My Beauty File is an on-going series where we figure out what the most timeless, put-together and coolest ladies are doing—what their days look like, what they can’t live without—in hopes that we might learn a thing or two. Beauty Files are a quick and easy cheat-sheet on how these incredible ladies are becoming their best selves.
Anna Kaiser has been breaking ground with her AKT On-Demand fitness program for years now (she’s behind the major celeb physiques of Kelly Ripa and Karlie Kloss). Here at CB, we’re huge fans of her energy and her common-sense approach to everything from workouts to skincare. But how does the schedule and habits of a go-getter fitness maven change after having a baby? We checked in with Anna to see how she’s doing—it’s her Beauty File, New Mommy Edition.
Morning? What’s morning? The days seem to start at all different times, and my “morning skincare routine” now happens anytime I remember to fit it in! I’m still using the same products, except I’ve added the Chanel Hydra Beauty for extra hydration. With breastfeeding, I want to make sure to add in some extra hydration from the outside in, along with the inside out.
At the moment, I try to grab a probiotic/prebiotic and some alkaline water right before I feed [the baby] in the morning. Then, I stock up on bottled Supa Dupa Greens from Juice Generation and quick frozen smoothies from Daily Harvest, so I can grab a quick breakfast as I head to work. And, yes. Coffee always. I can barely hook up my pump without coffee.
My evening skincare routine is always a priority. It is one of the only times in my day that I truly dedicate to winding down and giving myself a minute to decompress. I start with a hot shower and an essential oil body wash made of patchouli and lavender. Post-pregnancy I have been loving the pH-balanced Healthy Hoohoo and then lathering on Drunk Elephant’s Sili oil (a DE body product that’s not available yet but coming soon!) before drying off to help maintain moisture. Then I top it off with Sisley’s Restorative Fluid Body Cream (which smells delicious). For face, I use Sisley’s Detoxifying Nighttime Treatment topped with Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil and give myself an indulgent GloPro infrared micro-needling session once a week to help myself the “appearance” of being well rested.
During pregnancy I took L-methylfolate, a light prenatal vitamin, and vitamin C. I am still taking the same supplements I took during pregnancy, plus magnesium (for muscle recovery), Vitamin D (liquid—to help prevent post-partum and seasonal affective disorder), and biotin (increases the rate of hair growth—for more on this, see HAIR).
I definitely altered my workouts for each trimester, and changed my schedule dramatically after my 7th month of pregnancy to focusing solely on strength and low impact cardio. Now, I am ramping up gradually (for me) and am careful with adding impact and focused abdominal exercises. Dancing feels amazing and slow, focused strength and ab work is so necessary to rebuild my deep core stabilizers and pelvic floor. I am surprised at how weak my upper body is and how much more difficult full-body exercises feel. I have to focus intensely on engaging my TVA (transverse abominus muscles) where it seemed like second nature before giving birth. Oh—and my body heat rises much more quickly these days. Not to mention the double sports bra situation. Fun fact: sagging breasts happen from over-stretched ligaments due to lack of support, not breast feeding! Make sure to support that extra weight appropriately!
I have to say, it’s been nice to use the AKT On Demand app at home post-baby. I can fit in short strength sections during the day between feedings and conference calls and it helps keep my energy up without the added caffeine.
My husband (Dr. Carlos Wesley, Hair Restoration Specialist) recommends 5,000mg of biotin and PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections that have been shown to prevent post pregnancy shedding. Also, getting enough protein is key. I only shampoo a couple times a week (taking care of a baby makes this easy) and condition almost every day to help strengthen.
DERMATOLOGIST OR FACIALIST:
Well, sleep has been the biggest change post baby. I am someone that needs a lot of sleep to recover. I always have. And that has (not surprisingly) been much more difficult these days. Also, I have to admit, it is much more difficult to find time to work out when it’s outside the scope of my work. Between feedings, work, and commuting, I am finding it difficult to carve out time for myself to exercise, but I make it happen. It just means that I have to sacrifice a few blowouts and manicures. Or maybe… all of them. For now, it’s worth it!
MY BEST PIECE OF BEAUTY ADVICE:
I always thought I had sensitive skin, but it’s nothing when compared to my baby’s. There is something called “baby acne” and I found that it happens almost instantaneously when he comes into contact with some of my makeup/beauty products. So I will immediately stop using a product if I notice him reacting. I find that I wear much less makeup these days, outside of extremely clean products… and my skin has never looked better. (Not that I am using him as a tester… but it certainly is telling!)
MY BEST PIECE OF LIFE ADVICE:
I had a friend tell me, “Fit the baby into your life. Don’t change your life to accommodate the baby.” And that has absolutely proven true. We are raising him around noise, friends, dinners, outings, and he has learned to find the calm within it all. Taking it in stride. And hopefully, he’ll learn to enjoy it all one day with us!
Also, I have relieved myself from striving for perfect balance. I think life is messy and beautiful in its chaos. Instead, I focus on being 150% present in each moment and appreciating all the different colors of my life.
BIGGEST BEAUTY MYTH:
“After a pregnancy, you are just simply glowing.” No, you’re not. You are dehydrated, exhausted, hungry, and trying to keep a tiny person alive. Your skin is not the priority, and those bags under your eyes are temporary! But it’s all so worth it when I see that beautiful little face staring up at me at 3:30am, making those tiny heart-wrenching coos.
I have to say, I am constantly in awe of Kelly Ripa. Not only has she raised three beautiful children, but she works full-time, attends all their parent-teacher conferences, games/recitals/events, takes them to school, and manages to find time for friends, new projects, her production company, and her workouts! She is a tour de force and manages it all with such grace, wit, and humility. She inspires me to go after it… that maybe it really is possible to have it all.