By Alyssa Shapiro
I’m very fortunate right now. I have shelter, access to food, and the company I work for has endeavored to keep all of its employees during a time when job security is scarce. All of us at Youth To The People have been working from home since sometime in March, connecting with each other multiple times per day through Zoom. Like many who are among the fortunate to be working from home these days, my schedule has freed up a bit. I’m no longer commuting to work, so my mornings are slower now. I’m still maintaining a routine (did you know that having one can help to ease stress?); in fact, given the extra hour in the morning, I’ve added to mine.
Inspired by my co-worker, Kristina, who wrote about energizing her mind and spirit through skincare, I have decided to relish in my own routine, to take the opportunity to dote on myself physically, knowing that the practice itself is soothing to my mind, too.
In the case that you’re looking for a weekly, slightly extra quarantine skincare routine (one I acknowledge would be outrageously time-consuming were things “normal,”) then please feel free to take inspiration from me. (All this begins in the morning after I’ve done YouTube pilates, added sunscreen to the face I slept on, put a non-medical mask on, and taken the dog for a walk.)
Step one: prep and resurface
First, to cleanse the sleep and sunscreen off of my face, I add two pumps of the Superfood Cleanser to damp skin, massaging it in for about 30 seconds before rinsing, taking extra care to remove all remnants of sunscreen, because yes, you should cleanse before exfoliating. Leaving my face wet, I apply an even layer of the Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial to my face and set a timer for two minutes during which I set up the next few steps and stretch a little. (If you need a full run-down on how to use the Energy Facial, click here).
On the counter, I place my charged NuFace or plug in my LightStim LED Light, depending on what I’m looking for (i.e. do I want to be lifted and sculpted for my creative team Zoom touch base? Or am I looking to plump and diminish fine lines by promoting collagen growth? Do I have five minutes or do I have 30?) Both are fantastic devices, and the efficacy of LED light therapy has even been touted by NASA.
At two minutes, I add more water to my face and gently massage the Energy Facial away, adding more water as needed until I’m all clear, then pat my skin dry with a cotton towel. I am reborn.
Step two: science
I first experienced LED light therapy at the Joanna Vargas spa at Sunset Tower in Los Angeles last summer. I’d unfortunately roasted myself at the beach (I miss the beach!) and was nervous about further irritating my skin with a facial, but I also had some skin congestion and a few red marks from spots past, so my longtime facialist, Sora Connor, set out the game plan.
First, there’d be a blueberry peel to get rid of the dead skin cells causing my congestion (and my inspiration for the order of my current at-home routine).
“It’s going to feel a bit spicy,” she said. It was, and my face went near-magenta. Not to worry, Connor soothed, the proprietary Joanna Vargas RevitaLight LED Bed would ease that right up. After questioning celebrity facialist and salon founder Joanna Vargas post-facial, I learned that the two make a highly beneficial pair; the collagen-stimulating effects of the LED lights mean an intense peel or resurfacing treatment can be done with decreased post-treatment inflammation and promoting the growth of collagen.
“Red and near-infrared light speed the healing of the body by 300%,” says Vargas.
It sounds sci-fi, but I experienced the sped-up healing firsthand; after 20 minutes in the RevitaLight Bed, the redness from the peel was gone, and the discomfort caused by my irresponsible sunburn on my chest was eased significantly. Overall, my skin looked more even-toned. Hence, my subsequent acquisition of this baby, and the use of it during this quarantine skincare routine. I sometimes do it while lying down, and it’s nice to feel as though there’s a purpose while lying down.
Back when it was allowed (and highly encouraged) to go to the office, I always got compliments on my skin after having done my LED light routine the night before, and the effects are reportedly cumulative.
Another techy at-home treatment with both immediate and cumulative effects is the use of electrical microcurrents to contour the face, tone things up, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Over time, the NuFace device (I have the Mini) is reported to stimulate collagen growth as its currents reach more than skin deep.
With a generous layer of conducting gel (or its dupe, aloe vera gel) atop my skin, I press and move the NuFace in the assigned motions across my face and neck, moving upward to encourage everything to move in that direction, too. When the device shuts off, I wipe the excess gel away instead of rubbing it in, as I have alternate hydration plans.
The e-stim seems to work; after a week of use, I FaceTime with a friend who hasn’t seen me since the lockdown, and who greets me with, “I know you didn’t… but did you get a facelift?” She is kind and I am sold.
Step three: dream by day
If I were winding down for bed, you might think I’m normal, but this is 9 a.m. and I am preparing for a day of virtual meetings. And part of that is applying a generous dose of the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. Yes, that’s right, the one you’re supposed to go to sleep in. But through Zoom, I reason, it’s unlikely anyone will really be able to tell, except for me, and I’ll be enjoying the ultra-hydrating benefits of daytime Dream wear.
And thus I make the most of the extra time in my mornings sequestered at home with a skincare routine that I acknowledge is a lot, and which I wholeheartedly endorse.
P.S. You can get the Superfood Cleanser, Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial, and Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask all together as part of the new With Pride Kit from Youth To The People.