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How social distancing is helping some find healthier hair, skin routines

If you're at home social distancing, why not give your hair and skin a break.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Aly Walansky

Amid the coronavirus spread, people have been spending a lot more time indoors due to social distancing. An interesting side effect has started to occur: All around social media, people have begun to post evidence of the unexpected effect on their skin and hair.

“I already have seen changes in my skin, since I primarily go without makeup unless I am going to a meeting,” New York City-based publicist Cessie Cerrato told TODAY Style. “Now that our off-site and in-person meetings have been put on hold, and I have nowhere to go on the weekends, it's been a refreshing break for my skin in general.”

“My skin is always worse like when I have a heavy QVC (appearance) week and have to wear makeup a lot,” Jené Luciani, an author and on-air expert, told TODAY. “It’s definitely better when I’m giving it a break. It glows.” Luciani also believes being at home forces her to be better about drinking water and staying hydrated, which is great for skin as well.

Giving your daily beauty routine a break isn't the only way to see positive skin and hair results.

“It's a great time to go through the products you have at home, get rid of ones that are old or that smell bad or are dried out,” said Dr. Doris Day, a New York City-based dermatologist. It's also a great time to review your skin and hair routine, Day said. She and other experts shared tips for using this time to do exactly that.

Wash your face properly

This is the most important step in your beauty routine, and being stuck at home is no excuse to skip it. “You need to remove everything, but not strip your skin,” said Day. Use a cleansing brush with a gentle cleanser and pay attention to reaching every part of your face, especially along the hairline and top of nose.

Stick to your skin care routine

Remember that your skin likes routine, so try to keep up your regular skin care ritual as much as possible. The same advice applies to other areas of your life. “This means don't overindulge in unhealthy foods and alcohol, try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Try meditation and continue or start to exercise,” said Day. If you want to try making small changes, like adding a new product to your skin regimen, do one small update at a time and closely monitor the impact on your skin.

Give skin a detox

Skin is the body’s largest organ and it needs downtime. “I love that people are taking advantage of being at home by spending as much time as possible makeup-free, giving skin a break,” Tammy Fender, a holistic expert and brand founder, told TODAY. “If you have to wear makeup, why not wash it off the soonest you can. Drink in the benefits you can from these days.”

Hair deserves rest, too

“Hot tools are damaging, no matter how much heat protectors you use. This includes curling irons, flat irons and, yes, even blow dryers,” Stephanie Angelone, lead stylist at RPZL hair extension and blowout salon in New York City, told TODAY.

Heat can strip hair of moisture, causing dryness, dullness and brittleness. “Use this time to take the opportunity where you can to let your hair air-dry,” said Anabel Kingsley, trichologist and brand president at Philip Kingsley, adding that moisture content is just as important to hair health as it is to skin.

Taking a break from heat styling and chemical processes will always be beneficial to hair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still style your hair for Zoom work meetings or FaceTime chats with friends. “There are so many products and styling tricks out there to help style your hair without heat,” said Angelone. “If you’re looking for some volume, go old school and use rollers overnight. If you’re looking for some beach waves, sleep with braids in your hair and let them loose the next day, and it will create that fun texture without added heat damage,” said Angelone.

Alli Webb, the co-founder of Drybar, shared an idea for a post-workout hairstyle. “After you work out, twist 1-inch sections all around your head with a styling cream, paste or pomade on your fingertips — (this is) ideal for curly, wavy or frizzy hair.” For straighter hair, braids are Webb’s favorite way to lock in some waves and texture.

This could also be a great time to break out hair masks. “For the ultimate hair cleanse or detox to revive your scalp and restore your hair’s moisture content, add a scalp mask and deep-conditioning hair mask into your weekly routine,” suggested Kingsley.

Rest and sleep helps

Sleeping may not be that easy right now if you're feeling anxious, but do your best. “That’s always good for your hair, scalp and skin, because they self-repair during sleep,” Jennifer Watson, education director for Zenagen Hair Care, told TODAY. Plus, if you aren’t going out as much, your hair has less exposure to the sun. Even in the winter, the sun’s rays can damage your hair and skin.

That goes for taking a break from color, as well. “Your roots might be showing, but taking a chemical break helps your hair recover from the constant onslaught of coloring, styling and straightening on a daily basis."

Times are rough right now, but take the time for self-care if it'll help you get through it.