Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
It may seem frivolous to talk about skincare right now, but practicing self-care is more important than ever: it’s familiar, it’s calming, and it’s a reminder not to give up on ourselves. As we began to work from home, we were curious about how spending so much time indoors could effect our lives, including our skin and skincare routines.
Sofie Pavitt is one of New York City’s top facialists, and a licensed esthetician with her own practice in Manhattan. We got on the phone with her to talk about some skincare dos and don’ts while self-quarantining and how this period could be seen as an opportunity to reset.
It’s unusual to be spending so much time indoors. How could that effect our skin?
Actually, what's been so surprising to me is that my skin feels better. New York City is so polluted and free radicals are everywhere; it's getting right on your skin. So being inside can actually be quite a positive thing.
Let’s talk about how our skincare routines might need to change because we’re self-quarantining. What should people be mindful of when it comes to cleansing?
I think the problem arises when people think that because they haven't been outside all day, they shouldn’t wash their face, which is absolutely not true. You should be washing it every day, regardless of whether you've gone outside or not.
Do we still need to be cleansing morning - and - night?
I actually don't wash my face in the morning [in general]. I definitely need toner to balance everything and hydrate my skin, but I don't necessarily wash my face in the morning unless I've been super active the night before. So once, depending on your skin type. If you're really oily, then you should wash your face twice a day. If you're not, then once in the evening is enough.
How about sunscreen? Since we’re not spending as much time outdoors, is it really necessary?
I mean, the reality is if you work from home, then chances are you have natural light in the room as well. So I do think that wearing a high-quality SPF is also fabulous if you're working near a window, because UVs can come through that. I wear sunscreen every day, regardless if I'm going out or not. It's not a good decision not to wear sunscreen. Everybody should be trying to get natural light every day. So, that's a big one.
What about makeup?
For women especially, go really sparse with makeup. It feels great not to have an additional unnecessary thing on the surface of the skin. If you can not wear makeup, then don't do it. Just keep it simple.
What’s a big skincare “don’t” people should look out for?
One of the key things that is helpful is to make sure that you’re not overdoing skincare, because the devil makes work of idle hands. If we're too bored and we put too much stuff on our skin, then we could do a little bit more damage than not, you know?
I have a lot of clients who are like, "There's 20 steps in my routine." And now that they're at home, they might feel like that's necessary every single day. Absolutely not. If you do too much, that can also cause a breakout.
Are there any considerations to be made to the air inside people’s homes?
Humidifiers always helped my skin feel less tight and dry. If the heat is still on in people's buildings, then adding a humidifier would help for sure. Or even putting a wet rag on a radiator heater. Raise up your moisture levels.
What kind of at-home facials should people do until businesses reopen?
I try to do a facial on myself once a week, and I do it every Sunday. I'll do all my special routines then, putting on creams and putting on the retinol and things like that. That's what I've been doing with people on Instagram Live. Monday through Saturday can just be a simpler routine; it doesn't have to be complicated.
Are there any other considerations people should make to their skincare routines because they're self-quarantining?
I think your skin will tell you. If you're really dry because you've been inside and your heat is still on and you're looking parched, then you should just add more hydration to the skin. I don't know about you, but my hands look like an 85-year-old lady from all the hand washing. I wash my hands more than most people, being an esthetician. But they look crazy. I'm actually going to have to do a hand mask a couple times a week.
Oh, interesting. A hand mask? Like, using a face mask on your hands?
You know, why not? I feel that could be something fun that people could do. Hand cream is not working for me. Honestly, I think you could also use something like olive oil. I have a really great friend who's a manicurist out in LA, and she's told me to put olive oil on my hands when they're really, really dry. If you've run out of hand cream, you can do an olive oil mask.
That’s an awesome thing to experiment with. Alright, to summarize, what are the biggest skincare dos and don’ts while self-quarantining?
With self-quarantining, don't overdo it. You don't need to do a face mask and a facial every single day. You should be wearing sunscreen. Washing your face is very important — don't go to bed without washing your face just because you've been in pajamas all day.
People are for sure guilty of that.
Yes. Well listen, I think I've worn the same clothes for three days. We've all got our thing, that's my thing [laughs]. But I always wash my face before I go to bed. Don't overdo anything is my biggest advice, because it's great to take the time to just reset. And that feels kind of nice. I've done it, and my skin looks awesome. I'm like, "Oh gosh. It's so ironic. The one week that it looks fab, I'm not going to see anyone."