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10 Beauty and Self-Care Products I’ve Come to Swear By During Quarantine

If there’s one thing I’ve enjoyed about quarantine, it’s being able to give my skin and hair a much-needed break. Sure, I miss my hair extensions and makeup as much as the next person, but I can’t deny that my hair has never felt stronger and my skin has never looked better. This is due in part to the lack of the aforementioned pampering, but I also attribute it to the fact that although I’m not putting on makeup or blowing out my hair these days, I’ve turned to an entirely new set of products to use on my face and hair every day. I already loved some of these products in the pre-pandemic era, and some I’ve only recently discovered, but they’ve all become essential parts of my daily and weekly routine for the past few months. 

beauty and self-care products1. Olaplex #3 – I use the entire line of Olaplex products. My hair is super dry, thin, and damaged, so I’m always ISO products to help keep it healthy and hydrated. I started using Olaplex #3 about a year ago, but since I’ve been home so much the past few months, I’ve been able to use it often and regularly, which has made a huge difference. I aim to use it 3 times per week, and always leave it in for about an hour before rinsing it out. I have slept in this over night, but they say you’ve reached the maximum benefit once it’s completely dry/hard in your hair. 

2. Redken Extreme Cat – This is a newly-discovered favorite, and all I can say is where has this product been my entire life?! It’s a spray-on protein treatment that you apply and rinse out while showering, and I have seen a MAJOR difference in the amount of breakage and split ends in my hair since I started using this about two months ago. I usually apply this every 3rd or 4th wash, but you don’t want to overuse this product since too much protein can actually make your hair more brittle! I usually follow up with a hair mask afterwards for maximum effect. 

3 & 4. First Aid Beauty – If you saw my Instagram stories a few weeks ago, you know that F.A.B. sent over several products from their skincare line for me to try out. The AHA Intensive Peel and the Bump Eraser Body Scrub have become two of my can’t-live-without favorites! The peel is not as intense as it sounds, but it does leave my skin feeling soft, smooth, and exfoliated, which has been a god-send since I’m not able to get my face dermaplaned regularly like I’m used to. I also cannot say enough good things about the body scrub! I’ve had rough, dry “chicken” skin my entire life, and this is one of the best products I’ve ever encountered to treat it. I use this multiple times per week, and my skin has never felt smoother!

5. St. Tropez In-Shower Tanning Lotion – Disclaimer, I hate self-tanners. I can’t stand the smell, the stained clothes and sheets, the uneven streaks, the list goes on. Nothing about self-tanning at-home has ever appealed to me, and I usually just choose to be pale rather than deal with the unpleasantness of various tanning products. However, the concept of a self-tanner that you rinse off in the shower peaked my interest, and since it didn’t really matter if it looked terrible since I wasn’t leaving the house, I decided to give it a try. For the first time ever, I was not disappointed! There is no lingering smell or product to stain your clothes, towels, or sheets, and since it’s a buildable, gradual tan, it’s almost impossible to miss a spot and cause streaks. The one drawback is that this is not a deep, dark tanner. It gives much more of a lightly-bronzed, glowy effect rather than a full on fresh-from-the-beach tan. This works perfectly for me, but if you’re looking for a radical difference, this product is not for you. Tip: I always apply it after using #4 above for a super even application!

6. Jamaican Black Castor Oil – I’ve heard of the hair growth benefits of black castor oil for a while now, but never tried it due to it’s extremely thick consistency and difficulty to rinse out. When I had my hair extensions in, it was already a production to wash and style my hair, I didn’t need the added issue of lingering thick oil at my roots. Now that I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and no one to see my oil-slicked ‘do, I’ve been applying this non-stop. I usually apply it all over my scalp and roots in the morning on a day that I know I’ll be washing my hair, and just let it sit there all day until I shower. I can’t speak to whether or not it’s making my hair grow since it’s only been a few weeks, but it does make my hair super shiny and healthy looking!

7. Marine Collagen – I’ve been taking marine collagen for months now, but somehow when I was busy and on-the-go, I would always forget to take it. Now that I’m at home and on a fairly routine schedule everyday, I’ve been really consistent with adding it to my smoothies or water bottles every day. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the amount of breakouts I’ve experienced, as well as how fast my nails grow! The only drawback is that it’s somewhat expensive for a roughly 2-week supply, but I added it to my subscribe and save deliveries on Amazon Prime and was able to save 15%!

8. Vitamin E Oil – Now that my nails are without SNS dip powder and regular manicures for the first time in years, I’ve found a super low-maintenance way to keep them looking well-cared for. I just rub a few drops of Vitamin E oil into the entire nail area and cuticle every day (sometimes multiple times per day), and it keeps the entire nail looking hydrated and fortified. The oil prevents dry, cracked cuticles and skin around the nail, and it is also said to strengthen the nail itself. I’ve purposefully left my natural nails bare since I soaked off my powder coat, so the oil is necessary to keep them looking healthy. It soaks in really quickly (or maybe my nails and skin are just super dry) and doesn’t leave any greasy residue. I’ve also been using it on my lips and hands!

9. Beauty Bio Microneedling Kit – Full disclosure, I’ve had this at-home microneedling kit for almost a year, I just haven’t been regularly using it until now. I learned about microneedling last summer when I was googling how to get rid of dark circles (I’m prone to them), and I came across this as a treatment. After a quick search to see how much professional microneedling treatments cost (spoiler alert…a lot), I decided to try the at-home version for a fraction of the cost. I would always have a week or two that I used it regulary, before I’d forget a day and eventually fall out of rhythm. I always loved how my face felt afterwards, but I just couldn’t keep it up consistently. Now that I’m home indefinitely, I’ve been using it roughly every other day and I have seen a huge difference in my skin’s texture and appearance! I’m planning an entire blog post dedicated to microneedling, so more in-depth analysis to come, but in the meantime I highly recommend you add this to your at-home skincare regimen.

10. Drunk Elephant Marula Oil – I have the dryest skin known to mankind, so I am always down to try any and all oil-based products. I’ve loved every Drunk Elephant product I’ve ever tried, so when I discovered their Marula face oil I immediately decided it was worth a shot. I now use this product every single day, and it leaves my skin feeling super moisturized and glowing, which is saying something given that as I mentioned earlier I haven’t had a dermaplane treatment in months, so I’ve got some serious dead skin cells built up over here. It’s easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue. I use it every day as a last step after I apply my serums!

Let me know if you give any of these products a try! Hopefully they’ll become your new favorites too!

As always, thank you for reading and sharing! XOXO

By Paces West

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