My Mother's Daughter

Lessons in Low Maintenance Skin Care

It is May, and in honour of Mother’s Day, I decided to focus this column on the beauty advice of the lady who taught me (almost) everything I know.  Like most girls, my introduction to anything beauty-related came from watching my mom. My curiosity in skincare products and makeup started young.  I would sneak little dollops of my mom’s pricey moisturizer when she was in the shower and I also “borrowed” a tube of lipstick from her class photos, a nude shade so perfectly subtle it was almost like I was wearing nothing at all.  But I was – and it was thrilling.

Now, with a majority of my days being spent looking up new products or researching new skincare trends, I find myself still reverting back to the lessons she bestowed on me as a young girl.  She, in a nutshell, is a bit of a skincare minimalist.  To her, a good cleanser is pretty much all you need in your daily skincare arsenal.  It’s fast and it requires very little thought.  Today, we tend to smother our skin with different creams, masks, mists and balms. In short, beauty and skincare has become a multi-step process.

As is the running theme of this column, I’ve begun making a conscious effort to try and clean out my beauty cabinet and attempt to adopt a more stripped down approach to my daily skincare routine – a lot like how my mother still does it to this day.  

To even begin to streamline your skincare collection, you’ll need a solid base to work with.  Keeping that in mind, there are three products that everyone should have in their cabinets– consider these the Holy Grail when it comes to great skin.

1)  Cleanser: Great skin is clean skin.  When looking for a cleanser, choosing one that is mild enough to use twice a day is key – because taking off your makeup at the end of the night is a must!  An added bonus (aside from leaving you squeaky clean) is that it can help enhance the effectiveness of your serums and moisturizers that you also use by removing the grimy barrier that prevents vitamins and minerals from being absorbed by your skin. 

2)  Antioxidant-rich serum or moisturizer: When looking to moisturize after you cleanse, reach for a product that is rich with antioxidants.  There are loads of benefits to them including calming inflammation, firming your skin, reducing wrinkles and scar tissue and repairing sun damage – a proverbial jack-of-all-trades.  

3)  Sunscreen:  Perhaps the most important of the three because no matter how often you cleanse or moisturize, if you’re not protecting your skin from the effects of sun damage (fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer), then all those products are useless.  


Lora Maghanoy is a writer and editor from Toronto.  She spends far too much time and money researching and buying beauty products.


Categories: Natural Beauty