By Kenya Mortimer-Mckenzie
We are living during challenging times for the skin. Such times require unique and desperate measures. What can you do for your skin during isolation? Well, you need to be prepared to do some simple at-home measures to assist your skin.
Many of us have been in lockdown for more than five weeks now and are past due for our regular grooming, whether it’s a haircut, hair colouring, a facial, manicure, pedicure, or even body sugaring or waxing services.
There are some things we can manage to live without, but others we can’t. Our skin care happens to be one of those areas. Some of you are struggling with facial breakouts or excessive facial or body hair growth at this time. This can be quite disheartening, especially for women. Keeping up with grooming is now a major challenge.
Here are some tips that can help you while you stay safe at home.
Waxing and sugaring
Waxing requires little skill and can be done relatively easy at home with a little practice (see online instructional videos). If you are the adventurous type you may have already done this. You may be able to find a small at-home kit during this time in a large pharmacy to do your waxing.
However, it’s not that simple with body sugaring, as it’s a more complicated technique that requires skillful training and practice to remove hair effectively. It’s can be difficult for most to put a razor or tweezer to their skin after waxing or sugaring. Unfortunately, at this time you don’t have much of a choice because your favourite sugaring technician or waxing lady is also in isolation. So the question remains, what can you do to maintain a level of sanity when it comes to your grooming?
The one thing that you are told not to do in between your hair removal treatments you will need to reconsider. You have two options: you can either let the hair grow or you can shave it. For many women, shaving and tweezing are evil. So it would be like choosing between the lesser of two evils. Not a good position to be in, right?
Shaving or trimming is recommended because it will cause less damage if you only do the very minimum, and only a few times. At this point it’s better than using a depilatory cream that is filled with harsh chemicals. The depilatory cream works similar to shaving by removing hair from the surface of the skin. Tweezing would interfere more with the hair growth cycle because you are plucking hair from the follicle, and that can conflict with the results from your waxing or shaving regimen.
On the other hand, we have to be mindful of a necessary process when we remove hair, and especially when we switch methods of hair removal. That process is exfoliation.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the upper level of your skin to expose healthy, new cells.
Exfoliation is very crucial at this time to keep the skin soft and smooth, and free from ingrown hairs. This is not the time to have painful ingrown hairs. But with a good exfoliating routine you can survive despite the circumstances.
There are two main types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical exfoliation.
Mechanical exfoliation requires a physical movement using a tool like a brush, sponge or a scrub to remove dead skin cells.
When using this form of exfoliation you have to be careful, be very gentle, especially when exfoliating the face. Some granules can be abrasive and can cut the skin, so do a patch test first and ensure that the granules are smooth enough.
Examples of exfoliants you can use for the body are ground brown sugar, ground sea salt, coffee grounds, and oatmeal. However, more gentle granules would be more beneficial for the face, such as baking soda or very finely ground oatmeal. You can add any of the following ingredients to your exfoliants: honey, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and other essential oils
Chemical exfoliation on the other hand is more effective. It involves the use of acids to gently remove dead skin cells. An example of a chemical exfoliant that you may have access to at this time would be apple cider vinegar, but it should be diluted for safety.
Exfoliate your face at least one to two times a week for good results and your body two to three times a week. Exfoliation is most important at this time to keep your skin smooth a soft.
• Kenya Mortimer-McKenzie is an anti-aging skin care specialist at the Baha Retreat Anti-Aging Spa. Visit www.baharetreat.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.