Mum hacks: Five nappy-bag beauty fixes

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We’ve all been there: hair in disarray, mascara running down your face, while clutching a wailing baby under one arm and trying to sustain an adult conversation with that oh-so-chic mum from playgroup. While this article can’t help with a tantrum-prone tot, it can offer a few tried-and-tested beauty hacks to quickly make you feel more presentable in a pinch, using everyday products from your changing bag.

Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is an absolute gem, working undercover from its unassuming red tub. Made from natural papaya fruit, this cult-favourite Aussie balm works magic on skin issues, from cuts and bruises to insect bites and nappy rash. It’s perfect for delicate baby skin, and mums will find it wonderfully soothing on chapped hands and scraggly cuticles, to tame unruly eyebrows, as a glossy lip balm, as an emergency frizz-fighting hair serum… the list goes on. Try it and wonder how you ever managed without it. It’s available in Hong Kong at Tiny Footprints, or online at

Shiny-faced and sweltering? Good old-fashioned baby powder is your saviour. Swirl some on with a makeup brush to combat a shiny face. If lank hair is the problem, sprinkle a tiny amount through your roots before brushing out, for an instant grease-absorbing dry shampoo that adds volume. If you’re feeling sweaty and have no deodorant to hand, then a little dab underarm will see you through until shower time. The key here is moderation: avoid the Halloween-mask effect or a giant cloud by building up slowly.

All mums sing the praises of wet wipes, and regardless of whether your child is newly born or at university, you’ll probably have a pack stashed somewhere! In addition to the more conventional uses, you’ll find wipes to be convenient mid-day make-up refreshers, removing the most stubborn eye or lip make-up with ease and blotting up excess oil – leaving you ready for your (baby powder) finish. Bonus use: wipes remove white deodorant marks from dark clothes. (You know, those marks you only ever spot once you’ve already left the house in a hurry.)

The UK’s favourite nappy rash cream, Sudocrem, is not only good for red bottoms, but for red faces, too. This gentle antiseptic cream is amazingly effective at calming irritation and drying out pimples, and can even be used as a makeshift sunscreen in a pinch, as it contains a high concentration of sun-blocking zinc oxide. You may get a few funny looks in the street while smearing on thick white goop, but your face will thank you.

Baby oil is an effective and affordable beauty hero that more than earns its space in any changing bag. Use liberally on damp skin to rid yourself of lizard-legs, to remove waterproof mascara with ease, or as a shaving oil to avoid nicks. It can even be used to remove chewing gum from hair!

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