The pandemic has turned everything upside down, from school and work routines to how we eat and drink. Not surprisingly, it’s also brought about changes in how we look at beauty and personal care. Whether you’ve gone all in on experimenting with new tinctures, makeup and accessories or become extremely low-maintenance, it’s worth considering what regimens and products make the most sense for the new normal.
Annie Siebert, OZY Contributor
cold-weather skin care plan
1. Moisturize Your Skin
The first (and admittedly the easiest) tip for getting through the driest months of the year is to amp up your moisturizer and add products that moisturize. That lightweight face lotion that leaves you dewy in the summer months won’t be able to keep up when the humidity level dips to around 20 percent. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, which is rightfully lauded for its moisture-locking properties, such as Olay’s Regenerist moisturizer and hydrating eye gel, to keep your skin looking fresh for your daily Zoom calls. And swap out drying soap for a moisturizing body wash before coating your body in lotion and crawling into bed. (I like to slather my feet in petroleum jelly in the winter and then pull on warm, thick socks for intensive foot therapy.) Buy these and other Olay beauty products at Walmart.com.
2. And the Air ...
Help your moisturizer do the work by increasing the humidity level in your home (and at your desk). A humidifier in your bedroom can keep your skin from drying out overnight, and be sure to get a desk-friendly facial humidifier to keep your skin hydrated while you plow through emails. I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of weekly humidifier cleanings, lest your healthy-air efforts devolve into humidifier lung.
3. And From the Inside Out
This is far from breaking news: You have to drink water. Yes, it’s a stressful time, and it’s easy to segue straight from coffee to cocktails, but there’s no substitute for plain old H2O. The options are seemingly limitless, from coconut to maple to hot lemon water, but a few glasses of regular tap water will do wonders for your skin (not to mention your insides).
simplify hair routines
1. Go Natural ...
Natural hair — and natural hair care — was gaining in popularity prior to the pandemic, but when salons and barbershops across the globe shut down in March, many people were left with no choice but to embrace their roots, literally. This led many to play with natural texture, embrace their curls and eschew color. Natural gray and imperfect waves feel very of-the-moment.
2. Or Go Bald
Buzz cuts allow individuals to not think about their hair at all. Every few weeks, pull out the clippers, zip it over your scalp and you’re done. From celebrities to regular folks, abandoning a hair care routine (never mind accessories, products and heated styling tools) can be freeing.
3. Tie It Up
If you have long hair (in my case, hair that hasn’t been professionally cut since February), sometimes the best thing to do is just get it off your face. I like these nonslip headbands for taming the strands that were errantly cut too short with thinning shears in my last quarantine self-cut. And if you’re standing out in the cold in an attempt to have some human connection outside your immediate household, headband-esque ear warmers can serve a similar function while keeping your ears nice and toasty.
If a red lip struck you as too daring pre-pandemic, now’s the time to give it a go. After all, many of us are just hanging out at home, bouncing between video chats. Zoom makeup is like stage makeup — you can get away with something a bit bolder than an office look. Try a flashy lip with clean brows and a swoosh of mascara, or pair a neutral lip with cat-eye liner (after practicing a few times, of course). Gesticulate much? Consider an eye-catching nail color or design.
3. Or Don’t
Staying home all the time and the rising popularity of skin care has left many makeup bags untouched for months. We have myriad larger fish to fry than whether we look like we stepped off the pages of Vogue. Besides, you look great just as you are. So invest in a solid moisturizer, drink plenty of water and eat well. These steps will have you on the road to self-care this winter.