Lockdown habits that are worth keeping

We're another week closer to normality thankfully, that being said, there are a few lockdown habits that I will be bringing back to the new normal for sure. 

The extra time I have had has made me realise that lockdown is the perfect time to form a good habit. Just think - you can perfect these little habits now, and then make them such an integral part of your routine that you carry them on long after you are allowed back out into the world.

Deep clean your makeup brushes

We are all wearing less makeup and now is the perfect time to do a good deep clean of your brushes and get rid of the residue and gunk that may be hiding in the depths of the bristles. We are all guilty of not caring for them as we should, but maintaining a clean set is better for your skin and will ensure that the brushes last longer.

A mild baby shampoo will be a great start. Swirl the brushes in it and rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. Try to avoid getting the ferrule (metal part of the brush) submerged or too wet as this is where the glue that holds the brush in place is. Afterwards lay them on a towel with the heads over a countertop as this allows the air to circulate and they will dry better. Always reshape them while they are wet.

Irish brand Ella and Jo’s Squeaky-Clean Brush Cleanser is a fresh scented cleanser designed to remove makeup from your brushes between uses and deep cleans. Keeping your makeup brushes pristine while on the go has never been easier with this cleanser. With a zest of orange peel oil, your brushes will smell and feel cleaner than ever!

Get to grips with retinol

Retinol should always be a factor to consider when embarking on new stages to your skincare routine. And it is true, it can take a little time for your skin to build a tolerance to retinol, but that is why a lockdown is a good time to start. Begin by using it just a couple of evenings a week, before building up to more regular use.

Always use an SPF, even if you are staying indoors, as it is an essential part of your regimen. There are several brands I rate quite highly on the retinol spectrum, which one you choose should depend on your budget, commitment, and lifestyle.

I have recently started using the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair (€94). This concentrated customisable night-time retinol treatment cream accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of skin aging. It is a good one to start with as it includes a buffer cream meaning that you can start gently and work your way up.

Another great product for the more advanced user is the Neo Strata Retinol NAG Complex (€83.50). This powerful and high strength complex delivers 0.5 per cent pure, stabilised retinol along with patented neoGlucosamine (NAG) to amplify and intensify the volumising and firming effects versus retinol alone. NeoGlucosamine is also a gentle exfoliant that helps reduce the appearance of uneven pigment and age spots.

I recommend this one for use three times per week. This brand, although a long time in pharmacies, does not always get the recognition it deserves and is a favourite of worldwide dermatologists. I always find that I get a great result when using it.

A more budget friendly formula, which has two powerhouse ingredients, is La Roche-Posay Retinol Serum (€35). This concentrated serum is infused with vitamin B3 to leave the skin feeling smoother, hydrated, and renewed for a dewy and healthy-looking glow.

Pure and gradual release retinol helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. This is a comfortable formula and suitable for more sensitive skin types.

Perfect a pedicure

A line I never thought I would type - invest in a pair of plastic socks! There are many at home foot exfoliating socks on the market.

My favourite ones are SVR Xerial Peel (€20). They are not too harsh and work by using acids to melt away the skin. You wear the disposable socks for an hour and then rinse your feet. Dry, rough, damaged, calloused skin on the feet peels gradually away to reveal soft, smooth, baby-soft skin beneath.

This transformation starts after three days and can take up to ten days to complete. Therefore, lockdown is the perfect time to get rid of dead skin and corns before the summer. Clip your nails and moisturise your feet and cuticles, and by the time we emerge, you will be flip flop and sandal ready!

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