There’s no denying the fact that 2020 has been a year that’s changed the course of human history. From the outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe to recent acts of political protest throughout America, the past few months have been unlike any other.
As we all struggle to find normalcy and cope with the many different changes within our lives, it’s important to remember to take a break. And spending some of that downtime fine-tuning a beauty and wellness routine could provide a little bit of clarity or reduce stress.
Keep reading to learn a few new ways that you can enhance your beauty routine, especially if you’re still waiting to see your stylist or esthetician. Each one of these tips can and should be performed from home, while the world continues to move forward.
Adopt Healthier Hare Care Habits
If your favorite boutique hasn’t opened or you’re on a wait list for an appointment, now’s a great time to adopt healthier hair care practices before returning to your seat in the salon chair.
For anyone who’s just starting to learn about hair care, know that shampooing and conditioning can dry out your hair. It’s best to wash your hair three times a week, instead of every time you shower, a tip that’s particularly important since many of us are at home much more often.
Additionally, make sure you spend less time applying heat to your hair, which also causes damage. Instead, try to spend some extra time air-drying.
Also remember to use water that’s lukewarm on your hair, instead of piping-hot water. Hot showers are incredibly relaxing. But if the water is almost too hot to even touch, it can strip your hair of essential oils, which will make your hair look much drier and duller.
Spend More Time Without Makeup
Skin experts agree that overusing makeup, especially foundations, can lead to skin irritation or acne breakouts. Going makeup-free for about a week or two is another way to enhance your beauty routine by giving your skin a chance to breathe.
Letting your face take a little bit of a break from makeup should minimize breakouts and give your skin time to rebuild itself—because less makeup means your skin can access more oxygen.
Since makeup sits on top of your complexion, unlike skin care products designed to penetrate and rejuvenate, makeup-free skin can better regulate itself with regards to temperature, moisture, and oil.
A week or two without makeup is enough time for your skin to appear fresher and clearer. You’ll also have more time to focus on other parts of your beauty routine. And that’s because applying and removing makeup won’t be an issue.
Consider the Ingredients in Your Beauty Products
Now’s a great time to stop and ask yourself about the ingredients in the products that you’re putting into your hair and onto your body. That’s especially true if you’re experiencing dryness, sensitivity, irritation, clogged pores, or new breakouts.
A long aisle full of hair and skin care products can feel overwhelming. So, here’s a short list of ingredients commonly found in beauty products. Minimizing or completely eliminating the use of products with these ingredients can enhance your beauty routine:
- Watch for ammonium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. They’re widely used in shampoos, bath products, hair coloring, and makeup. These ingredients can clog skin, cause acne, damage hair, and irritate the scalp.
- Avoid certain parabens, specifically butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Because they can penetrate the skin and remain within the tissue. These parabens may be found in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and facial cleansers.
- Try to stay way from products with formaldehyde, which can cause skin irritation, such as scalp burns and hair loss. Nail polishes, nail hardeners, eyelash glues, hair gels, soaps, makeup, shampoos, and lotions may all contain formaldehyde.
- Also limit the use of products with alcohols like ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat, and methanol. Creams with these alcohols can feel lighter and help other ingredients penetrate your skin. But too much of these alcohols in a product can cause dryness, irritation, or breakouts.
If you’re still a little confused on which products to avoid, enter the product in the Skin Deep ADD Cosmetics Database, which is published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Use this online resource to help you become more mindful of the ingredients in your beauty products.
Take Better Care of Your Scalp
Just because your stylist is probably the only person who sees your scalp that doesn’t mean scalp care isn’t important. Enhancing your beauty routine actually starts at the roots. Because keeping your scalp clean will promote healthy hair growth.
Proper scalp care means exfoliating to prevent oil buildup, removing dead skin cells, and getting rid of leftover product. This will prevent blockage and inflammation that could cause hair to thin later in life.
Keep your scalp clean by regularly shampooing and conditioning three times a week. Scalp concerns will vary, so invest in specific products for dandruff prevention or sensitive scalps.
Make sure to keep your scalp healthy with a moisturizing hair mask. Apply the mask directly to the scalp. They’re usually made with gentle clay or hydrating botanical oils to help balance, calm, and soothe. The end result should be hair that looks and feels softer than ever.