Shopping facilities have understandably become scarce in the past weeks, ranging from pretty much nothing being open to only bars and restaurants being shut. Whatever your local situation, the authorities have more likely asked you to stay at home than run around out and about shopping. In Belgium we are making do with supermarkets and pharmacies only, so herewith a lockdown edition of favourite beauty products currently available in shops that are still open.
(I am aware of the possibility of online shopping, I shall add here. As I mentioned in a previous post, the crisis is starting to have an effect on delivery times. I was contemplating on ordering something online today (from within the EU), and was given an estimated delivery date of 29 April.)
The weather in Belgium is miserable all the time, without fail, except when there is a government order to stay inside. If you are lucky to have a backyard or a balcony where you can spend some time outside (or if you adhere to crazy-weird jogging hours so as to avoid the crowds in Bois de la Cambre), you might want to consider an SPF for your skin that is not yet quite used to the sun.
Caudalíe is available in pharmacies in Central Europe. Their Milky Sun Spray SPF 50 for face and body is light, pleasant and easy to apply. It does not stain clothes like many other sunscreens upwards of SPF30 tend to do. Milky Sun Spray does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate and is thus ocean-safe, which is, come to think of it, such useless, and also cruel, information at this point in time. Anyway, the spray has a lovely smell, dare I say tuberose-y!
Another great Caudalíe –product for your face is their Glycolic Peel. It has a semi-official cult-status among beauty professionals in the US where French pharmacy -products are held in high regard. This is a nice, effective fruit enzyme, non-abrasive mask that you leave on for 10 minutes, rinse off and follow with the rest of your routine. Much recommended, I am onto my third tube.
Pharmacies and (bigger) supermarkets both stock Weleda. My current favourites, which are all also old favourites:
Summer Garden Shower -cream with exotic Ylang Ylang. It is their seasonal, limited edition product and I have already bought every tube within my lockdown radius.
Skin Food Original and Skin Food Body Butter. Skin Food is another cult product, and definitely worth having in stock. Victoria Beckham is a famous spokesperson for the original cream, which is about the only product on her top shelf that any normal taxpayer can afford. Some makeup-artists claim it gives face a fantastic glow, but I guess you’d really need that calibre glow only for a professional photo-shoot, if then, but it might work as a post-sunburn mask. I use it mainly on feet.
Because of the heaviness of the original Skin Food, Weleda introduced a light-version as well (similar to Kiehl’s Crème de Corps vs. their Crème de Corps Light.) Excellent for hands now that we are washing them like maniacs.
For body, there’s a whipped version of the Skin Food (again, similar to Kiehl’s Whipped Crème de Corps). Same stuff in a different, more spreadable and fluffier format.
Weleda has brilliant body oils. Really, they are well sourced and of excellent quality. I am currently about to finish a bottle of Evening Primrose Body Oil that is supposed to regenerate and nourish my limbs. I don’t know about that, but I do like using it. It’s not too runny, does not stain, and it’s packed in a glass bottle which importantly has a pump. Hate oils that must be drizzled from their containers.
Then, next onto something a bit more interesting. Understandably we are not able to get massages and other treatments at the moment. I am not complaining about this fact, this is a first world problem. I know. But.
For anyone who has issues with lymphatic drainage, especially as regards legs, two months can be a long time not to get the circulation going.
(As you can see, I’ve placed a body brush in the picture. It’s there basically just to mock us, because we all know no-one does this daily. I know it’s supposed to be good, but still I don’t get round actually doing it.)
Then I found out about a gadget that basically imitates light, lymph flow massage that can be performed at home. As weird, but also kind of simple, as it seemed, I wanted to give it try and ordered it online some time ago. Legology makes this turquoise rubbery cup and it costs about €14. The effect comes from a suction that is caused by something a bit similar to cupping, I guess (sans blood).
You first apply oil on your legs, then squeeze the sucker together, releasing it as you place it on the skin. Then you move the leech-like situation along your limbs, either concentrating on the congested areas or treating the whole leg. Yes, it is uncomfortable. The level of discomfort depends on the level of congestion (mine -> epic).
I’ve found this to be a very good imitation of massages that I’ve had in earlier life to encourage lymphatic drainage. It also feels effective, definitely more so than dry brushing (which I don’t do, so how can I know). It’s simple and does not require fancy gadgets. The vacuum cup is of course sold as an anti-cellulite treatment, but don’t be put off by that. If you have issues with lymph circulation and cannot make your appointments, this might help.
Just don’t feel like you must purchase the brand’s expensive salon secret – oil with the cup. Any body oil will do. The effects will come for the suction, not from the essential oils.