Beauty advice in the time of an ongoing pandemic, is all DO IT YOURSELF PROJECTS.
Our personal care services may be closed but fortunately our essential workers are still taking care of us so we can get the products and ingredients we need. These essential workers are taking products off shelves, boxing them up and delivering them to us. They are going to work in stores hoping that the public are wearing masks properly and decreasing their risk of getting the many variant forms of the virus. Thank you to all of you. We know hair dye, nail polish and pumice stone foot scrubbers are not life and death items yet they do make us feel better. We appreciate the work you do to take care of the rest of us.
I know that after this crisis passes or at least settles down to a much quieter level, we will be able to return to salons, spa’s and medi spa’s for much needed treatments. The trend in aesthetics will rely heavily on devices and lasers to promote collagen production, hydration and healthy skin. Results driven skin care products and nutritional supplements will also be very popular. There is definitely a trend towards natural appearance and away from overdone.
Until Public Health allows the doors to these Rejuvenation Centres to open, here are some helpful hints and suggestions:
What can I do about the dry skin on my hands?
With so much hand-washing and using hand sanitizers, the skin on our hands needs far more attention than usual. At night apply a rich cream and put cotton gloves on top. Either leave on overnight, or while you watch a film. If you do not have any cream you can try using olive oil. For cracked, dry hands try a product that is designed for dry feet. Gehwol and Allpresan are popular choices.
How do I make nail varnish last longer now I’m doing it myself?
Remember to do what the professionals do and apply a base coat, two thin layers of polish and a top coat. On the third day, reapply a top coat and as long as you are not digging in the garden, your polish should last 8 to 10 days.
If your cuticles are a mess, apply coconut oil before bed. Cracked cuticles may be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, according to TheHealthSite.com. Reverse this problem by eating more foods with zinc and vitamin E like spinach, salmon, and other seafoods.
How can I keep my skin soft?
Look for moisturizing products with hyaluronic acid as one of the main ingredients. For special pampering time, make a homemade mask with an equal measure of yogurt and honey with a pinch of porridge oats. Leave it on the skin for 15 minutes for a boost in hydration. Honey acts as an antibacterial agent, oatmeal is calming and yogurt is hydrating.
Should I start using any chemical peels while I wait to see my skin care specialist?
You don’t want to strip your epidermal barrier right back. It might be tempting to start using glycolic peels and retinol creams but you need to build up gradually, particularly if your skin is not used to it. Using a brand that uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients will minimize any bad reactions because of its purity of ingredients. A good skin care regimen is important for skin health but grabbing something off the shelf or ordering online is not necessarily doing your skin any favours. Try products that use enzymes for exfoliation. They are less harsh and can keep your skin in check while you wait for a professional skin care treatment.
What should I NOT do to my own skin?
There are certain parts of a professional facial that are best left for the professionals. Extractions are among them. It is tempting to pick away but it can lead to scarring and increased inflammation. It is also a way to introduce bacteria into your skin which could lead to an infection.
For those who love experimenting with online shopping for facial devices, limit yourself and never combine a treatment that affects the skin barrier with new products containing active ingredients like retinol or glycolic acid.
What’s the best way to pluck my eyebrows?
Pluck the stray hairs first before tackling the shape. Brush your brows up and across. You can then determine the core brow shape hair to remove. Just pluck one or two hairs at a time, step away and view your brows before you continue – step by step is key. You may also need to trim the longer brow hairs with nail scissors, so brush up with a brow brush and snip any hairs poking above the brow line. Take your time.
How do I keep my brows in shape until I can see a professional again?
A pencil is the best tool to define the shape of your brow. Place the pencil at the edge of your nose and where it hits your eyebrow is where they should be. Then swivel it from your nose to your iris – this is where the arch should be positioned. Finally swivel again from your nose to the end of your eye and where the pencil hits the brow is where they end. A brow mascara is also an excellent tool for colouring and controlling unruly brows. Your brows play a huge roll in framing your eyes but don’t forget to play up your eyes by using dark brown or black liner and an uber black mascara to really make the eyes pop. Don’t be afraid to add a bit of sparkle to the inner corner of the eye for luminosity and radiance.
Should I cut my hair at home?
No! It probably will not go well. Consider this an opportunity to try a longer hair style or grow out your bangs. Unless you’ve got a really sculpted hairstyle that requires maintenance, grow out your hair a little and stay away from hacking it off. Most hairstyles don’t need to be maintained every 6-8 weeks. The same goes for men, rather than trying to trim your hair, play around with styling it a little more. Learn to use a hair wax to help tame and control.
How can I make my hair colour look fresher for longer?
There are lots of root touch-up sprays and deep conditioners that will help you fix your colour in for longer. Remember to let your hair stylist know what you have been using on your hair during lockdown. If you got overconfident in your home hair colouring and require a professional colour correction, make sure they know at the time of booking in order to give you enough time with your hair expert.
Hopefully these tips can help you pamper yourself and provide you with some ‘you time’.
Now for a turn to the serious. Our appearance is influenced by our mental and emotional state. How many of us have had extremely low mood days even though our hair looked fabulous? Our reflection in the mirror plays a part in how we feel about ourselves but it does not provide the basis for our mental state.
We are in our second year of the pandemic. We know more about this virus and vaccines are rolling out and the end is getting closer and yet for many, there is still a feeling that is hard to describe. That feeling seems to be that you don’t feel depressed but you also are not thriving. Sociologist Corey Keyes coined this feeling as LANGUISHING. His research suggests that languishing leads to an increased chance of episodes of major depression and anxiety disorders in the future.
What can we do in the face of languishing? Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and author of “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” suggests the concept called “FLOW” may be the antidote. In his article in the New York Times called “There’s a Name for the Blah you’re Feeling: it’s called Languishing” he states “Flow is the elusive state of absorption in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond, where your sense of time, place and self melts away.” He goes on further to say that during the early days of the pandemic, the best predicter of well-being wasn’t optimism or mindfulness, it was flow.
Flow means that the more immersed you got in your projects the less languishing was experienced. Meeting your partner for a Netflix date, tackling a challenging puzzle, building birdhouses, knitting a sweater, etc., gets you absorbed into a task that has a meaningful challenge or at least a moment where you can be transported.
Flow does require focus which can be quite difficult with all of our distractions. Find uninterrupted blocks of time away from distraction. Carve out some time each day to focus on a challenge that matters to you, a selfcare project like caring for your dry hands, a conversation with a friend, a walk with your dog. Something small like this can help you find your lost energy and enthusiasm. It is an investment in your mental health and that is a beautiful thing.
WRITTEN BY: SUE WAGNER, RN, owner of SKIN APPEAL, ORANGEVILLE (formerly SKIN BY MOSAIC)