No hairstylists. No nail technicians. No lash specialists. No problem.
Celebrities from Chrissy Teigen to Martha Stewart have been trading in their glitzy clothes and perfectly coiffed manes for more low-key looks while in self-isolation. In some cases, the transformations have been truly startling: Kylie Jenner, for instance, was completely unrecognizable during a recent makeup-free outing. Not only has she ditched her hair extensions and long acrylic nails, the newly bare-faced beauty mogul is apparently taking a break from her lip kits, too.
And they’re inspiring others to take a more natural approach to life under quarantine.
Valeria Reyes, 29, a downtown-based makeup artist and bartender, says her six-week style reset has led to clearer skin.
“The other morning my boyfriend said, ‘Your skin looks awesome today,’ ” Reyes tells The Post. “This is keeping my skin really healthy, but it’s funny because now that my skin is super smooth, all I want to do is put makeup on it because it will go on so perfectly.”
Still, giving herself a “makeunder” has been a bit of a shock to see in the mirror.
“I’m so used to living my life in full color — makeup, hair, outfits,” Reyes says. “I let my hair and makeup speak for me. It’s definitely been a change. But my skin is appreciative of the break.”
Before quarantine, Carolina Diaz, 27, a Woodside, Queens, resident, had a complex hair and makeup routine that took well over an hour, whether she straightened it or kept it curly.
“If I want to achieve defined curls, I would put my hair in 10 sections, put leave-in conditioner in each section, scrunch each section, then more conditioner, diffuser, air dry, it was a lot,” says Diaz, who works in automotive loans. “Now, it feels so much better, because I’m not using heat and I’m not putting it back in a bun for work.”
While going au naturel can be a difficult adjustment — especially when faced with those Zoom work calls and online happy hours — experts say the beauty benefits are real.
Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, a dermatologist in Hudson Yards who specializes in hair health, says that some of his patients are reporting less breakage — a direct result of not using hot blow dryers and straighteners, as well as products that can weigh hair down, he says.
“Taking a break from [heat and dyes] will improve the quality of the hair follicle and shaft,” Bhanusali says.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the face, laying off the spackle will let skin breathe — and could lead to “less congested pores,” especially if you are cleansing and hydrating your skin daily, says Jessica Weiser, MD, a Soho-based dermatologist.
Even men are discovering the benefits of a more laid-back grooming routine.
“I saw Diddy and DJ Khaled on Instagram with their gray beards, and I thought, ‘Let me go ahead and see what this looks like,’” says Dvante Black, a Grammy-nominated music engineer in Atlanta. “If they can do it, I can do it, too.”
Black, 39, tells The Post that he has been dyeing his beard since he started going prematurely gray at around age 19, but he forgot to pick up dye before the shutdown. Now, he may never bother with it again.
“I’m trying to embrace these grays now, my quarantine grays,” Black says.
“Commenters on Instagram have told me the gray looks sexy and not to change it,” he says with a laugh. “People call me ‘sir’ now.”
Top dermatologists tell you how to best reboot your skin, nail and hair-care routine while under quarantine.
Don’t toss the SPF
Dermatologist Weiser recommends applying “and then reapplying” sunscreen — even indoors — because “pigment and other skin [damage] can happen from harmful rays that pass through a window,” she says. Weiser recommends aiming for a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) 30+ SPF.
Adjust your skin-care routine
Not bothering with makeup and still breaking out? Weiser says she’s still seeing “a good amount of acne happening now, especially along the jawline,” because stress triggers hormonal jawline acne. Plus, a lack of air circulation while working from home is like “sitting in a plane all day,” which can exacerbate dry skin. While hormonal acne “is tricky to treat topically,” Weiser recommends choosing products with sulfur or salicylic acid. For dry skin, she suggests looking for moisturizers and serums rich in squalane, hyaluronic acid, ceramides or shea butter.
Dermatologist Bhanusali says that he is seeing patients with telogen effluvium, a rapid shedding of the hair, which usually occurs after a traumatic event. “We usually see this postpartum, after the death of a loved one or another stressful event,” he says. Major hair loss is hard to treat at home, but first, Bhanusali tells patients to try to relax to stop the shed. Next, he says, an over-the-counter product like minoxidil may help to “jumpstart” the hair regrowth process. But real treatment comes in the form of prescription steroid drops or injections.
Skip the dry shampoo
You probably know that hot hair tools such as straighteners, irons and blow dryers can fry your hair, but some products like dry shampoo can cause breakage, too. “Every time you use a product, it builds up on the hair shaft,” Bhanusali says. “Think of your hair as a plant. If you start weighing on the branches, they will break off.” Depending on oiliness, for women, he recommends washing hair during lockdown only 1 to 2 times per week. Men, however, tend to have more oil secretions and might require more frequent shampoos, he says.
Don’t ignore your cuticles
To maintain cuticle health while under quarantine, gently push back — never cut — the cuticle and moisturize with a heavy-duty cream, says Dana Stern, MD, an Upper East Side dermatologist and nail-health specialist. “A dry, dehydrated cuticle can lift and separate, leading to nail infection and abnormal nail growth and appearance,” she says. If that happens, use a cuticle nipper — never bite or pull.
Look at labels
When shopping for at-home manicure kits and moisturizers, Stern recommends these key ingredients: sunflower and Brazil-nut oils for cuticle health and fingernail flexibility; urea-alpha hydroxy acids to improve the texture of rough, dry nails; glycolic acid to boost hydration; and Pistacia lentiscus to help strengthen.
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