How to Extend the Life of Your Pre-Quarantine Beauty Treatments at Home
Until we see each other again, salon.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again—I really, really miss beauty salons. We're all leaning into an at-home mindset right now, which means all those regularly scheduled beauty treatments are postponed until further notice. It’s a stressful time for everyone, so it’s totally OK to get lax with your beauty routine if you need a break. But at a time where a solid facial or hair refresh can be a welcome distraction from everything going on, there’s also nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of self-care. If canceled beauty check-ups are causing you grief, here’s what you can do to sustain those peeking roots, ingrown hairs, and bushy brows at home until salon doors reopen—and we can give our stylists a huge hug.
Good news: there are many ways to slow hair growth at home while you’re between salon visits. Waxing yourself is NOT one of them. According to Gina Petak, education manager at European Wax Center, “When you wax at home, you can hurt your skin and make it more sensitive/prone to ingrowns. You could also hurt the natural protective barrier of your skin, making it more sensitive to outside environmental factors.” Instead, try hair growth minimizers that visibly slow regrowth between waxes. We love EWC’s Slow It Body Wash ($20; waxcenter.com) and Slow It Body Lotion ($20; waxcenter.com), which contain ingredients like narcissus tazetta bulb extract to attack the regrowth of hair at the root.
You know the basics: sleep on your back, skip the mascara, and avoid oil-based removers like the plague. But how many of us have picked at those awkward lash remnants left over from our last appointment? PSA: Allowing your extensions to shed naturally is the best way to keep your natural lashes strong and healthy. “Don't remove your extensions yourself!" warns Heather Elrod, CEO of Amazing Lash Studio. "Picking at your lash extensions could damage your natural lashes, and we want your natural lashes to be strong and healthy for when we see you at your next appointment."
The best way to recover your #quarantinebrows is with a photo from your most recent brow shaping. Even if you didn't take a snapshot of your brows at the actual salon, any photo that you took at its peak post-grooming phase will suffice. “Referencing the photos you used when you got your brows done is a great tool for maintenance because you can reference the shape that was professionally done and mimic it,” says Joey Healy, celebrity eyebrow specialist and founder of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio. “Focus on the strays growing in, the ones that weren't there before. Your goal is to really identify the geometry of the brow, and then whatever is outside of that perimeter you can safely tweeze.”
When it comes to brow tinting, stay away from hot showers and excessive perspiration, both things that can reduce the life of your color, as much as you can. You should also avoid using harsh stringents, toners, or chemical peels near the brow area as that can strip away pigment. “Excessive sun exposure will also expedite your brow tint breakdown, so if you do want to sit on your private balcony during quarantine, use an SPF lip balm on your brows. This will give you hold and sun protection at the same time,” says Healy.
Think of your teeth like your skin. It will clog up (and stain) when exposed to elements like coffee, tea, wine, and pasta sauce,” says Jennifer Jablow, DDS, celebrity dentist in NYC. “I personally don't recommend whitening strips as they are very dehydrating and acidic to the teeth, which can cause sensitivity and loss of enamel over time. Also, steer far away from black charcoal powder and any black-colored toothpaste as they will abrade the enamel, and you may end up with darker looking teeth after prolonged use.”
If you want to reverse discoloration damage, Jablow recommends dabbing a non-acidic, whitening pen on discolored spots. IntelliWHITE’s kit ($50; intelliwhite.com) comes with a mouthguard to help the gel stay on the teeth, has a water-based formula with xylitol to condition, and holds a neutral pH level of 7 to prevent tooth sensitivity.
Two words: Root. Concealers. At-home root touch-ups are ideal for providing you with a temporary quick fix, says Briana Cisnero, hairstylist and Global Ambassador for Wella Professionals. It’s like makeup for your hair, and the pigment washes out with shampoo so you don’t have to overstress about messing up.
It’s definitely not a bad idea to give your hairstylist a call for a personal consultation and some advice, adds Cisnero. “I strongly advise clients not to do anything that involves bleaching their hair at home. Glosses (while still left better in the hands of professionals) are far less risky than lifting your hair lighter.”
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal is a treatment that’s usually done in a professional setting. But don’t worry—a skipped appointment won’t set your results back. “For areas like the bikini line, legs, and underarms, we suggest to clients that they should just shave or trim the areas. You should NOT wax or tweeze the areas. For the laser to be effective once treatment is starting back up, the hair must be present. Waxing and tweezing would remove the follicle,” says Christian Karavloas, founder of Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal.
According to Celeste Rodrigues, celebrity esthetician in Beverly Hills, the best way to extend the life of an in-office microneedling treatment is by incorporating vitamins A and C into your skincare, along with growth factors. “Vitamin A is going to keep the cells turning over at an accelerated pace and vitamin C is going to protect against free radical damage while brightening up the skin, leaving it looking glowy,” says Rodrigues, “Meanwhile, growth factors are going to support the repair of damaged skin.” Rodrigues recommends Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40 ($136; dermstore.com), which utilizes snail secretions, as well as glycoproteins and antioxidants, to help protect the skin barrier.
Unless you’re super experienced, you might also want to refrain from at-home dermarolling for the time being, says Rodrigues. “Without professional supervision, it isn’t guaranteed that something won’t go wrong. Since you aren’t able to go into the office if a treatment goes south, stick to topicals until you’re ready for your next treatment.”