Mental Health 101

The COVID-19 crisis is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges any of us will face in our lifetimes. While most of us are being called upon to simply #StayHome, isolation from friends, family and other mental health support systems during lockdown makes it easy to slip into old, damaging routines and self-destructive behaviours, such as eating too little or too much, disturbed sleep and lack of interest in personal care.

In these unprecedented times, it is therefore imperative to keep up with your self-care routines. Whether this involves reading a good book, cooking a delicious meal for yourself or getting in a few minutes of exercise per daymaintaining your mental health through this period should be at the top of your priorities list.

However, if you have begun to notice signs of anxiety and depression in yourself over the past few weeks, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. More importantly, know that you are not resigned to feeling this way for the remainder of this period or even once it has ended.

Taking Care

Self-care is one of the best combatants against feelings of helplessness and uncertainty, as it allows you to focus on the present moment. But, where to begin? While it may seem selfish to pamper yourself with at-home beauty treatments while others fight on the frontlines against COVID-19, there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in some 'me time'. So, discard those feelings of guilt and get busy sprucing yourself up. Here are some simple at-home beauty routines you can try while under lockdown to ramp up your self-care:

DIY Face Masks

Did you ever raid mom's kitchen for overripe bananas, avocado or lemon juice when you were younger? We sure did! DIY pamper sessions were the highlight of our childhood slumber parties. So, why not take a trip down memory lane while under lockdown and spoil yourself with a soothing face mask made out of basic pantry staples? Not only will your skin feel more supple and glow, but you can sit back and take a few deep breaths while the face mask works its magic.

You may want to practice a few mindfulness exercises while you're at it, to help alleviate excess anxiety. Not sure how to get in touch with your inner zen? There are tons of inspiring podcasts and live streaming meditations happening at the moment. Alternatively, you can simply sit back and listen to your favourite album or an awesome playlist. This DIY beauty routine is all about taking 15 minutes for yourself to reconnect, relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

beauty routines

The Perfect Bubble Bath

Yet another remnant of childhood to help soothe a disquieted soul is the humble bubble bath. Of course, just as you have become more complex with age, so should your bath routine. Make it a fancy affair by lighting a scented candle, pouring yourself a tall glass of wine and allowing your mind to slip into casual wandering. If you notice negative thoughts creeping in, make an effort to remain present in the moment. The warm, calming water should help you come back to yourself and possibly work through some of the problems that have been weighing on your mind.

Running low on bath goodies? Netflorist is now offering delivery on a range of body and bath essentials, from top local and international beauty brands. Alternatively, you can make your own bath salts, bath bombs and other nifty DIY beauty must-haves using all natural ingredients you probably already have stocked away in the bathroom cupboard.

Mani-Pedis

With life under lockdown for the past 29 (and counting) days, your manicure is probably starting to peel or grow out. And, when last have you taken a peek down at your toenails? Even though the chilly autumn weather has begun to creep in, there is no excuse for growing dinosaur talons down there.

Book a spa day at home during these last days of lockdown to get those hands and feet in top condition. The simple act of painting your nails can do wonders for your state of mind. Your mani-pedi doesn't have to be perfect, so don't beat yourself up if you paint outside the lines. No one besides you and maybe your family is going to see it anyway. This is about taking pride in your appearance on the outside, to help boost positive feelings about yourself on the inside. So, get out those nail clippers, cuticle cutters and nail varnish as soon as you can.

Didn't have the time to get your gelish removed before lockdown began? Read this helpful article by Women24 on how to do it at home.

beauty routines

Make-Up Challenges

We bet you've seen tons of makeup challenges popping up on social media of late. This isn't because people are overly obsessed with the way they look, but because doing your makeup on a daily basis can be a great form of self-care. While it isn't for everyone, many people enjoy a good face beat to cheer themselves up. If you are working from home, this can also be a wonderful way to get motivated in the mornings. Dress as you normally would and get ready to tackle the day with a little concealer, bronzer and a bright pop of lip colour. You should notice an improvement in your productivity and overall gusto for life.

Makeup is about experimentation and learning, too. If you aren't working or studying from home, make time to play around with colour and different contouring techniques. Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out these top local beauty gurus to follow on social media.

Beauty Sleep

Finally, we have the ultimate beauty routine to keep your mental health in fine form. Sleep! There is no better remedy for anxiety than a good night's rest. But, we know just how difficult it can be to achieve the perfect slumber under these conditions. The key is to allow yourself ample time to wind down in the evening, detaching from news, work and other stressors. Try to minimise your time spent online during the night and make sure to get at least an hour of no-screen time before bed.

You may also consider drinking a calming cup of chamomile or lavender tea to help boost your brain's production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Restorative sleep is as essential as any other form of self-care, so make it a top priority. Sweet dreams!

beauty routines

How have you been practicing self-care while under lockdown? Let us know about your at-home beauty routines in the comments below! 

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel, otherwise known as a superficial peel, is a non-invasive skin procedure used to treat pigmentation, scars and breakouts. The most common chemicals used to achieve smoother, more radiant skin texture are salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid and alpha hydroxy acid. Derived from natural sources, such as sour milk, unripe fruits, and sugar cane, these acids work by stripping away dry, dead layers of skin to reveal the softer more supple skin beneath. There is little to no recovery time needed following the treatment. This is why chemical peels remain one of the most popular treatments for signs of ageing, to improve skin texture and combat skin problems such as acne and rosacea.

How it works

A trained skin therapist or medical practitioner should perform your skin procedure. They will thoroughly cleanse your skin to remove excess oil and dirt. The peel product is applied in layers. Your skin will then be monitored for a reaction. Once the desired result is achieved, the peel will be removed or neutralised. A soothing or moisturising cream, as well as a sunscreen, will then be applied. It is important to stay out of direct sunlight while your skin heals.

Chemical Peel

Benefits

Chemical peels renew skin cells by lifting dead cells off. The peel thus effectively stimulates the metabolism of cells beneath the skin surface. This ultimately works to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and acne scars. Enlarged pores may also become less noticeable, while acne breakouts may be reduced. Peels can be administered as superficial, minor or deep peels. However, most peels require very little downtime following treatment and may be administered over a six to 12 week period. Chemical peels may be performed on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands and the back to improve skin texture. All skin types may be treated with a chemical peel, although lighter skin types may respond better to the treatment.

Side-Effects

Of course, as with any medical treatment, a chemical peel may result in a few mild side effects. These range from skin redness and swelling immediately after the treatment, to flaking and peeling a few days afterwards. Depending on the strength of the peel, flaking and peeling can vary from mild to a dark scaling which sloughs off after five to seven days. For deeper peels, a short period of rest and sedation may be needed. However, for most peels there is no down time needed.

People with sunburned or damaged skin should wait until their skin has healed before undergoing a chemical peel. Similarly, if you recently waxed or used a hair removal cream, consult your specialist before undergoing treatment. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid chemical peels.

Despite the mild side effects of chemical peels, they remain one of the most effective ways to improve overall skin texture and look.

Dermalogica

Dermalogica

If you are considering undergoing treatment, visit these treatment centres:

Skin Renewal

Skin Renewal offer superficial TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) peels at their branches in Fourways, Parkhurst, Illovo, Bedfordview and Morningside. They use the Lamelle range of TCA peels, which have been proven to even out fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone and give the skin a healthy, youthful glow. Prior to your peel, you will given a Luminesce brightening cream to administer at least 10 to 14 days before the chemical peel. This prevents post inflammatory pigmentation following the peeling process. Their peels range in cost between *R400 - R950 per treatment.

Contact Details:

Tel: 0861 7546 72 | Email: [email protected]

Dermalogica

Dermalogica offer a 60 minute Pro-Power peel at their centres across Johannesburg. Using advanced techniques to thoroughly address your skin's ever-changing needs, the Pro-Power peel feels as if it has been customised just for you. The peel specifically targets the signs of acne, hyper-pigmentation and premature ageing. You can find your nearest Dermalogica store here.

Contact Details:

Tel: (011) 268 0018 | Email: [email protected]

The Melrose Aesthetic Centre

The Melrose Aesthetic Centre offer superficial peels to treat skin dullness, pigmentation and blemishes. Situated within the up market Melrose Arch precinct, the Aesthetic Centre will treat you like a VIP. Providing a completely relaxing and invigorating experience, this is the place to go if you want more from your peel than just skin improvement.

Contact Details:

Tel: 011 214 9940 | Email: [email protected]

Have you been for a chemical peel before? Let us know how it went!

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