Holding a job and staying home to raise a family can both be stressful. But when you throw them into one bag by deciding to become a work-at-home mom, you can exponentially increase your levels of pressure and strain. Many moms who choose to stay home for the sake of their children, as well as taking on a job in order to bring in a second income, find that they have a difficult time separating their personal and professional lives. Most would rather attend to the kids, and they may even feel guilty about time away from them. On the other hand, you have to keep them fed, clothed, and sheltered, which means work is equally important. Plus, you are allowed to crave a career for yourself outside of motherhood. Well, it’s clearly a stressful situation, even for moms that seem to have the schedule buttoned down tight. And all of this stress can cause not only common symptoms like fatigue and forgetfulness, but it can also leave outward signs on your skin.

Work-at-home moms generally want two things from a skin care regimen. First and foremost, it has to be quick. With kids nipping at your knees and a deadline looming you simply don’t have time for a complex and time-consuming daily routine. Second, it has to deal with the skin-related symptoms of stress. Did you know that when you’re tense your body tends to release more cortisol and other stress hormones that can jack up oil production and lead to breakouts? And sleepless nights can leave you looking puffy and affix permanent dark circles under your eyes. Luckily, there are cures that will help you to look your best even if you can’t exactly cut your stress levels.

The first thing to do is start a daily regimen that includes washing your face with a mild soap that is free of chemical dyes and fragrances (which can irritate your skin and cause flare-ups). Neutrogena and Dove bar soaps are both good choices, although the former will work better for oily skin types while the latter is definitely reserved for those who suffer from dry skin issues. From there you should apply a moisturizer that is suitable for daily use, and if you find yourself outdoors frequently, make sure it comes with a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF rating…otherwise you might want to add a face-specific sunblock, as well. You’ll want to avoid drying agents like toners that can leave you flaky and force your skin to produce more oil (a one-two punch that practically ensures breakouts).

This basic daily routine should help to keep your skin more or less balanced, but you might also try to sneak in a weekly mud mask to clear and tighten pores, and consider using a mild scrubber when washing, such as the Olay ProX Advanced Cleaning System, to clear away dead skin cells that can clog your pores. Of course, the real repairs to your skin will happen at night while you sleep, so you might want to look for anti aging products that meet your particular needs, combatting fine lines, reducing puffiness, or fading dark spots and scarring. With just a handful of products and a few minutes each day, any work-at-home mom can stave off the signs of stress and keep her skin looking youthful and luminous.

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