It’s a truth universally acknowledged that moms live crazy-busy lives. After all, we have kids! Plus we often also have work in or outside the home, housework, a partner we’re supposed to pay attention to sometimes, remembering to feed ourselves and our families…how are we supposed to find time to chill out? Thanks to, well, possibly quarantine and 2020 desperation in general, folks are finally admitting that self-care matters. And what better way to incorporate some “me” time than with a few quick and easy self-care items even the busiest moms will love?
There are plenty of simple self-care ideas moms can implement, but when you’re beyond busy, any ambitions of booking an appointment in a float tank pretty much go right out the window. If you daydream about some uninterrupted quiet time or just eight hours of sleep — or a way to simultaneously make dinner and do something that makes you feel good about yourself — good news! We’ve rounded up the best quick fixes even the busiest moms can work into their routine.
An eye gel patch to de-puff your eyes after those early-AM baby wake-ups? Check. An anti-aging roller you can use while helping the kids with homework? Check. You have to treat yourself — because we know it’s a rarity you get to spend 10 minutes alone to pee in peace. So grab one of these, and then get back to being the kick-ass mom you are.
Skincare starter kit
If you’d like to establish a solid skincare routine but can think of oh so many ways you’d rather spend 20 minutes every morning and night, plus you have no idea what mix of products to start with, this starter kit from NYLSkincare is for you. It has everything you need for simple, clean skincare, and includes body lotion, transformative serum, gentle sugar body polish, and organic rosewater face wash. Did I mention it’s organic, cruelty free, gluten free, and handmade in small batches? Your skin just got a whole lot happier.
Goat milk bath bomb
This bath bomb has the benefit of a) smelling unbelievably good, and b) feeling just like taking a milk bath — minus the gross imagery of dumping cartons of milk into your bathtub. The fat and protein in the bomb feed your skin with softness and moisture, while exfoliating to give you an absolute glow.
Amethyst facial roller
Give your overworked facial muscles a little love with this amethyst facial roller that vanishes dark circles and puffy skin. If you haven’t been fully rested since 2002 (what a weird coincidence that was also when you had your first child), this is the tool for you. It takes only a couple of minutes to roll this cooling little device over your worry lines and damn-it-Karen-don’t-make-me-count-to-three furrows to release stress and ward off anxiety.
Charcoal face mask
Time is of the essence as a parent, and let’s be real; you never get more than a few minutes alone — especially in the bathroom. Use those five minutes to dab on this five-minute charcoal hydration mask and make the most of those blessed seconds before your kindergartener picks the bathroom lock. This mask brightens and evens skin tone and hydrates your skin, and the charcoal absorbs dirt and oils to give your clean, baby-soft skin. Plus, if your kid bursts in while this is on your face, it might scare them. Just an added bonus.
Moms who face rosacea know it’s no fun, and can really put a damper on the rest of your skincare routine; this is the best fix we’ve found. It’s made with concentrated aloe vera for super-calming properties, and it works to soothe and calm even the most sensitive of mom skin.
Dry body brush
If you’ve never heard of dry brushing, you’re missing out on one of the fastest ways you can give your skin some much-deserved love and attention. Benefits include cellulite-appearance reduction, improvement in blood circulation, shedding dead skin and eliminating clogged pores for better nutrient absorption.
Anything that does double duty is great and saves you precious minutes by cutting out yet another layer to apply. This is not only a fantastic moisturizer that provides all-day hydration, but it also has SPF 30, because it isn’t cute anymore when your toddler plays their favorite game of count Mommy’s wrinkles. (Thank God they can only count to five.)
This is the best combo: a lightweight foundation, hydrating lotion anti-wrinkle cream and SPF 15. It’s made with 98.9 percent natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals, and is pocket-size for your convenience. Perfect for the mom on the go.
Putting your family first usually means you just don’t have time for things you’d like to do. Not anymore. This speedy teeth whitening pen and blue accelerator light work in tandem in only three minutes for whiter teeth. That’s something to smile about.
Antiaging acupuncture roller
While this may look like a terrifying medieval torture device, it’s actually a quick, easy and painless way to stimulate your nerves and improve blood flow. You can use it anywhere on your body, and it fights wrinkles while improving your skin’s elasticity.
Coffee leaf tea
If the only me time you get is the five minutes with your cup of coffee in the morning before all hell breaks loo… we mean, before your darling children wake up, check out Wize Monkey. Wize Monkey coffee leaf tea is an unusual loose tea that uses the leaves from the coffee plant. It’s smooth, sustainable, has no caffeine crash, and is packed with antioxidants. And they provide jobs for coffee farmers year-round.
Moms lead insane, hectic, chaotic lives. You’re in charge of a bunch of tiny people, all their activities, keeping them fed and (occasionally) bathed and making sure you don’t leave for Christmas vacation without one. If your brain doesn’t explode from all that’s crammed in there, you’re a magician. For everyone else, there are Live Whale planners. Live Whale is the most practical and effective planner, designed to motivate you and help you gain more control over your life. Improve your positivity, productivity and mental health. Because you have to treat your brain too, Mama.
At the end of the day, it’s a miracle if you don’t just flop into bed once you get the kids down. Honestly, most of the time, we debate whether we have the energy to get up and wash our faces. This one-step cleansing solution not only smells great and makes your skin feel amazing, but it’s a three-in-one solution — a cleanser, toner and makeup remover — so you are refreshed and ready for a good night’s sleep. Or ready to lie in bed for the next four hours going through your mental to-do list. Either/or.
If you’re not one for a color-changing desktop essential oil diffuser but still want the benefits of aromatherapy, this minimalist volcanic rock aromatherapy bracelet has you covered. Subtle and understated, the three stones are made from lava rocks, the porous quality of which lets it absorb more essential oil. You can treat yourself to aromatherapy all day, right from your wrist.
Pink clay mask
This Australian pink clay mask brightens and detoxifies in just 10 minutes, tightens pores and boosts your skin’s natural radiance. It comes with a soft applicator brush so your fingers don’t get all goopy and is made from Australian pink clay, mangosteen, kelp, witch hazel, pomegranate and Kakadu plum.
Travel essential oil diffuser
If you need five minutes to just breathe but are in your cubicle or stuck in traffic, this mini travel essential oil diffuser will make anywhere more bearable and give you a few moments of Zen. It has multiple charging capabilities, an auto-off feature and seven different-colored lights to choose from. Pair it with your fave essential oil, and you can bust this bad boy out when you need it the most — say, on a plane or pre-conference call.
Nourish yourself from the inside out with these vegan vitamins (gummy, because you are way more likely to take a vitamin every day if it’s a gummy) that hydrates your skin and is loaded with tons of vitamin C, vitamin E and stimulates collagen production to give you that all-natural glow.
Perk up your eyes and combat puffiness, fatigue and dryness with these anytime, anywhere cooling gel eye patches loaded with caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen. These patches work in just five minutes, so you can pop them on while waiting in the school pickup line and be refreshed by the time you get to the front.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.
For more mother-approved beauty goodness, check out these cult skincare products real moms swear by.