It is difficult to find positives in the context of a second lockdown, apart from the big-picture ones, and frankly, we’re all sick of talking about those. “That may be so, Theresa,” you might think on yet another video call with an elderly aunt as she thanks the Lord we have our health while nodding beatifically, “but I’d roast the hind leg of the lamb of God himself if it meant I could safely get my roots done and invite some friends around for Sunday dinner.”
Beauty is not just about self-care and sanity – it is also a social outlet, and we are once again unable to avail of the services of our beloved professionals. In the meantime, though, you can use the time to embark on a beauty-related project by tackling an ongoing skin issue. Now that the days are shorter and we are indoors more, it is the ideal time to add active ingredients such as retinol and vitamin C to your skincare routine.
Vitamin C is vulnerable to light exposure and won’t do its best work in strong sunlight, while retinol sensitises the skin to sun, and increases your risk of sunburn. Zelens Power C Treatment (€57 at cloud10beauty.com) is miraculous, working on pigmentation from sun exposure and breakouts, as well as brightening the skin overall. Start incorporating it into your routine now, and you will see results before lockdown ends.
I’ve written a lot about retinol in previous columns, but there are always people whose sensitive skin doesn’t get on well with that potent form of Vitamin A. Bakuchiol is a natural alternative. Let me be frank: it will not give you anything close to the results of retinol (marketing jargon loves to promise otherwise). However, it does get to work gently resurfacing and improving fine lines and is a good choice if retinol – which can cause peeling and sensitivity – isn’t for you. Try Trilogy Bakuchiol+ Booster Treatment (€32 at selected pharmacies nationwide).
For improving the effectiveness of existing skincare and plumping the skin overall, start using a good hyaluronic acid now. Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Hydra-Plumping Serum Capsules (€50 for 30 capsules from Brown Thomas) are completely biodegradable and each dose is fresh and protected from contamination by light or air. Apply to damp skin before your serum or moisturiser – they will better penetrate the skin and dehydrated skin will feel more comfortable by morning.
We serially neglect bodycare in winter but a regular body routine can be a lovely nurturing lockdown project for crepe arms, dull abdomens and ashy knees. Glossier have launched a lovely new exfoliator and an oil as additions to their bestselling body collection, and you can buy them individually, but if budget and inclination allow, you can buy the Complete Body Hero Collection (€67 at Glossier.com) containing their Body Hero Oil Wash, Perfecting Cream (which has a delectable pearlescent glow) and the two new additions. With regular use, you’ll be dolphin-smooth by the time we can once again venture forth.