her routine that were designed to address those concerns. Although the fine lines on the outside of my eyes—let’s call them baby crow’s feet—were less noticeable than before I began this experiment. Also, the overall look of my complexion appeared brighter and more even in tone and my dry skin felt softer, smoother, and more supple-looking, too!
After using my mom’s anti-aging skin care regimen for a week, I have come to the conclusion that I should consider using more anti-aging products in my own routine. While I am in my mid-twenties and am fortunate to have skin that is still on the youthful-looking side of the spectrum, it wouldn’t hurt to take prevention seriously and start incorporating some more anti-aging focused products in my routine.
For the record, I should start by saying that my mom is my beauty icon. Her skin is flawless, and by flawless I mean effortlessly radiant and free of blemishes. In fact, the only time I ever saw my mom deal with zits was when I—as a teenager—used her makeup brush on my own skin without telling her. (Side note: Don’t try this at home.) I’ve been pretty lucky in the skin department myself, but my mom is on a whole other level. So when it came time for me to take on her skin care routine for a week in honor of this experiment, I was happy to oblige. And it was fairly easy to take on since we both have combination skin, and—believe it or not—follow very similar rituals. Like mother, like daughter I suppose.
In the morning, my mom washes her face with a gentle cleanser followed by a few drops of her favorite antioxidant serum formulated with vitamin C. Once the serum has soaked in, she follows up with a quick coat of lightweight moisturizer. She alternates between a few, but the one thing they all have in common is they are formulated with broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher. In addition, she also applies traditional sunscreen on top of her moisturizer as well. At night, she cleanses with the same gentle cleansing soap, but swaps in a night cream formulated with retinol instead of using the moisturizer with SPF applied earlier in the day. That’s it!
Since these steps were already part of my regular routine, I wasn’t expecting much change to happen to my skin after one week. And guess what—my predictions were correct. My skin looked good, but it didn’t transform in any substantial ways. It wasn’t all for naught, though. By taking on my mom’s routine as my own, I’ve been introduced two new products that I’ll likely continue to use. What’s more, it helped me realize even more how important sun protection is—as I have a pretty good idea it’s my mom’s diligent use of SPF and other sun protection measure, like staying out of the sun during its peak hours, is partly to thank for her gorgeous complexion. It goes to show you the importance of protecting our skin against the sun even at a young age to help avoid some of those tell-tale signs of skin aging later on!