When There’s Time to Scrub

On the first day of de facto lockdown it is difficult to choose a topic to write about without coming across absolutely tone deaf. But I want to leave any advise and public information to the authorities and experts (more of which below) – please consult the experts – and try to keep the blog’s focus somewhere else.

While there is absolutely nothing positive about global recession and people left and right catching a deadly virus, being holed up at home is not the worst thing in the world. Unless you have one or more smallish children to babysit as well, in which case I salute you, from an appropriate social distance.

Old excuses for folding socks, cleaning windows and sorting out past sell by date – provisions at the back of your larder are out of the window. Didn’t have time for a Sunday skincare ritual? Ha. Never time to watch the film? Attend the online course you got for Christmas seven years ago? Practise tap dance in your apartment? (Remind me I have to consult my neighbours downstairs whether they are OK for me to do this, as all tap classes are obvs cancelled).

Well, now you do. (Unless kids)

While we might realise soon enough that there’s no need to multitask (because newfound time), there’s also no excuse not to get up to speed with a thorough skincare routine. Herewith three top three favourites.

Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask
Excellent for dehydrated skin. Smells divine. Non-abrasive, non-irritating. Contains vitamin B5 and red seaweed and chamomile. Apply in the evening after cleansing, let on for as long as you want, wash or wipe off and follow with a moisturiser. Alternatively wipe of just the excess and leave the rest for the night.

Caudalíe Glycolic Peel
This is a topical product for two reasons: it just featured very high on Violet Grey’s website that curates cult products for beauty professionals and other geeks. Second, it is a pharmacy product and thus readily available also during the government restrictions for shops. And a third extra reason: it is very affordable, so you can still spend the rest of your life savings on toilet paper.

But about the product: it’s a 10 minute glycolic acid peel mask that is absolutely gentle and safe to use even on the most reactive of skins. Pore-minimising miracle that can be used 2-3 times a week, 10 minutes at the time. Results on the skintone-enhancing department are apparently so great that this tube is the staple of many makeup- and beauty professionals who prepare fashion shoots and such. (Remember the time when it was still OK to let someone else touch your face? Oh well.) Non-abrasive. Did not sting my (very reactive) skin, which is rare. It is not often I can leave an acid mask on for full 10 minutes.

Sunday Riley Good Genes
Sunday Riley officially can do no wrong. Good Genes has been a personal skincare favourite for years. Back in the day when people could still fly to the US, a friend brought a tub, American strength (because indeed they add a bit more oomph in the US vs the EU-version). What we are dealing with is a lactic/glycolic acid treatment that can be either left on (in the evenings) or used as a wipe off -mask.

Unclogs pores, brightens up skin and skin tone, and with the help of licorice root also attacks dark spots and other discolourations. And yes, plumps up fine lines and wrinkles. In essence, an excellent pick-me-up for the face.

Good Genes is on the pricey side of spectrum (you will get decent glycolic action also with the above Caudalíe product), but also little goes a long way and you do not need to use it every evening in order to get results. The European version is equally good and widely available on any major beauty websites, including Net a Porter.

There you are. While you are sitting idly with your mask on, listen to a podcast, read a book, watch a film or fold your socks. Do not go on Twitter.

I am extremely optimistic that one of the more lasting outcomes of this crisis will be that people will start appreciating and respecting actual expertise and science – medical and other – again. Given that for years now we have been pretty much told by our politicians not to trust science, it is high time to finally move the world to the 21st century and stop healing ailments by consulting bits of rocks, or alternatively shoving them up our genitals.

Do not consult Twitter or Facebook for anything important. Your friend’s cousin’s neighbour has shit to advise in the current situation, unless she’s the world’s top expert virologist advising the WHO, in which case she’d have no time sharing her thoughts on social media via her neighbour’s cousin.

Finally a shout-out to our sisters in Italy. The collage is from Instagram (the only social media app I can still tolerate and frequently consult) and it is posted by an Italian designer Stella Jean @stellajean_sj_

May they survive this and soon have time to mask, scrub and moisturise.

Heroes gathering the strength. Tutto andrà bene.

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