Skincare When You are Stuck at Home
I’m an introvert. I love silence, solitude, and generally being left alone. Do not mistake that for being awkward or antisocial (although, I can be those things too). All uncertainty and the gravity of the global health situation aside, I don’t mind being home. I’m not in any of the risk groups, but it’s important to do what we can to protect those who are vulnerable. I dislike hearing “it only affects old people”. Um. Old people are PEOPLE. They shouldn’t be written off and discarded like the pulp from a juiced apple.
Here’s what I’ve been doing for my skin while confined to the comforts of my home. I’m not saying you have to do the same things - perhaps something different works for you. I’m not a doctor or a cosmetologist. Maybe you’ll find these suggestions useful. We are all finding a new normal in this temporary world of social isolation. Sometimes a simple distraction in the form of “skintertainment” can do wonders for the psyche.
I don’t do much. The first couple of days I did pretty much nothing at all. But that’s not going to fly long term.
So now I use a toner pad to wipe off any remaining evening skincare, and then apply a thin layer of cream (to lock in the moisture and provide some extra nourishment). I finish off with sunscreen. I’m not going to focus on specific products in this article, as those aren’t that important. You can find what works best for your skin type. Mine is combination. If you want to see the exact things I use, check out my morning routine video.
It might be tempting to skip sunscreen while staying home. But is “home” necessarily the same as “out of the light”? No. I encourage you to open your windows (or at least your curtains, if it’s cold) and let in some light. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other businesses might be closed, but “outside” isn’t. Go walk. Go run. Get some fresh air away from crowded germy places. Since not all of us would immediately reach for SPF before walking out to get the mail, I’d encourage you to apply your sun protection first thing in the morning. Yes, it does wear off. Yes, it’s best to reapply. But is a single layer in the morning better than no sunscreen at all? Yes!
I haven’t worn makeup in a week and don’t plan on wearing it any time soon (except for a previously arranged family photo session which we will still try to make happen). It’s liberating. I find makeup fun, but it can also be slightly more work to remove than simply double cleansing at night. And if you are one of those people who finds keeping the exact routine of regular mornings (including makeup) comforting right now, then by all means, do your makeup.
Not much has changed here, with the exception of eye makeup removal (since I haven’t been wearing any). I still do my usual double cleansing (because SPF is most effectively removed with a double cleanse, even if you don’t wear decorative cosmetics), a sheet mask or a wash off mask, and some sort of cream. Depending on the state of my skin, I might add a peeling gel, some eye patches, or maybe wrinkle tape. A full very “extra” 16 step evening routine in video form is here.
The hardest part is keeping panic at bay. I’m a very outwardly calm person with quite a bit of inner anxiety. The things the CDC is recommending right now - like taking off and laundering your clothes after being outside of the home - I have been doing that for years. I live most of my life in a state of slight disgust with germs and dirt and unnecessary physical contact. The first thing I do when getting home is wash my hands. And that’s outside of a pandemic. I’m not obsessive, but I do think about those things in general.
What worries me right now isn’t getting sick (I’m sure I’d personally be ok), but getting someone else who’s at risk sick. Plus, people are panicking. And people who are panicking aren’t making rational decisions. In times of uncertainty people often resort to violence. And that’s unsettling. While some are panicking and stockpiling strange things like toilet paper, others aren’t taking this seriously enough. Stay. Home! If you can. Sigh.
And have I mentioned that my husband is considered essential and still has to go to work? Yup, there’s that. Oh, and a shooting in a nearby grocery store (nobody got hurt).
There are plenty of things I am enjoying - working from home (and being privileged to be able to do so), having the resources to buy a few extra groceries and avoid stores for a bit, extra time with my kindergartener, my mom who still comes over so that I can get my work done in peace, my dad who brought over a game of Sorry! today to play with my daughter (judging by her not so excited screaming, she lost at least a few times - I was working in the basement at the time).
This too shall pass. So far, it's passing like a kidney stone.