It’s been over 18 months since COVID-19 has caused us to shelter in place with the goal of putting an end to the novel coronavirus. While social distancing is playing an essential role in our health, the same can’t be said for our beauty routines. For beauty buffs, the lockdown has meant an abrupt halt to our routine visits to our facialists, dermatologists, and everything in between. What’s more, staying indoors has limited our exposure to vitamin D (which our skin needs to thrive), heeded unhealthy eating habits (which can wreak havoc on our skin), and turned us all into our very own (albeit mildly inexperienced) esthetician. To ensure our skin and well-being are taken care of during such a confusing time, we tapped into celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. Below, she’s sharing six self-care tips to practice as you the social distance.
While wearing makeup does have to pose its own skin benefits (it can offer additional protection from the sun), there’s no denying it can contribute to clogged pores. “If you regularly wear a primer or liquid foundation—which are both notorious for causing clogged pores and bumpy texture—you may start seeing a reduction in these side effects when going makeup-free,” says Rouleau. “If you stop regularly using your makeup products for a few weeks and see a significant reduction in your clogged pores, you may want to re-think what you use going forward.” Her pick? The ISDIN Skin Drops, Face and Body Makeup Lightweight and High Coverage Foundation ($57), a widely loved formula that produces a silk-like finish without making the skin feel heavy.
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Do A (Safe) At-Home Facial
Lately, it seems as though our makeup routines have been replaced with intricate skincare routines, and that includes indulging in an at-home DIY facial. “A quick way to keep your skincare game strong without overhauling your whole routine is to try an at-home facial,” says Rouleau. She recommends the following step-by-step routine:
- Cleanse your skin with a mild facial cleanser to get rid of excess dirt and oil
- Use an at-home device like an LED light or even a jade roller to promote circulation
- Apply a gentle face scrub to lift dead cells off the surface
- Apply an exfoliating peel to lower the pH of the skin
- Apply a hydrating serum to lock in moisture
- Apply a non-drying face mask geared toward your skin type
- Swipe an alcohol-free toner across the skin to remove impurities from tap water
“This routine will not only remove dry, dulling dead skin cells for a fresher-looking complexion, but it can deliver hydrating, radiance-boosting benefits too.” And to avoid any post-quarantine skin issues as a result of harsh handling, Rouleau recommends introducing one new product into your routine at a time. “Introducing too much too fast can disrupt the skin, but if you incorporate new products slowly, you’ll be able to identify the cause of a skin reaction if there is one.”
Keep Hands Hydrated
As we’re being extra diligent about washing our hands, many of us are experiencing dryness as a result. Combat this by doing a nightly hand treatment—a thick hand cream can be applied to compensate for moisture loss. Rouleau recommends taking it one step further by slipping on a pair of cotton gloves to lock in moisture. “Cotton is breathable so it won’t feel hot, and adding that physical barrier over your hands will force moisture deeper into the skin,” she says. “The added bonus here is that the gloves will ensure the cream or ointment doesn’t get on your face, so there’s no need to worry about clogged pores.” L’Occitane Moisturizing Rose Hand Cream ($29) is a luxe formula that’s made with shea butter to transform dehydrated hands.
Perhaps your skin is faring oily, or you’re experiencing more red patches beyond what’s typical for you. If you’ve noticed a change in your skin since quarantining, what you’re consuming may be playing a role. Rouleau says to be mindful of your diet and limit dairy for at least three weeks to see if it’s the underlying cause. She notes that because dairy is mucous-forming, the body may find it difficult to digest. For some, this may show in the form of cystic acne, which she describes as “hard, painful bumps under the skin located on the chin and jaw line area.” Replace dairy with antioxidant-rich foods like avocados, berries, almonds, and spinach.
While it may be tempting to ditch the SPF (after all, you’re home all day anyway, right?) Rouleau advises against this. She maintains that “SPF is still an important daily product to use even if you’re not exposed to direct sunlight, as any visible light has the ability to cause damage.” Unless you live in a house with absolutely no windows, she strongly urges the use of SPF. We love La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk ($36) and Obagi Sunscreen Sun Shield ($53)—it’s a SPF-moisturizer hybrid that drenches skin with moisture as it protects.
Avoid Skin Picking
During times of stress, skin picking can be a natural release for many. Rouleau advises, though, that this behavior can cause both short- and long-term skin damage. “Skin picking can spread bacteria and cause inflammation, leading to more breakouts,” she notes. “The long-term effects is that skin picking can cause serious pigmentation and even pitted scarring (also known as “ice pick” scars).” To nip this unhealthy habit in the bud, try keeping your hands busy with a fidget toy.
information is taken from Cherie.com credit @michelle_r