Another week closer to returning to normality for us all thankfully, that being said there are a few quarantine habits that I will be bringing back to the new normal for sure. The extra time I have had has made me realise that lockdown is the perfect time to form a good habit. Just think you can perfect these little habits now, and then make them such an integral part of your routine that you carry them on long after you are allowed back out into the world. Me time can be wonderously fufilling and like everything the look good feel better thing always helps.
Deep clean your make up brushes:
We are all wearing less make up and it is now the perfect time to do a good deep clean of your brushes and get rid of the residue and gunk that may be hiding in the depths of the bristles. We are all guilty of not caring for them as we should, but maintaining a clean set is better for your skin and will ensure that the brushes last longer. A mild baby shampoo will be a great start. Swirl the brushes in it and rinse, repeat until the water runs clear. Try to avoid getting the ferrule (metal part of the brush) submerged or too wet as this is where the glue that holds the brushes in place is. Afterwards lay them on a towel with the heads over a countertop as this allows the air to circulate and they dry better. Always reshape them while they are wet. Invest also in a spot cleaning product. Irish brand Ella and Jo Squeaky-Clean Brush Cleanser is a fresh scented cleanser designed to remove makeup from your brushes between uses and deep cleans. Keeping your makeup brushes pristine while on the go has never been easier with the Squeaky-Clean Brush Cleanser. With a zest of Orange Peel Oil your brushes will smell and feel cleaner than ever! Anti-bacterial & conditioning – only the best for the brushes you love & use every day.
Get to grips with Retinol
For many of us the perceived downtime when it comes to retinol has always been a factor to consider when embarking on incorporating it into your routine. And it is true, it can take a little time for your skin to build a tolerance to retinol, but that is why a lockdown is a good time to start. There is little reason to Begin by using it just a couple of evenings a week, before building up to more regular use. Always use an SPF, even if you are staying indoors as it is an essential part of your regimen. There are several brands I rate quite highly on the retinol spectrum, which one you choose should depend on your budget, commitment, and lifestyle. I have recently started using the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair €94.00. This concentrated customisable night-time Retinol treatment cream accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of skin aging. Active 0.5% microencapsulated pure Retinol helps increase cell turnover. Powerful peptides and antioxidant Vitamin C help reduce uneven skin tone and discoloration. It is a good one to start with as it includes a buffer cream meaning that you can start gently and work your way up.
Another great one for the more advanced user is the Neo Strata Retinol NAG Complex €83.50. Powerful and high strength complex delivers 0.5% pure, stabilised Retinol along with patented NeoGlucosamine® (NAG) to amplify and intensify the volumising and firming effects versus Retinol alone. Formulated with time-released microencapsulated Retinol, this complex maximizes stability while enhancing the tolerability of this potent formulation. NeoGlucosamine® is also a gentle exfoliant that helps reduce the appearance of uneven pigment and age spots. I recommend this one for use three times per week. This brand although a long time in pharmacies does not always get the recognition it deserves and is a favourite of worldwide dermatologists. I always find that I get a great result when using this.
Pestle and Mortar has always featured quite heavily in my editorials. The brand is simple, effective and a little bit of Irish Luxury. My pick from this brand is their Superstar Retinoid Night Oil 30ml €76.00. This superb night oil which supercharges the skin while you are sleeping is formulated using two types of retinol in a base of cold-pressed, organic and steam distilled oil. Superstar balances oil production stimulates collagen production and refines the skin’s surface without causing irritation. Reduces the appearance of fine lines & pore size, boosts collagen production Balances oil production Non-irritating Packaged in a black pump which minimizes air & sun exposure to keep Superstar active with every use. It really is a hero product.
A more budget friendly formula which has two powerhouse ingredients. La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum €35.00. This concentrated serum is infused with vitamin B3 to leave the skin feeling smoother, hydrated, and renewed for a dewy and healthy-looking glow. Pure and gradual release Retinol helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. This is a comfortable formula and suitable for more sensitive skin types.
Perfect a pedicure
A line I never thought I would type is to invest in a pair of plastic socks. There are currently many at home foot exfoliating socks on the market. My favourite ones are SVR Xerial Peel €20.00. They are not too harsh and work by using acids to melt away the skin. You wear the disposable socks for an hour, rinse your feet. Dry, rough, damaged, callused skin on the feet peels gradually away to reveal soft, smooth, baby-soft skin beneath. This transformation starts after 3 days and can take up to ten days to complete. Therefore, lockdown is the perfect time to get rid of dead skin and corns before the summer. Clip your nails and moisturise your feet and cuticles and by the time we emerge you will be flip flop and sandal ready.