beauty

'How my skincare routine helps soothe my lockdown anxiety.'

I've always been an anxious person, but the current state of the world isn't helping. I've been in lockdown for over two months, I miss my family and friends, and my favourite breakfast spot is five kilometres away. 

It's pretty hard not to feel constantly overwhelmed, and my anxiety is at an all-time high. 

Watch: The things you probably wouldn't say in the new normal of lockdowns and closed borders. Post continues below.


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So, besides the usual techniques of walking, taking deep breaths and occasionally trying to practice yoga in my tiny living room, (which can barely fit my chihuahua, let alone my body lengthways), I've developed a new skincare routine that is surprisingly helping me cope.  

At the beginning of lockdown, I didn't really do anything to take care of myself. I went through the motions of ordering groceries online, (I recommend trying every Tim Tam hybrid), trying to get out of the house at least once a day, and spending far too much time staring at my own face in Zoom work meetings

Listen: Skin freaking out during lockdown? Here's why (and how to fix it!). Post continues below.

After work, I'd endlessly scroll on my phone, while semi watching a show on a streaming platform. I wasn't focusing on making myself feel recharged, instead I focused on distracting myself. 

At the end of every day I felt drained, and sometimes I'd barely taken a hundred steps.  

It was in my third week of lockdown that I came up with my soothing new skincare routine

When I was a kid, my mum used to put lavender under my pillow to help me sleep and feel calm. I always found it worked, or at the very least, it smelled nice, so I figured it couldn't help to slap some on my face. 

Sadly, I have super dry skin that is prone to flaking, redness and feeling tight and irritated, so finding products that don't end up giving me a rash is hard work.  

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My skin is also especially sensitive, I thought not wearing any makeup anymore would help, but then I was suddenly in my tiny terrace all day with the air conditioning blaring, (might start a GoFundMe for my upcoming electricity bill). 

My skin was not looking its best and was more sensitive than usual, so I wanted natural products that offered the added bonus of (hopefully) helping me feel more calm.  

And... I found them! 

I ended up ordering a face mask, Beauty Sleep by Lush, $25.95. It's made of lavender and neroli and other presumedly good stuff. I wanted something lavender-based for its known calming abilities. 

Image: Supplied 

Unlike other face masks that promise to brighten and plump my skin (which sounds great, but sometimes makes me look puffy), Beauty Sleep promised it would boost my hydration and help get me ready to sleep. What's more soothing than that?  

Lush delivered! You only need to use the mask once or twice a week, but I love how it smells like pure lavender and feels cool and soothing on my skin, kinda like applying a hug.

So I use it every day after I sign off from my work. It signals the end of the day for me, and forces me to embrace a more relaxed state. I apply it in my very tiny bathroom, and then I lay down on my bed and listen to a podcast, while I let my skin drink it in.  

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Image: Supplied 

I could just wash it off in the sink but instead, I head into the shower and I use my new body wash, also by Lush - Honey I Washed The Kids, $9.50. 

This shower wash promises to sooth and hydrate the skin and I promise it does, it also smells exactly like honey and is made with absolutely no chemicals. 

I wanted a honey-based product because honey has anxiolytic properties in it, which means it can be capable of reducing anxiety. I lather this all over my body, and it never leaves any place feeling dry.  

Image: Supplied 

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Any product made with honey gets a tick in my book because it naturally has antibacterial and antiseptic abilities, so it makes me feel clean and calm and maybe just a little bit safer.  

Once I'm out of the shower, I finish off with Glow Recipe's Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $36.

Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, so the fact it's being used in a moisturiser makes sense. I was also looking for something banana-based because bananas are rich in B-vitamins - and that’s a key to the production of serotonin. 

I love this face cream because it's not too thick or sheer and it smells exactly like a banana (or maybe even banana muffins!). I apply this after my shower and walk around feeling like a gorgeous banana smoothie.

Image: Supplied 

I find Banana Soufflé never irritates my skin and actually seeps in. I can feel the difference afterwards if I touch my face. It helps combat the tightness, but it also makes me feel soothed and refreshed. 

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Honestly, if you are feeling anxious, I don't ever thinking rubbing natural ingredients on your face and smelling nice things, won't make you feel better.  

During lockdown my skincare routine has become a mini escape. Something to mark the end of my day. Something to make sure I shower every day and something that forces me to take a breath, get off my phone and just 'be' for a second. 

I love these three products because they utilise three of my favourite natural ingredients: lavender, honey and banana. (I need to find a candle made from that).  

What I love most about my skincare routine is that it makes me feel recharged, gives me a second to slow down my breathing and obviously, it's nice for my skin to no longer be peeling. 

While it doesn’t completely cure my anxiety, it does make me feel refreshed - and managing to feel refreshed in a lockdown is pretty bloody impressive. 

What are some things you like to do to help yourself unwind and recharge? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Mary Madigan/ Mamamia.

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