Retail & Innovation

Beauty experts' guide to self-care in self-quarantine

Don’t go anywhere without a face mask? Check. Two Walgreens beauty experts share their tips for DIY beauty, skin care and self-care to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brittany Kruk, Walgreens Stories
During a time when quarantine has become your new routine, not only do the days look different, but you probably do, too. Initial pandemic panic caused people across the country to run out and buy toilet paper. But now, six weeks in with an end date TBD, many people have shifted their worries to new – and growing – problems. For example, how the heck does one cut their own hair?
Grooming and beauty woes might seem trivial in comparison to the global health emergency, but with salons and other non-essential businesses in many parts of the country still shut down, at-home hacks and DIY fixes have become the only option. And the end result isn’t always pretty.
Cue two Walgreens beauty experts from Texas, who say how you look affects your mood, and that there’s no better time than now to make sure you’re staying healthy, physically and emotionally. Walgreens News checked in with them for their tips and advice on being kind to yourself – and to your skin, hair, nails and lashes – during COVID-19.
Meet the experts
Darren Knight, beauty area expert for San Antonio/Dallas
“At the beginning of COVID-19 in the U.S., it was like the entire beauty industry went on pause. Walgreens was focused so much on pharmacy and essentials, and our customers were, too. It was scary at first, but here’s what I’ve learned: beauty is never going to go away. During a major crisis, people are initially like, ‘I need to take care of my health and wellness.’ But after a few weeks of being quarantined, all of a sudden they're like … ‘I need to touch up my roots.’ Whatever their beauty concern is right now, we’re here for them as we’ve always been.”
Vanessa Blanco, beauty area expert for West Texas
“The biggest thing I've taken away from this pandemic is that we used to rely so much on our ability to make connections with customers by physically touching them. A mini facial on the sales floor, or a quick hand massage with a new moisturizer. Now with social distancing, helping and pampering customers is something we've had to figure out how to do without touching their skin. What we’ve learned is just to listen and empathize with them.”
The experts’ quarantine self-care guide
Face (because you haven’t worn makeup in a month)
  • Darren Knight: “Right now many people are at home, which means they’re not wearing makeup. Because you’re not doing your normal routine, use the extra time to incorporate all of the things you never really did into your skin care regimen. Like masks, for example. If you're looking for something anti-aging, try a mask with glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids to help diminish fine lines, or enzymes to help digest dead skin cells.”
  • Vanessa Blanco: “In isolation, people are really trying to take care of their skin and body, internally and externally. I would say choose a product that hydrates. Even though it’s spring, some parts of the U.S. are still experiencing cold weather. A product I recommend is the No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream, which also comes in an Overnight Recover Gel Cream. It works great on drier skin, and acts as a barrier for free radicals such as pollution in the air.”

Hands (because hand-washing is your newest hobby)
  • DK: “People are washing their hands right now to the extent that their skin is irritated, dry and cracked. One brand that’s great for everyone is Eucerin. It's formulated for sensitive skin and irritated hands, and is so calming and soothing. We also have some prestige skin care brands, Bioderma and Avène, which are made for people with extremely sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema.”
  • VB: “When it comes to hands, definitely use a more intense, richer lotion. The one I highly recommend is La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balmit has been my go-to lately. It's an intense repair moisturizing cream meant for cracked or super dry skin, but it’s also great for all skin types.”
Haircuts (because you’re about a week away from doing something drastic)
  • DK: “I’ve seen a lot of men buzzing off all of their hair because they can’t get to a barber. They’re doing it because they’re desperate – but you don’t have to buzz your hair off. I bought some clippers at Walgreens and have been cutting my own hair lately. I have to keep my hair short because if not, it looks tragic. It’s working for me right now because there's no one else around. Another hair issue people have been having is body hair. I personally love Nair Men Hair Removal Body Cream. Women have been buying Nair, too, because they can’t get a wax.”
  • VB: “I feel lucky because I had just gotten my hair done right before all of this happened, so I haven’t needed a trim. But I have seen some women cutting bangs out of sheer boredom. If you do need to cut your own hair, I recommend looking up some videos and tips on YouTube first. Don’t become another quarantine haircut horror story.”

Hair color (because blondes have nearly gone extinct)
  • DK: “I’ve seen our entire hair color section sold out, which tells me people can deal with going a few inches too long, but they are really having a hard time with not having their hair color. Some of my friends have been asking me, ‘Should I do the box color?’ My advice is to just do a root touch-up, which is like a semi-permanent color, and let it hold you over until you can get out of quarantine.”
  • VB: “We're also selling a lot more chemical hair treatments, like bleach kits and relaxing kits. Things we’ve never sold out of before are now selling out completely. If you do try a chemical hair treatment at home, I also recommend doing a conditioning treatment to help repair your hair. Hair masks are something we don't really do or ever have time to do. Now is the time. One of my favorites is by Cake – it’s $3.”
Nails (because you’ve had the worst manicure of your life … from yourself)
  • DK: “We carry everything and anything in the nail category that can help you do a manicure or pedicure at home. Manicure sets, cuticle clippers, files, buff, nail brushes, everything. We also carry acetone and cotton, which you need to remove gel polish. If your nails need a break, I recommended OPI Nail Strengthener, which can also act as a base coat. And for polish, I can't even tell you how obsessed I am right now with Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. It's vegan, comes in a ton of colors and totally stays put.”
  • VB: “There are some people who can’t live without long nails, and we’ve definitely been selling more press-on nails lately. One thing with press-ons is to make sure you take care of your cuticles. We have a great assortment of cuticle trimmers, from Walgreens brand to Tweezerman. Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream is also great for softening the cuticles before you trim them.”
Lashes (because your extensions are long gone)
  • DK: “Magnetic eyelashes are on trend right now because they're super easy to apply. They come with a liquid eyeliner that has iron oxide in it, so you draw it on, let it dry, and then the lashes quickly magnetize to the liner. If you get your lashes done regularly and are missing them with salons closed right now, use these as a quick replacement. And there’s no hassle of using lash glue, which a lot of people have trouble with.”
  • VB: “Consider giving your lashes a break during quarantine, and use the time to condition and strengthen them. The No7 Lash Impact Serum has a protein agent in it that's going to condition the lashes and help them grow.”
Peace of mind (because life has finally slowed down)
  • DK: “Everybody needs to try Soap & Glory bath bombs – they’re $5. You put it in your bath, it’s so relaxing, and it comes in different scents. Dr. Teal’s Bubble Bath is also great. It's sort of medicinal, but it has a lavender scent to it, and it's infused with Epsom salt. If you’re stressed or doing at-home workouts and you need a little bit of a relaxation, it’s fantastic to help relax the joints and muscles. My new favorite thing right now is Soap & Glory Magnificoco Body Butter, which smells like pineapple and coconut and kind of takes your mind to the beach.”
  • VB: “At night I've been using the Botanics Simply Calm Serum. It’s made with cannabis sativa seed oil, which acts as a calming agent. Whenever I’ve had a particularly stressful day, I’ve been putting some at my temples.”
You time (because you almost didn’t recognize yourself in the mirror)
  • VB: “When you don't leave your home, I think a lot of people end up staying in their pajamas all day. You don't do your makeup. You may not even shower until 3 in the afternoon. And it can feel like you’re losing yourself because you’re not getting ready every day and you’re not in your regular routine. So try doing more of what you love. Think about what makes you happy – whether it’s gardening, sketching, drawing, whatever – and do those things.”
  • DK: “If you're feeling out of sorts, set your alarm, get up, take a shower or a bubble bath, and start your day like you normally did in the world before COVID. I guarantee you'll feel a hundred times better because you'll feel more normal. We're living in a time when we haven't been able to really see life as it is. When the world was moving at 150 miles an hour, people were going to salons and going about their lives and never really slowing down to pamper themselves. Now that you have the time, use it to take care of yourself.”

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