I recently read a joke on Whatsapp where someone was asking “we have been told to keep washing hands, is it time yet to wash the rest of our bodies?”
Lockdown as a result of COVID-19 has presented us with new ways of living and working. If you were accustomed to visiting your beauty therapist for a monthly facial, full body wax every three weeks, hairdresser for oil treatment and change of hairstyle, nail technician for soak off and nail extensions then the proverbial carpet was pulled from under your feet.
To help you regain your equilibrium here are some basic tips to help you continue with the necessary task of self-grooming.
Continue bathing at least once a day even though you are not going to work and even if you live alone. Looking and smelling good has a positive effect on your mood.
Change your underwear at least once a day, preferably after your bath.
Change your clothing daily. Don’t wait for your clothes to become visibly dirty before changing into fresh clothing.
Brush your teeth and floss your teeth at least twice daily (morning and night).
Remove excess body hair as you did before lock down but if you don’t have your own wax strips you can either use hair removal cream or shaving sticks all of which are available at the supermarket or pharmacy. The more you maintain some self-care routine the less likely you will be to fall into a rut which may affect your mood negatively.
With time on your hands there are further grooming activities you can undertake:
Do your own mini facial every two weeks. If you already adhere to a cleanse, tone, moisturise routine daily then you can add a facial scrub and home-made mask using avocado, cucumber or even banana once a week. Save up some tea bags and re-use them on your eye area to treat baggy eyes after the effects of binge watching Netflix.
Even though you are not going to work maintain the routine of brushing your teeth (and tongue) in the morning after you wake up and at night before you go to bed. Remember also to floss regularly. We don’t brush our teeth only because we will be in the company of others. Brush for your own good health, for the long term health and beauty of your teeth, to prevent staining from the food and drinks that we consume.
Do a weekly full body scrub using home-made products such as mealie-meal with a teaspoon of acqaeous cream for glide or even crushed salt and olive oil. Scrubbing will prevent you from developing in-grown hairs from shaving. This extra pampering and attention will show in later weeks with soft, smooth, even-toned skin as the end result.
There has never been a better time to “let your hair down”. You can do oil treatments with store- bought or home-made products (avocado, egg , olive oil). If your hair requires plaiting then use a protective style that is not too tight. Give your hair, scalp and hairline this time to rest, rejuvenate, restore. Again take this time to do each other’s hair if you live with other family members.
Pharmacies remain open and they do stock acetone in their beauty products section. If your artificial nails are due for soak-off you can do this at home with relative ease using an old china or glass mug and putting enough acetone to submerge your fingers (not a plastic container as this will melt). Or you can use cotton wool and tinfoil which is more efficient and less restrictive. Lockdown has presented a very good opportunity for us to let our nails breathe and rejuvenate from the wear and tear of nail extensions, gel polish and UV lamps. Trim, file and even buff your own or your loved-ones’ nails as you wait-it-out with the rest of the world. This act of grooming each other is great for relationship building and bonding.
With the extra hand-washing we are doing we must remember to moisturise with more frequency. Don’t let your hands, cuticles, body or even feet dry out when you have ample time to moisturise. After all you’re not going anywhere! Glycerine is a great humectant to replenish moisture if your skin has succumbed to dryness. Glycerine may be a bit sticky but it is very effective.
Drinking water is good for your skin, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, open pores, the ashen appearance and even body odour. Read our full blog on hydration. The advice to frequently drink warm/hot water as a COVID-19 preventative measure will have beneficial effects for your skin.
By all means continue to use your sunscreen. This applies to people of all races. Use a tinted moisturiser to prevent the ashen/greying effect of regular sunscreen. We are exposed to UV rays from the sunlight as well as from the entertainment gadgets and devices that we use constantly throughout the day. I recommend nothing less than an SPF50 but if you have a lower sun protection factor sunscreen then use what you have until you are able to invest in a higher SPF.
A grooming routine during this time is just as important as good diet and exercise. Your skin will thank you for it when we are finally emerge from lockdown.