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Self-care tips when working from home

Friday March 27 2020
STYLE PIC

A woman in the office. Use products specifically designed for skincare. PHOTO | FILE

By CAROL ODERO

Working from home seems like one of those things you would love to do on a daily basis. You’re free from the all-seeing all-roving eye of the employer.

However, this is not the time to flop about in self-neglect. You will someday emerge from this cocoon, and join the land of the living.

Meanwhile, you wash your hands 16 times an hour and use hand sanitisers with 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol.

And now that you are not preparing for work like you used to, you just roll out of bed and get on with life.

I am here to tell you that needs to stop before you get stuck in a rut. Even though we think it takes 21 days to form a habit, it takes 66, and this could be the beginning of a more useful life. Use the rest of your self-quarantine to set up a routine.

SKIN CARE REGIMEN

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There are things that will need to ground you in these uncertain times — your self-care and skin care regimen are exactly those things. No, the world is not ending. Yes, I am certain.

No, I did not get a visit from the blessed virgin or the son of God. I am simply going by what is happening in Wuhan, China.

The sun will shine again. In the meantime, you need to keep waking up at 4.30am like you used to, and work out, and shower, and prepare your lunch and breakfast, and get to work as if nothing has happened even though everything is flipped upside down.

As you can see, there is a whole lot of self that is involved in staying alive. If you still do not have a desire to take all this seriously, you could at least trust that your life has changed considerably for at least a month.

The one thing you will need to take care of is the most obvious — your skin. This is going to require a routine, and the regular loving of yourself if you are to stay alive for you, your loved ones and the rest of us.

First things first. Your hands must be dry from all the hand washing you have been doing. We know hands are the surest giveaway to age, but this is not the reason you need to take care of them.

SOAP

No matter how moisturising a soap is — and it is surprising no one has done a campaign about the quality of their soap — it will dry out you skin.

The one thing you are going to need is a rich, creamy moisturiser. Lotions will just not cut it this time. If you had not got into the habit of washing your hands, you are bound to develop it now, which is why you need to pay attention to the quality of hand cream you can lay your mitts on.

I currently use Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. The tube says it is good for up to 200 concentrated applications. It is so moisturising that I use it on my face.

You need just a smidge and off you go. I would also recommend Eucerin products, especially for psoriasis and eczema. I suggest not washing your hands with hot water even if you are dying to experience the sensual pleasure of heated water passing through your fingers.

It is not the temperature that kills off the family of ick in your hands. It is the soap.

Psoriasis or eczema could flare up with stress and extra dryness. To prevent that look, go for gentle soap like Dove. They are a treat on the hands. If your hands itch after washing, they could be reacting to a drying or harsh ingredient in the soap, causing contact dermatitis.

LAUNDRY SOAP
You are not allergic to hand washing. This tends to happen mostly with laundry soap. Or, if you are being economical and buying soap by the gallon, it could be of a harsher consistency.
The same care should be transferred to your face. If you are doing the mostest, stop. Facials are still only once-a-week affairs. Scrub less. Use gentler products. Catch up on your sleep. Stay hydrated. Work out and bring blood to your face. This will leave you feeling and looking more awake.

The best part about staying home is that you do not have to wear make-up every day. You can reduce the SPF factor down to SPF15.

Without make-up, you will be able to tell what kind of state your skin is really in, if your products are actually working, and how to rejig your skincare.

You have several weeks. Without make-up, you can finally take a good look at the texture of your skin and its degree of hydration. Do you need sebum control or hydration?

What you need to NOT do is apply all kitchen products on your face. Put aside the eggs, bananas, avocados, lemons and tomatoes.

I don’t care what Google says. Use products specifically designed for skincare. Do not let boredom lead you astray. Now is not the time to rush into casualty or pharmacies willy nilly because of an allergic reaction. Stay the course.

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