Being holed up in your home away from friends, colleagues and society isn’t exactly fun. But there are some benefits for your beauty routine. This forced isolation is the perfect time to nurture some areas of your beauty routine that you couldn’t previously attend to when you had to face the world every day.
Here are five things you should be doing during self-isolation to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic looking better than before.
#1 / Grow out your brows
The problem: Chances are, your brow artist has been recommending you grow out your brows for years to rectify your former overplucking ways. But try as you may, every time you used to spot a stray brow hair, you’d feel the urge to pluck it immediately because you couldn’t bear the thought of going out in public with imperfect brows.
The iso silver lining: But now that you’re not seeing anyone face to face (don’t worry, no one is going to be able to see those fine stray hairs on Zoom), you can finally let your brows run wild. By the time iso is over, your brow artist will have a beautifully bushy pair to play with.
Product to try: Our top tip? Get a brow stencil. That way, you can keep checking on the progress of your brow growth and pluck those strays that are well outside the lines. Try e.l.f Eyebrow Stencil Kit.
#2 / Use retinol for the first time
The problem: You’ve heard us go on and on about how good retinol is, but every time you get to the part where we flag that retinol can be irritating, you decide to abandon ship. The risk of walking into the office with an angry red face unfortunately always outweighs those promises of youthful skin.
The iso silver lining: Now that human interaction has been taken out of the equation (thanks COVID-19), you’ve got nothing to lose. Still, we recommend starting off gently with a low concentration of retinol, then moving up to the big guns if your skin tolerates it well.
Product to try: We like Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum - it’s potent but also contains ceramide to counteract the drying effects of retinol. You can read our Review Crew®’s reviews for it here.
#3 / Finally stop popping your pimples
The problem: We get it, stepping out into the real world with an unsightly pimple on your face is never a good time. And even though you know it’s naughty, few of us have enough self-control to resist the pop. Vanity wins every time.
The iso silver lining: The thing is, you’ve probably never given a pimple the chance to heal on its own, so you have no idea whether popping them actually makes the healing process longer and worse than if you’d just left it to its own devices. Now is the time to find out why all skin experts are adamant you should just leave your breakouts alone.
Product to try: Say no to popping, yes to sitting at your computer with a dab of Mario Badescu Drying Lotion on your face, and hallelujah to breaking bad habits once and for all.
#4 / Make the switch to natural deodorant
The problem: There has been a lot of hype around natural deodorants in recent years, but if you’ve tried some and never seen what all the fuss is about, it could be because you haven’t given them a fair chance to work their magic. You see, before a natural deodorant can work, your armpits first need to purge your underarm area of nasties like aluminium that have been plugging your sweat glands to help control your body odour.
The iso silver lining: With no one around, it’s the perfect time to detox your pits and potentially make the permanent switch to a natural deodorant. Give it a good two weeks (you may need up to four) for the transition period.
Tip: To speed things along a bit, try an armpit detox mask like KIND-LY The Armpit Detox.
Product to try: Not sure which natural deodorants are good? We recommend Kopari Coconut Oil Charcoal Deodorant because it’s free from bi-carb soda - which can irritate some skin types. We also swear by all of these natural deodorants.
#5 / Give your nails a break from gels
The problem: Keeping up appearances is tough (and expensive!). If you can’t go a week without a perfectly manicured set of nails, then you are probably doing it HARD without your regular salon visits right now. But the silver lining here is now you’re forced to give your natural nails a chance to breathe.
The iso silver lining: If you didn’t get a chance to squeeze in one last trip to the nail salon to remove your gel manicure before it became a non-essential luxury, follow this at-home guide to removing them safely. Now, it’s time to give your natural nails some serious TLC. Start with a daily application of a cuticle oil followed by a hand cream. After at least a week of wearing nothing on your nails, paint on a nail strengthener (these are our faves) to help repair your brittle nails back to healthy.
Product to try: L’Occitane Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.