At the start of the month, I resolved to use a sheet mask every day in an attempt to whittle down my ever-growing collection. I had also been getting lazy with my routine, although I would consider being sick for most of January as a valid excuse for that.
And then in mid-March, the Coronavirus pandemic led to local governments here making the call to quarantine and shut down non-essential businesses.
Aside from very brief trips to the supermarket and a short drive around my neighborhood on a pleasant spring day, I have been holed up at home, presumably to do all the skincare I want!
This Isn’t Out of the Ordinary For Me, But…
I have been a remote worker for the last decade. As a grizzled Work From Home veteran, I’m no stranger to going days without stepping foot outside.
But just because I can do it doesn’t mean I like doing it for an extended period of time.
Before the pandemic, I could make the choice to move my workspace somewhere else — usually, a cafe. If I wanted to get out of the house for a change of scenery, especially on a nice day, I had the privilege of doing that. Since that’s not an option right now, the walls certainly feel like they’re caving in.
(Sure, I could still work outside in my yard if I want to. But I’m personally not a fan of doing that. And the weather here has been fickle.)
While I enjoy spending time at home, I also like to get out and do things like go to karate class, catch up with friends over a meal/drinks, hit up some boutiques, or treat myself to a spa day.
I’ve been filling my time at home with workouts, reading, cooking, and yes, Netflix binges. As for keeping in touch with friends, we’ve all been doing our part to bridge the gap through text messages and video chats. It all helps instill a sense of normalcy and human connection.
What About Skincare During Quarantine?
You’d think that more time at home would be the perfect impetus for committing to daily masking and extra skincare routines.
But for me, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, I haven’t even masked every day! (Although I can admit that I can count my maskless days on one hand.)
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Is that all there is… to a morning routine? For me, lately, yes. Two steps. First is the @sonandparkofficial Beauty Water, which I received in my @kbeauty.in.ny VIP swag bag a few months back. It's a double duty product that cleanses and gently exfoliates. Key ingredients include willow bark, papaya, lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract. What I especially love about this formula: it doesn't foam or get soapy. As much as I love Keep Cool, I'm not a fan of their reformulated cleansing water. 😬 I much prefer the OG version. Nonetheless, I'm glad I have this Beauty Water in my stash. It's quite nice. And then there's the @purito_official Green Level Centella Unscented Sunscreen. This is also a double duty product, at least for me. It's moisturizing enough that I don't need to rely on a separate cream. (Also helps that it has hyaluronic acid, I suppose.) Between this and my go-to evening routine, I'm all about scaling down lately. But you know what? My skin is in stellar shape lately (KNOCK ON WOOD) so if it ain't broke, why try to fix it, hmm? How minimal is your morning routine?
My daytime skincare routine already is minimal…when I actually decide to do it. On days I know I won’t be leaving the house or going on camera, I let it go. Wise? Maybe not. I don’t think I’ll ever be that person who has a regular extensive daytime routine, even if I have more time to dive into one.
Daytime is when I get most of my work done. I’ll never be that person who masks while working from home. For me, masking is a treat — something I do to relax. I’m not keen to blur those lines.
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Forgive me, #skincarecommunity, for I have sinned… I fell asleep without doing a full routine last night… And I had makeup on. 😰 (I did wake up in the wee hours of the morning to take my makeup off with cleansing water, but that was all. I was too out of it to do anything else.) As penance, I'll be treating my skin to an *extra* routine, complete with double masking! Despite the blip last night I've otherwise been doing an okay job of maintaining my routine. And jokes aside, if you find yourself in a similar situation, please don't beat yourself up over it. Ish happens. And times are, well, weird, especially if staying indoors exclusively isn't your norm. Take care, stay in as much as you can, and don't forget to wash your hands. **Some items gifted**
Nighttime is when I go all-in on my routine. But I haven’t been on top of that, either. In fact, I even fell asleep one night without washing makeup off my face! It almost seems inexcusable for me to do that, seeing as I’m just staying in the house doing “nothing.” But if I recall correctly, it was on a day I left the house and I wanted to dress up. (In other words: put on some lipstick and wear something other than pajamas.) Chances are I was lulled asleep by whatever Korean drama was streaming on my television at the time. It happens!
Why Haven’t I Made Quarantine Routine More Extra?
Simply put: I haven’t felt like it. My approach to skincare hasn’t changed much because my working life, in particular, hasn’t changed.
If I worked in an office or on-site somewhere else every day, and then suddenly had all this time at home to do whatever I wanted, maybe I’d have a different approach. It’d be something new for me to try.
One thing that has changed during my time under quarantine, and not for the better, is my increase in sweets and dairy, especially milk. The first week under lockdown, I regularly indulged in Pop Tarts with a tall glass of milk. Then my chin and jaw started breaking out. My diet isn’t the only thing I could fault here, as I had once again been slacking on my skincare routine a bit.
I haven’t cut out the sweets and milk completely, but I’m not consuming those items every single day anymore. Oh, and I’ve been more attentive to my skin by making mindful decisions about what products and ingredients to use. Now my face is much clearer.
Not Beating Myself Up Over It, Though!
Falling asleep with makeup on is a huge sin, and something I thought I could get away with doing in my younger, dumber years. I’m not proud of myself for doing it recently, while quarantined at home, no less. But I’m not raking myself over the coals about it, either.
Same with not going all-in with my skincare routine. Or missing a night or two of masking for whatever reason (probably tiredness). I’m not going to make myself feel bad about making mistakes.
For the most part, my day-to-day routine hasn’t changed, so neither has my attitude towards skincare. I do wish I was less lazy some evenings — or rather, better at doing my skincare earlier in the evening before I’m too tired to do anything else! Perhaps that’ll be something for me to work on these next few weeks I’m in Corona-induced captivity.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind during this time is to be kind. Kind to others, and especially to ourselves. The world feels like it’s going to hell in a handbasket right now. Everything is far from perfect or ideal. Showing compassion — inward and outward — will be more impactful than being needlessly harsh and critical.
And of course, this extends beyond skincare. We need each other more than ever right now. So much is beyond our control and we’re all doing the best we can.
Coming Up Next…
I held an informal poll on Instagram about skincare routines during quarantine. What did the results show? I’ll be sharing those stats later this week.
In the meantime, if you have anything to share about how you’ve been approaching Skincare in the Time of Corona, leave a comment below!
Masks in the featured image:
Kosette Care Nanofilter Sumisimi Mask from Kosette Beauty
Lovemore Rose Hybrida Brightening Sheet Mask from GlowieCo (gifted)
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I am not a professional. All opinions are my own.