Let’s face it; quarantine sucks. I miss my friends, family and social activities so much that it almost feels like a decade – not 6 weeks – since I saw them. That said, I’m trying to find the silver linings, and one of them is the extra time I’ve had to spend on self-care. My quarantine skincare routine is a blissful ritual that makes me feel good about myself again amongst the long days of ups and downs, and in my mind it somewhat counteracts the copious amounts of chocolate and alcohol that I’ve been inhaling since lockdown began.
Check out my routine, including some hot new product reviews, below:
I don’t know what it is about being indoors for so long but it leaves my skin feeling clammy and congested. It’s no secret that Precleanse is – after 7 years of daily use – still my favourite skincare product of all time. If I had to pick one product to take on a desert island, it would be a litre of this stuff. Massage it into dry skin and watch makeup and dirt melt away; add water and it emulsifies immediately leaving your skin feeling instantly refreshed and bare again. It also has an incredibly relaxing aromatherapy scent. In the past if I’ve come home late from a night out, and can’t be bothered with a full skincare routine, I’ve just used this and taken it off with a warm cloth – MUCH better than the dreaded face wipes.
A new kid on the block, Funderm boasts powerful prebiotic and probiotic ingredients designed to clear breakouts and reduce inflammation, and I have to say I’m sold. I’m usually lucky enough to have relatively few breakouts, but lockdown has changed that completely. Thankfully, this light foamy cleanser enriched with Dead Sea minerals has made light work of my pimples and they have faded faster than normal, without drying up or leaving nasty scars. I use it with a silicone brush in the shower for best results.
The most popular product (and brand) around right now. To begin with I simply didn’t believe something so cheap could be as good as all the hype suggested. I was wrong. At home acid peels have gradually become stronger and more effective since retail concentration limits were relaxed a few years back. Before, you would have had to fork out for a salon treatment for anything above a 5% Glycolic Acid peel. This little bottle boasts a powerful combination of ‘30% Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric), 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry’ that is designed to tackle blemishes, boost brightness and smooth out texture.
The spawn of cult beauty brand Deciem, The Ordinary is making waves in no-nonsense, high strength skincare that is affordable for all. For a while now, I’ve been using a VERY expensive acid peel from another brand, and I swapped it out to test this. Needless to say, I won’t be going back. Sure, you look like someone has peeled your face off with its blood-like colour and consistency, but the results leave your skin as soft as silk the next morning.
Word of warning: if your skin isn’t used to acids, proceed with caution. This is a high-concentration exfoliation treatment that will tingle for most people but could burn or cause irritation to sensitive skin. That said, The Ordinary have a whole range of acids at varying strengths so that you can work your way up to stronger ones. I use this once or twice a week and that’s all I need. It truly is a miracle in a bottle, and my favourite new addition to my quarantine skincare routine.
Once you’ve exfoliated, this is the perfect time to use a mask. I mean, it’s not a quarantine skincare routine without a face mask, right?! I’ve tried out a lot of pink/red clay masks since they became popular a few years back, and I have to say this is the creamiest, dreamiest one of them all. With a light, pleasant scent and again containing pre and probiotics, it’s a great skin-clearing treat to draw out impurities. It doesn’t dry tightly and comes off easily with a warm flannel.
Skincare addicts will know and love Vitamin C because of its powerful antioxidant and repairing properties. A great way to start is by increasing Vitamin C naturally in your diet, but topical treatments are also shown to support skin cell renewal and even prevent UV damage.
This isn’t exactly a cheap product, but I think it’s worth it. I’m on my second bottle to prove it. I took it on my sunny holiday last year and definitely noticed an improvement in my skin’s appearance after sunbathing (just don’t leave out the SPF – it’s not a substitute!). It soaks in well and leaves a silky, supple feeling to your skin.
I was gifted this oil at an event hosted by Elle Magazine’s UK beauty editor Jennifer George, where we were taught how to use it for a facial massage technique that is now a firm stage of my quarantine skincare regimen. This luxurious oil from Guerlain contains natural honey and Royal Jelly, and is designed to smooth and plump the skin. It’s incredibly rich but my skin seems to need more moisture than ever right now. Within 20 minutes or so it’s completely soaked in. I’ve also heard it works nicely as a hair oil. You can watch my facial massage routine in my ‘Day in the Life’ Vlog here.
I don’t know what it is about my lips, but almost every single lip treatment I’ve tried has the complete opposite of the desired effect and dries them out more! That was until my friend recommended this little gem. It’s a very thick (but not sticky) serum that gradually soaks into the lips and has honestly made such a difference for me. Gone is the flakiness of winter and central heating, and here to stay is a soft juicy pout – not that I can actually kiss anyone with it – alas, we can’t get around everything in quarantine!
If you’re lucky enough to have access to some outdoor space as I am, DO NOT FORGET SPF. You don’t really need me to tell you that though, do you? I’m not a fan of wearing a full face of makeup just now (another silver lining of lockdown – my foundation isn’t running out so quickly!) but a light coverage tinted moisturiser does wonders for my confidence on a Zoom call and this one has a decent broad spectrum SPF too. A lot of SPFs break me out but so far, so good with this one. It’s a brand I love and I’ll probably stick with it for the foreseeable.
There you have it! My 8-step quarantine skincare routine is long but luxurious, and leaves my skin at least feeling much better about the whole situation we’re in right now.
Please leave me a comment if you have any questions about the products or regime below!
* Gifted. I review all gifted products for a minimum of 4 weeks and all opinions are my own.
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