Self-isolation and salon closures call for us to embrace a new low-maintenance beauty routine. Our expert Fiona Tuck breaks down the physical and psychological upsides of doing no-beauty.
We’re in lockdown and so is your beauty routine – and yeah, it’s not ideal, nor can we control it. But what we can control is our thought process and the simple act of looking on the bright side of this whole situation.
One way to look at missing your brow lamination appointment or your regular light therapy facial is the upside of doing no beauty. And by that, we don’t just mean the dollars (and time) you’re about to save.
Perhaps this is the excuse you’ve been looking for to finally clear out your cupboards and jump on the clean beauty bandwagon, to get into a more low-maintenance routine or to try your hand at homemade skincare. It’s also an opportunity to take a beauty break and let your body do it’s own thing – au naturel.
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The physical benefits
Think about how often you have beauty treatments. Your body doesn’t have a chance to take a break – but the same goes for what you do at home. “I often see the overuse of products, whether it be too much makeup or skincare, when we overuse products and over-stimulate the skin we can cause more harm,” explains skincare expert and nutritionist Fiona Tuck. “Too many comedogenic ingredients or active ingredients can lead to breakouts or bumpy skin (a condition known as acne cosmetic), we can also see skin sensitivity and dryness due to an impaired skin barrier function. Less is often best.”
“Too many spray or fake tans can lead to an accumulation of patchy skin. Many spray tans also contain chemicals and fragrance which have no skin conditioning benefits. Use this time to give your skin a break from and instead exfoliate and moisturise the skin.”
Your skin is your largest organ, doing less gives it a chance to ‘breathe’ and focus on nourishment.
Your fortnightly to monthly mani and pedi is likely doing more harm than good to your nails – even though you may not be able to see it. “Acrylic, shellac, glue and even polish can all dry and damage nails leaving them dry, weak, discoloured and brittle,” says Tuck. “Use this time to allow the nails to strengthen by hydrating them with nourishing oils topically and through a diet rich in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, dairy and seaweed.” Try a clean beauty manicure, which uses no polish and instead natural products to revive damaged nails, read about it here.
RELATED: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO REMOVING GEL NAILS AT HOME.
Lashes and brows
Lash extensions weaken the lashes and can cause them to fall out, especially if you’re continually getting them done without any breaks to help the hair strengthen and refortify. The same goes for your brows, continuous grooming, waxing and plucking means there’s no space for them to grow or thicken. Now is the perfect time to let your extensions grow out and for your brows to thicken up. Try a conditioning treatment containing hydrating and nourishing plant oils like Bondi Boost Lash and Brow Serum ($39.95, at Bondi Boost) to help to enrich hair with fatty acids and proteins to boost growth.
From foils and dyes to heavy masks, heat tools and scalp-clogging treatments, it’s rare our hair doesn’t get pulled and tugged at. Put down the hairdryer and pick up a scalp treatment, because that’s where good hair begins. Aveda Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser ($64, at Aveda) helps to balance sebum levels and purify the roots and scalp skin for healthy hair growth.
There’s emotional benefits, too
Think of this as an opportunity to embrace your natural beauty. Invest your time and energy into nourishing beauty practices such as self-body massage, dry body brushing and scalp massages to reconnect with yourself.
A beauty detox
Give your body a ‘beauty detox’. “Spray tans, hair dyes, gel nails, and perfumed body lotions can contain strong chemicals, residues of which may be absorbed through the skin placing a burden on the liver and lymphatic system,” explains Tuck. “Our bodies are equipped to detoxify naturally but the burden is dependent on the chemical load and how well the body can eliminate. Exercise is important to help stimulate the lymphatic system as is minimising junk food and alcohol. Supporting with a healthy diet is also paramount,” she adds.
Other ways you can help support detoxification is through dry body brushing, which stimulates the lymphatic system, or through inner beauty supplements like Vita Sol Healthy Liver & Gut Support ($59, at Vita Sol).
Experiment with ‘clean’ beauty
If you’ve been meaning to make the switch to more natural products – whether it be in household cleaners, your beauty regime or small sustainable switches – now is the time. “As many of us have extra time on our hands during isolation, it’s time to clear out our bathroom cabinets and makeup bags and reassess our beauty routine,” says Tuck.
Start by slowly replacing your expired or unwanted products with natural or cleaner alternatives, rather than just replacing your whole bathroom cupboard all at once.
“It’s important to note that some ‘natural’ beauty products can be rich in heavy waxes and oils that may be comedogenic, so when in doubt always seek advice from a professional skin therapist. Many skin clinics are taking their business online to offer virtual skin consults during the COVID-19 closure, which can give you the opportunity to show your therapist through your makeup bag and bathroom cabinet.”
Fiona Tuck is a skincare expert and nutritionist and founder of Vita Sol .
More essential coronavirus reading:
Read up on what the government lockdown means for you, understand why Aussie doctors are up arms, be aware of the ‘hidden symptom’ of COVID-19 carriers, prepare yourself for the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, get your sweat on at home with these free online workouts before reviving your over-washed hands with this DIY balm, and then console yourself with these unexpected joys.