how to: quarantine-proof your skin.



So we’re all doing our part to prevent the spread of Coronavirus…which means staying at home…which means no monthly in-clinic skin treatments, no Botox, not to mention no hair highlights, no nails. Yoiks. 

So what are some things we can do at home to not look like a (insert favorite quarantine yeti meme image here) by the time we’re out of quarantine?

I’ve got some great skin tips for you, including an at-home-facial routine at the end of this blog. 


stick to a schedule.


…even if it’s just during the week. With skincare, consistency is key. Let’s say it again. Consistency is key! 

If you’re only using your SPF or retinol (or other corrective serum) once per week, you’ll likely never see real results. Commit 5 minutes, twice per day to do a quick cleanse and apply your products. You’ll generally start to see results within 4-6 weeks depending on what you’re trying to correct. Not to mention give yourself some serious long-term anti-aging benefits!




You: I thought this was about skincare.

Me: It IS 

Guess what – stress is actually a major player in skin health.

Research has shown improvements in tissue functioning and improved glucose control with the practice of meditation and yoga (1). Furthermore, psychological stress has been shown to stimulate several internal bodily systems (the autonomic nervous system, renin-angiotensin system and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system) which all lead to inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage that can negatively influence skin quality (2).

So get your Om on! 🧘🏽

How about some long-term benefits? Get this: a 2015 study (3) showed that chronic stress reduces telomerase activity (an enzyme responsible for protecting our telomeres) and accelerates telomere shortening and premature aging. Shorter telomeres = accelerated aging and disease. Nope. I’ll try some mindfulness, thanks.

How to start?

Get yourself comfortable. Dim the lights in a quiet room, sit on the floor or wherever is most comfortable, close your eyes, clear your mind, and focus on your breathing. Start with 2 minutes per day and gradually increase.


check your skincare routine.


Let’s look at the basics. Obviously, there are more than four skin types, but we’ve broken it down into some basic skincare routines to get you started. Which category do you fall in to??

  1. Normal Skin Type


Favorites for normal skin:

Normal skin cleansers: iS Clinical Cleansing Complex or Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser  (use this link to get $20 off orders of $100 or more with Tatcha)

HA serums: SkinMedica HA5 Hydrating Complex or iS Clinical HydraCool Serum (contains B3/niacinamide for pore reduction)

Antioxidant serum:  iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum (a favorite of top skin gurus like Shani Darden, contains vitamin C and a handful of other antioxidants for skin brightening)


Eye creams: SkinMedica TNS Eye Cream (has growth factors for amazing anti-aging properties) or Sente Illumine Eye Cream (a favorite for those with dark circles)

Normal skin retinols: Sente Bio Complete or Shani Darden Retinol Reform

Mineral SPFs: SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair SPF with Infrared Protection or SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF

  • Why mineral sunscreen? Mineral sunscreens, aka ‘physical sunscreens’, work by reflecting UV rays rather than absorbing them. Normal skin types can use mineral or non-mineral, but mineral often prevents irritation in skin that some other suncreens can induce.

AHA/BHA exfoliators: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA 2% BHA Mask (ONCE PER WEEK) or SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (THREE TIMES PER WEEK)


2. Oily Skin


Favorites for oily skin:

Oily skin cleansers (with BHA, for AM): La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash or SkinMedica Purifying Foaming Wash

  • Why these cleansers for oily, congested, or acneic skin? These cleansers have BHA (beta hydroxy acid), aka salicylic acid, in them. Salicylic acid is the only BHA used in skincare and is the smallest molecule out of the AHA/BHA families. It is also oil-soluble, making it the best hydroxy acid to get deep in the pore and kill bacteria. Other benefits? It’s anti-inflammatory, can help smooth skin, and clear out excess oil from the skin.

Gentle cleanser (for PM): La Roche-Posay Micellar Water for Oily Skin

B3 serums: iS Clinical HydraCool Serum or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • Why B3 serums? B3, also known as niacinamide, helps oily/congested skin by reducing oiliness, tightening up pores, minimizing water loss (are you one of those that has oily skin but still irritable or sensitive? That’s because your skin is losing water!), and helping improve redness.

Oily skin moisturizers: SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer or Tatcha The Water Cream Moisturizer (ingredient list includes GOLD, which is actually great for its anti-inflammatory properties) (use this link to get $20 off orders of $100 or more with Tatcha)

Oily skin retinols: Sente Bio Complete or Shani Darden Retinol Reform

  • Retinol, or Vitamin A, has impressive benefits for acne/oily/congested skin by accelerating cell turnover, meaning less blockage in the pores. Bonus: great anti-aging benefits.
  • Note: I’m not a big fan of prescription Vitamin A’s (unless recommended by your dermatologist) as I see a lot of skin irritation with these. You can get AMAZING results by using a less irritating, encapsulated (time-released) version packed with other beneficial ingredients and antioxidants. It’s worth paying extra for a great retinol. See this post for more details on retinols.

Oil-free SPF’s (YES you have to use this daily): La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 60 or SkinMedica Essential Defense Everyday Clear SPF 47

AHA/BHA exfoliators: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA 2% BHA Mask (ONCE PER WEEK) or SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (THREE TIMES PER WEEK)


3. Dry skin


Favorites for dry skin:

Dry skin cleansers: SkinMedica Facial Cleanser or La Roche-Posay Toleraine Hydrating Facial Cleanser

HA serums: SkinMedica HA5 Hydrating Complex or iS Clinical HydraCool Serum (contains B3/niacinamide for pore reduction)

Dry skin moisturizers: SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream or Sente Dermal Repair Cream

Eye creams: SkinMedica TNS Eye Cream or iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex (bonus- this can be used around the lip area, too!)

Corrective serums:

Sunscreen/SPF’s: SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair SPF with Infrared Protection or  SuperGoop Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+

AHA exfoliators: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Exfoliant or Sente Exfoliating Cleanser 


4. Sensitized skin


Favorites for sensitive skin:

Sensitive skin cleansers: SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser or La Roche-Posay Toleraine Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Antioxidant serums: iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum or SkinMedica Lumivive System (this actually helps your skin repair itself overnight and protect itself during the day from environmental stressors which could irritate sensitive skin)

B3 serums: iS Clinical HydraCool Serum or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • B3, or niacinamide, can help restore the skin’s barrier function, lessening irritation and redness.

Sensitive skin moisturizers: Biossance Squalene + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer, Sente Dermal Repair Cream, (use this link to get $15 off your first Biossance order) or SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream

  • Squaline & ceramides are great ingredients that help improve the skin’s barrier function. This, therefore, helps improve skin sensitivity.

Mineral SPF’s: LaRoche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen – Gentle Lotion

  • Mineral sunscreens (also called ‘physical sunscreens’) work by reflecting UV light rather than absorbing radiation. This feature helps prevent irritation in sensitive skin types.

AHA or enzyme exfoliators: Malin + Goetz Brightening Enzyme Mask (enzymatic exfoliator) or The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA (lactic acid exfoliator with hyaluronic acid)

  • Lactic acid is the most gentle of the AHA’s, so perfect for sensitive skin
  • Exfoliating enzymes work by breaking down dead skin and are non-irritating


At-home facials

So you’ve got some extra time on your hands and none of it can be spent in your aesthetician’s room. We’ve got you covered – time to do an at-home, a-la-quarantine facial. Do this once every 1-2 weeks.

  • Step 1: Set the mood
    • Get yourself de-stressed, calm and comfortable (see…we learned this already 😉)
    • Dim the lights, get some chillout music started, light your favorite scented candle
    • Take a few deep breaths and reeeeelax
  • Step 2: Double cleanse
    • Get your skin squeaky-clean
  • Step 3: Shower or steam (10-15 minutes)
    • The key here is to soften the skin and open the pores
    • This will allow any following products to penetrate the skin more readily
    • Pop out, and pat dry your skin
  • Step 4: Exfoliate
    • Normal/oily skin: AHA/BHA exfoliator
      • Apply to dry skin with dry hands, leave 5-10 minutes, rinse off well
    • Dry skin: AHA exfoliator
      • Apply to dry skin with with wet hands, leave 5 minutes, rinse off well
    • Sensitized skin: Enzymatic or AHA exfoliator
      • Apply to dry skin with wet hands, leave 5 minutes, rinse off well
  • Step 5: Apply mask


  • Step 6: Re-hydrate
    • Apply your antioxidant or hydrating serum (see skincare guides above)
    • Apply moisturizer
  • Step 7: Admire your work
    • Apply makeup the next day because your skin will look bomb
    • Continue to maintain your daily skincare routine! (because…consistency is key 😉)

And there you have it. No need to let your skin suffer in quarantine. Take this time to get a good, at-home regimen in place and be back on track with your skin (and throw away those damn makeup removing wipes).






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