The connection between skin and mental health has never been clearer — and, in times of stress and uncertainty, a skin-care routine can be as much of a daily grounding practice as exercise or meditation. (Just ask anyone with a 10-step nighttime ritual.) In our new series, Shelf Care, we’re exploring how taking care of your skin and yourself is one and the same. Our first subject is Marianna Hewitt, an influencer and co-founder of the Instagram-favourite skin-care brand Summer Fridays. Ahead, she tells us how she's dealing with acne in quarantine, and reflects on the ways in which COVID-19 will affect the beauty industry.
When we first went into quarantine, I was getting breakouts — I was just so stressed and anxious from watching too much news that it was coming out in my skin. Then, I found myself stress eating and snacking on mozzarella string cheese, which was making me break out even more. Now, I've kind of calmed that down with vitamin C serums and retinol. I'm definitely using more skin-care products than usual; I'm masking a lot more than I usually would.
The reality is, even with all the best products, breakouts definitely still happen to all of us, especially right now. I wish there was some magical way to prevent them, but there really isn't. I have a pimple on my face and I picked at it, which I knew I shouldn't have. Before, whenever I had a pimple and had to go to something, I felt like people were staring at it. I go to so many events as an influencer and brand founder with all of these beautiful people, so it's natural to feel like, Oh my gosh, I have this thing on my face. But I know that I can't stop my life because I have a breakout. With the situation that we're in now, it all seems so insignificant, this thing on my face that's eventually going to go away.
These times are so stressful — there's so much that's unknown. We don't know yet when we're going back to work, or when stores will open again. I'm in group chats with beauty brand founders and we're all using each other as resources to talk through what's happening, see how we can support each other, and see if there's any new information to share. This time has made the industry so supportive of each other: More than ever, everyone's cross-promoting and doing takeovers or Instagram Stories, just trying to help one another out. We're all doing the best that we can.
I think it's great that people are using this time for self-care and to do whatever it is that makes them feel a little better about themselves. A lot has changed in my day-to-day schedule, but one thing that hasn't is my skin-care routine. I've liked that it's one of the consistent things in my life right now. I've heard from a lot of our followers and consumers that it's the one thing they look forward to because it's the one thing that's remained the same in their day.
I've worn my hair naturally wavy almost every day during quarantine — I've really embraced that during this time. I also think a lot of us are getting used to doing services ourselves, like our nails, which I was so terrible at. I didn't even own nail clippers before this because I always got manicures and pedicures. Now, every night I sit down with my cuticle oil and my nail file and I take care of my nails and let them breathe, which is something I've never done before.
I also think people will really appreciate the service industry; everyone's missing their hairstylist, makeup artist, and nail salon. If you can right now, try to support those businesses. Buy a gift card to your salon where you know you're going to go back anyway, because those people need the support. There are so many artists and salon owners who are struggling. I hope after this, it will give everyone a new appreciation of the people who are there for us all the time.
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