With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, from the global pandemic to the current civil rights movement, focusing on the things that bring you a sense of security and comfort can be a salve for the day’s stressors. For many during these past months in quarantine, that means spending a bit more me time and indulging in self-care. While some have luxuriated in the ability to forgo makeup and skincare, others have found satisfaction in sticking to their regimen and the structure of ticking each step off their to-do list. Either way, at the end of the day, quarantine has afforded us the ability to take stock of how our beauty routines may serve us in more ways than one.
Without the pressure of seeing other people, what’s left is our own intentions behind how we present ourselves. According to Dr. Denis Pelli, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, recognizing beauty in ourselves is crucial. “Notions of beauty are intrinsically wrapped up in our notions of the self,” he tells CR. While we normally groom our appearance for others to see us, without that incentive, people have forgotten about wearing pants or not bothered to brush their hair. “Everyone is a little more rumpled, a little more informal,” Pelli says. “And this image that we create for others is also then strongly affected by living in isolation.”
Pelli and Dr. Aenne Brielmann have led a study on how people experience beauty. Their main finding is that beauty is a feeling of intense pleasure. It’s this impression that can then inform people’s self-care habits–people spend time and money on skincare and cosmetics in the hopes of enhancing their own beauty.
Even in anxiety-riddled times like these, the power of beauty can prevail. In one portion of their study, Pelli and Brielmann looked at whether depression affects how people experience beauty, and found that it does not impair one’s ability to feel the pleasure derived from it. “I think that beauty can really help our wellbeing in stressful times,” Brielmann tells CR. “Because it’s such a state of pleasure, there’s a positive message in that people will seek [it] out and get pleasure in these very intense [periods].”
Perhaps more necessity than indulgence, finding ways to feel beautiful can then contribute to your wellness. The most obvious among these are the preventative measures people can take to maintain healthy complexions while at home. Along with being separated from facialists, waxers, nail artists, and hairstylists, quarantine has brought with it an unlikely number of beauty concerns, from stress breakouts to less visible irritants.
Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a board certified dermatologist of 40 years who has done extensive research on the effects of UVA on the skin, warns against the indoor pollutants that now constantly surround us. “A lot of people don’t realize indoor pollution levels are even higher than outdoor, so we really need to be putting on antioxidant skincare even if we’re not going out,” Ciraldo tells CR. She also raises caution concerning the harmful HEV blue light rays that come from the sun, and also digital screens. While many are caught in endless streaming cycles or glued to their devices while working from home, it’s important to use a sunscreen that not only guards against UV radiation but blue light as well.
Another easy way to maintain healthy skin is to stick to your skincare regimen. Ciraldo suggests treating it more as a prescription rather than a beauty treatment. “I believe that skincare is very important for the longterm health and beauty of your skin,” Ciraldo says. “And even though we may not be seeing people and getting out as much, the skin is a living organ and we need to be nurturing it and nourishing it.”END
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createdAt:Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:09:46 +0000