Bodycare While You Shelter in Place
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Have you seen Ali Wong’s post about not shampooing her hair for days during California’s shelter-in-place (SIP) orders? I couldn’t help but notice that she looks great in that post! A colleague recently complained about not being able to find time to shower since she’s in Communications and is working from home as a single mom with two teenage boys. Personally I love not wearing makeup every day, although on a recent Friday night I put on red lipstick for a “date night” with my husband (we went for a walk and brought some wine). Whether you find yourself struggling with self-care while sheltering-in-place, or love the freedom to let loose at this time, check out the tips below on everything from low-maintenance haircare to indulgent rituals to try while in social isolation.
I’m pretty casual with my haircare even when I’m not home every day, but with the SIP orders I’ve taken things up a notch. I usually wash my hair about twice a week (or less). I think I went a full week without shampooing the first week of SIP! If you sweat a lot you may need to wash your hair more frequently, but most people don’t need to shampoo every day. I like washing my hair less often because it doesn’t strip my hair like daily washing does, and my scalp has adjusted to producing less oil. Washing less often also saves on shampoo costs, so I don’t feel as bad spending more for natural and organic shampoo and conditioner. Between washes you can use a dry shampoo to absorb oil and keep your hair looking great. You can even make your own dry shampoo, just google DIY dry shampoo for recipe ideas (cocoa powder makes a great dry shampoo and smells amazing!). If you prefer to purchase a dry shampoo there are many options available. My favorite dry shampoo is locally made by Fox and Doll. Wear a hat or pull your hair back if you have video-conferences during SIP, and don’t worry about styling your hair if you want to save time.
Low-maintenance body care
If you can’t shower as much as you’d like, try using a regular personal wipe, or shower sheets. Recently I’ve used a regular wipe to freshen up my armpits, before applying deodorant. The shower sheets are large enough to freshen up your whole body and they smell lovely. If you usually shave your armpits, try letting the hair there grow. You might be surprised how armpit hair helps reduce underarm body odor. Some celebrities are foregoing armpit shaving these days, so it’s not as radical as it sounds!
Now for my favorite topic: indulging. It goes without saying that this is a stressful time. If you can spare some extra time for yourself, indulging in self-care rituals can help you heal from external stressors and be in the moment.
If you have a bathtub I recommend running a hot bath, as hot as you can stand, and soaking for 45 minutes or so. Do this as often as once a day for a major stress reliever. Maybe light some candles, and add something special to the bathwater. Even if you don’t have any bath bubbles or soaks you can improvise, such as: add a few bags of your favorite tea like mint for cooling or chamomile for relaxing; pour in some body wash while the tub is filling for soapy bubbles; add some oatmeal for skin-soothing and softening benefits; a few drops of olive oil or a splash of milk will add moisturizing benefits; and for aromatherapy add up to 10 drops of essential oil. Don’t forget to have lots of drinking water on hand to keep hydrated.
Solitude and free time are a great combination for face masking. Apply your favorite mask to cleansed skin and relax for 15 to 20 minutes while the treatment works magic on your skin. I love Andalou’s Sensitive 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask for when my skin is dry or in between other treatments I use, and I use Herbivore’s Brighten Wet Mask for exfoliating and smoothing my skin. Confession: sometimes I mask while doing chores, but it’s nice to have time to lay back and enjoy some downtime while masking if you can! Search the internet for DIY mask ideas using common pantry items like banana, honey or avocado.
Another way to treat yourself which is popular these days is the ancient ritual of gua sha facial massage. The ritual begins by applying an ample amount of facial oil to the skin to nourish and provide a smooth surface for the massage. Then, using a special stone tool often made of quartz, you gently massage your facial contours. Wildling Beauty has created a unique gua sha tool and their website features several instructional videos for performing the “empress ritual,” a step-by-step approach to giving yourself an ultimate gua sha experience.
Be kind to yourself during this challenging time. We’re all experiencing stress and grief and we need to take the time to care for ourselves. Stay safe <3