With another lockdown set to keep us all at home for the next 4 weeks (at least), if we've learned anything from the first time, it's that we really should be taking "self-care" into our own hands where we can.
Once you've been used to getting your nails, hair and facials done for you by someone else, it's no doubt difficult to have to take it all on yourself with no help. More importantly, the first nationwide lockdown emphasised the importance of wellbeing and mental health to us all. We've listed some easy self-care rituals you can take on this lockdown to make sure you're feeling and looking your best no matter what restrictions are in place:
Lockdown or not, a pamper session is a must at least once per week. With more time spent indoors, we can assign more time to deep-treating the different areas of our wellbeing that we often neglect. Take time out one evening to put on some relaxing music and run a bath or shower - the perfect time to deep-treat your skin and hair with a face or hair mask you've been waiting to use. Steam will do wonders for your skin and open your hair cuticles to allow your treatments to work better. Finish with a cold rinse to close cuticles and lock in moisture for added glow to your skin and shine to your hair.
Staying indoors means we won't need to style our hair as often - so take a well needed break from your heated appliances. If you have curly hair, spend time with your treatments and leave your hair to soak up the moisture. You'll find your curls with be shinier, softer and less dry than usual.
For heatless and effortless waves, sleep with your hair up in a twisted bun or in plaits for a more beachy effect. Your hair will thank you for allowing it time to recover and regain strength and shine.
We can't say this enough. Lockdown is the perfect time to check yourself on your water intake. Just increasing your water intake will flush toxins, increase skin elasticity, prevent premature ageing, control sebum production and protect the skin's barrier from sun damage. And it's not just your skin that will benefit, your hair will too - staying hydrated nourishes your hair and scalp, preventing brittleness, split ends, fallout and breakage.
For easy ways to hydrate your skin throughout the day, read our quick guide here.
Beautiful hair and beautiful skin happen from the inside. When things are off balance, its reflected psychology and on the outside physically. Include essential vitamins and minerals in your diet and routine that will keep you feeling and looking your best. Maintain your Vitamin B12 levels for energy throughout the lockdown and Vitamin D for your mood, joints and immunity.
Incorporate dark green vegetables and avocadoes for healthy and glowing skin and hair, and vegetables like carrots and sweet potato for Vitamin A (retinol!). Citrus fruits are great for Vitamin C and antioxidants which can help clear your skin of breakouts and restore hair health. Nuts contain zinc, great for hair growth, and Vitamin E to protect your skin from sun damage and inflammation. Mix up your diet by including superfoods into meals you usually cook - this could be as simple as adding more vegetables to your pasta, carrots to your smoothie or nuts on your cereal.
Going to the office means our down time almost always was scheduled for the evenings and weekends. But now, working from home, furlough and flexible means we can take more control of our time and how we spend it now that we're not commuting for half the day...
The sad thing is, now that our downtime isn't really scheduled for us anymore, we often neglect including sufficient time each day for our relaxation activities. Instead of the usual morning commute, using the time to meditate, shower or prep your meals for the day can set you up for a productive and pleasant day at home. Your evenings can be blocked off for your favourite Netflix shows, your social media catch-up or family time. Setting clear parameters and scheduling a flexible routine will keep the stress at bay and those wrinkles away!
Unfortunately, body hair is just something we can't escape without our trusty wax, laser or razorblade appointments. If you're unlucky enough to be particularly hard hit by beauty salons closing this lockdown, try this natural beauty hack:
Mix in a pan some lemon juice, sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Stop boiling when the liquid turns into a slimy texture. You'll want to let the mixture cool, just enough so it's comfortable enough on your skin, and apply to any hairy areas. Wait for the wax to solidify a little and pull the wax off in the opposite direction!
If you can, leaving your nails bare during lockdown will give them the break they need to grow strong for your next nail appointment. A thin layer of top coat can keep them presentable, and a quick cuticle oil application before bed or each morning can keep your fingertips hydrated and healthy. If you don't have cuticle oil, then olive oil or coconut oil will work wonders too. When you go to apply your facial oil each night, you could even just dab a little extra on your nail beds!
When we're out there mixing with the world, all of our sense are constantly stimulated. Though we're no longer mingling with friends in the evenings, trying new restaurants or inhaling the sweet smell of the underground, it's important inside and outside of lockdown to pamper your senses as well as your skin.
Burning essential oils in your living space and naturally scented candles will keep your home smelling pleasant and has been found to improve mood and productivity, as well as calm the mind from racing thoughts. Play uplifting music during the day and relaxing music during the evenings to set the tone for your activities. Try cooking new meals to excite your palette again and schedule zoom meetings with friends to eat over video call together.
There is no clear exit plan for this pandemic, and becoming as self-sufficient as we can will help us cope now, but will also help us to deal better with change in the future - and maybe even save a penny or two by pampering ourselves at home sometimes.
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