8 Ways to Build a Self-Care Routine You Can Feel Good About
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Most of us went through a serious personal care and hygiene “adjustment” over the past year during Covid. I stopped wearing makeup pretty much every day. And many days I didn’t even bother with deodorant (don’t worry, I do wear if it I’m meeting anyone outside of my immediate family although I’ve now switched to a natural brand). My husband shaved his head and grew out a Ragnar. Even our teenagers were noticeably less showered (and that’s coming from a low base to start with). And you must have been living in a cave if you missed the celebrity bathing “controversy.”
But while some things have slipped a bit, much of the reworking of our routines has been good and sustainable. Many of us have simplified our routines, which is a good thing. We also have the unique opportunity of revisiting which products we are using and, ideally, opting for clean, non-toxic beauty and personal-care products.
Take this time to educate yourself on what you are putting in and on your body. Start reading the ingredient labels on what you’re using; you might be shocked at what you find (90% of haircare products on the market still contain either sulfates, parabens or phthalates). Check out this list of 12 toxic cosmetic ingredients from EWG and see what might be lurking in your beauty products.
Here are some of our tips for holding on to some of the simpler things that work for us while also kicking it up a notch so we don’t feel like complete neanderthals. It’s all about finding that happy medium that will work for you — and be sustainable moving forward.
1. Get back to the indulgent basics
Focus on clean, high-performing products that will make you feel like you’re having professional services at home, whether that’s skincare or haircare. Having glowing skin that doesn’t require foundation or loads of makeup is fantastic and much healthier. And the right haircare products will keep your hair hydrated, healthy and manageable — you won’t need to shampoo as often, which is a plus. Look for shampoos without sulfates, parabens or phthalates.
2. Try to find multi-tasking products
This way, you can still keep things simple but not feel like you’re cutting corners. There are a lot of great skincare products that have multiple benefits or will take care of multiple areas (so you don’t need to buy 40 products — which is how many the average woman owns according to Good Housekeeping).
3. Get a low-maintenance hair cut
Shaggy bobs are in. So are mullets. Go for that cute pixie cut you’ve always wanted. It makes it so much easier to be Zoom ready, and you won’t have to rely on so much heat styling, which isn’t good for your hair.
4. Don’t forget to take care of yourself from the inside out
High-quality collagen can really enhance the strength of your skin and hair from the inside. There are also some great hair-growth supplements if you need those and, of course, staying on top of your vitamins and supplements to boost your immune system and energy is always a smart decision.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
I now take sleep supplements pretty regularly, and they really help me not just get to sleep, but stay asleep, which becomes more elusive as you age, it seems. There are some fantastic CBD and CBN options as well as THC hybrids if you’re lucky enough to live in a state where it’s legal.
6. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the little things
Don’t give up those small additions that make you feel put together. I like my lip gloss. Even if I’m wearing a mask, I put some on so I feel done and my lips don’t feel naked. So, whatever those little touches are for you, go for it.
7. Find products the whole family can use
It has really simplified our shower clutter once we all started using the same haircare products (gender neutral and all about hydration of course). That’s a bit harder with skincare, but we’re slowly aligning around a body lotion and body wash that everyone likes.
8. If you love a good scent, get a luxe candle
Just look for a cleaner burning one (beeswax). And if you like to wear fragrance, then be wary of phthalates that can be hidden in fragrances. Labeling regulations don’t require manufacturers to disclose what’s in their fragrance on the packaging (although we do it on ours and many other bands are starting to as well).
As we continue to adjust to our new Covid reality (not to mention the countless climate-crisis issues around us), we can still take care of ourselves — just in a more low-maintenance way. This is a good thing: It’s time to be healthier and simplify a part of our lives so we can better focus on our priorities.
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