After being quarantined at home for many weeks, it’s likely there has been a noticeable change at your bathroom vanity. We’re not talking about all of the extra soap beside your sink but instead the lack of makeup sitting out.

Yes, you may have put on some lipstick or mascara for the occasional mandatory zoom meeting, but you've probably gone without an ounce of foundation or a stroke of blush for weeks. As odd as it may seem, this break from your daily makeup routine is actually the perfect time to refocus your attention on cleaner, healthier skin and hair. Here’s a few suggestions:

Out with the Old

Take this down time as an opportunity to purge old makeup, lotions and cleansers. Old products can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and actually harm your skin. Additionally, ingredients in some facial and body products break down and separate over time. Just because you can shake that product back to life, doesn’t mean you should be using it. If in doubt, throw it out.

This next suggestion is where you should really focus your purge. Sit down and read the ingredient labels on your bath and beauty products. In 2016, the FDA issued a ruling stating that over-the-counter consumer antiseptic products like soaps, sanitizers and gels containing triclosan and triclocarban can no longer be marketed to consumers. Other questionable ingredients to look for are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) as well as parabens like methyl, butyl, ethyl and propyl. Remember, we absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin, so it’s really important to read your product labels and know what you are using.

Keep Up with Cleansing

It’s tempting to stay in your PJs all day or skip a shower, but you need to keep up your cleansing routine even if you aren’t wearing makeup or sunscreen like you normally do. Be sure to wash your face morning and night to remove excess natural oils that can build up.

Mask Time!

Google searches for skin care facials masks were up 83% during the first six weeks of the pandemic according to a recent Beauty Independent article. It’s no wonder. People have more time to perform facial treatments while quarantined at home. Jump in and join the trend if you haven’t already! A good facial mask can help treat your skin for breakouts or dryness which often occur when your skin is reacting to stress.

Embrace Your Natural Hair

Have you been freaking out as your natural color has emerged along your part and hairline? You’re not alone! Wal-Mart’s CEO, Doug McMillon commented on the surge in sales during an April interview on The Today Show. But before you jump onto Amazon to buy some hair color, consider a return to your natural color. There’s no better time than now to give it a try. Even before the pandemic, the trend towards natural was catching on, and the pixie cut was predicted to be “the hair style” for 2020. Be bold and embrace it!

In addition to going natural with your hair color, use this time at home to treat your hair. Instead of rinsing out your conditioner, try leaving it in. A leave-in conditioner treatment can nurture natural curls and treat dry, brittle, over-worked hair.

The Nail Struggle Is Real

With many nail salons closed, the gel/acrylic nail dilemma is real! Instead of trying an at home fill, use this time to give your nails a breather and go natural for a while.

We’re also washing our hands for longer periods of time and more frequently which can cause your skin and nails to dry out. Regular moisturizing can help prevent hang nails, bleeding cuticles, and chapped hands. Be sure to use a good cuticle balm and high-quality moisturizer throughout the day to keep your hands hydrated.

Although everything we’ve shared here addresses basic grooming, it’s really about so much more. Self care in the form of facial masks and at-home manicures is not an indulgence. It’s good for your mind and mood. Even the simplest thing like taking a warm bath can do wonders for your energy and overall outlook.

As we all move forward, please keep washing your hands and keep caring for yourself. This journey to the new normal will continue to have its up and downs. We’re all looking for those rays of sunshine, and this experience has taught us about the importance of caring for ourselves, our friends and family, and our community. Be well everybody!

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