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April 3, 2020

How the Lockdown Is Changing My Skincare & My Perspective on Life

I’m getting rid of the excess and the toxic, and building up my community and creativity.


Millions of us are now experiencing the greatest global crisis since the Second World War. In the UK, where I live, the government has declared a lockdown, with trips only allowed to grocery stores and once a day for exercise. We are not allowed to socialize with anyone outside those we live with. For the first time in our lives, many of us are experiencing the loss of social gatherings, affirming work environments, and increased anxiety for healthcare workers and family members.



Hello, My Twenties!



And in the space of two weeks, my priorities and practices have shifted. Lockdown has been a time of extreme anxiety, but it has also resulted in sustainable changes in how I live life. I have started streamlining my skincare, have finally found the freedom to eliminate toxic relationships, and have found ways to care for my neighborhood and my greater community during this time. Not to mention that I have started creating more, which is both fulfilling and exciting!



Shopping my skincare closet


If you’re like me, you probably have vials of potions and sample sachets strewn about that you probably never had time to incorporate into your routine. Over the past few weeks, I have actually sat down and had time to evaluate the effects of my skincare products on my skin, and have started eliminating those that are less than enhancing. My regimen is now down to three main products, all of which contain natural ingredients like aloe vera and rose water. I use the Laneige Lavender Sleeping Mask once a week and the Innisfree Volcanic Color Cica Clay Mask once a week. Prior to this, I struggled with enlarged pores and major stress breakouts but overcompensated by throwing all the products at my face. Cutting out the flab has allowed my skin to breathe, and in lockdown, my skin actually … looks better.



Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo



I suspect it also looks better because I haven’t fixated on it. Having my work schedule change, my living arrangements change, and spending hours daily on the phone with scores of friends and family members around the globe, I’ve barely had time to pamper my skin. And paradoxically, it seems to thrive without my anxious mothering tendencies over it. Who would have thought? Rather than quantity, opting for quality and minimalism induced by quarantine soothes both my skin and my worries over my skin.



Sharing skincare is caring


My skincare closet is open to my housemates, and we’ve had a lot of fun bonding over skincare items. Previously we would have independently bought products in stores or online, but restricted access has allowed us to rely on each other and swap pimple patches, masks, and toners. I used to share my skincare products BC (before COVID-19), but there is something about a collective lack of resources that actually heightens the bonding. It also makes me fonder of my products when I see my housemates get excited over them!



This is how you do a house party in quarantine.



Cutting out toxic relationships


Use this time to eliminate relationships that you’ve previously been too polite to sever. I realized that some relationships that I’d had for acquaintance sake were not worth it due to their reactions to the pandemic. If someone belittles you for being proactive in social distancing, or complains too much about their first-world problems while people are fighting for their lives, you may want to consider if you really want to give these people your precious mental and emotional space.



Korean drama ‘Flower Boy Next Door’ makes self-isolation almost seem romantic.



On the flip side, I feel incredibly loved by the people who do care, and I’ve spent more hours bonding with various friends and family over the globe. As friends watch their wedding plans fall apart, as friends lose their jobs, as family members fall sick with the virus, our relationships have grown deeper because we hold each other and shoulder burdens together.



Caring for community from afar


Even if you’re stuck at home, there are many things you can do to help out during this pandemic. If you have a car, consider volunteering for grocery runs for the vulnerable people in your neighborhood. In the UK, you can sign up to call people who are self-isolating and check in on them.



One Spring Night



If your job continues to be stable during this period, consider making donations to charities in your region that are helping vulnerable people or to unions caring for gig economy employees such as delivery workers. Provide a listening ear to friends who are sick or struggling with major life upheavals during this crisis. There is so much we can do and are doing. The news might seem like one long train wreck, but there are also remarkable stories of people pitching in and caring for those around them in many different ways.



Get creative in quarantine!


Rather than looking at quarantine as a quasi-prison, see it as a unique space to get creative. Whether it’s painting or reading or writing the next great literary epic, savor this time and turn your energies to invention. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you produce. Isaac Newton famously did some of his best work during a plague. And studies show that boredom plays a key role in creative invention. Now’s the time to try out new makeup looks from the database of beauty gurus on YouTube. (If you mess up, no one will know.)





Give yourself permission to be a creator, not a reactor. Dust off those puzzles, crack open that baking book you got for Christmas, try making that new trendy dalgona coffee (aka quarantine coffee).





Join online communities devoted to the creative arts to share and support each other. You can upload your “makeup looks for quarantine” look book or nascent poems and inspire others with your creative endeavors.





K-pop and K-drama for self-preservation


Psychologists note that during periods like these, stress and grief levels will inevitably be high. They advise giving yourself permission to rest both your mind and your spirit. Stress can also negatively affect your immune system, so self-care is a smart step during this season.


Since my gym has shut down, I have started dancing to K-pop videos, like Mamamoo’s “Hip,” and am surprised at how much I enjoy it! Dancing is both a mental and emotional stress reliever, and dancing along to your favorite groups is a great way to find enjoyment in exercise.





Watching Korean dramas is another great way to alleviate anxiety, especially comedies. I highly recommend Welcome to Waikiki (both seasons) if you need to laugh out loud and strengthen your immune system along the way. Remember that K-dramas also offer a way to learn Korean, so you are stimulating your brain as well as eliminating stress (in case you need to justify your K-drama obsession to friends and family). Variety shows like 2 Days and 1 Night and Running Man are fantastic choices to indulge in because they are hilarious and entertaining and are a perfect alternative for those who don’t have the mental energy to follow complex narratives at this moment.



Our one source of human interaction. Welcome to Waikiki



What are some of the ways in which quarantine is changing your practices and perspective on life?



When not traveling and pestering people of varying ages and histories with impertinent questions for research purposes (yes, it’s legit), Becky indulges her passion for narrative by watching Korean dramas (she’s a certified sageuk addict). Her obsession with all things Asian began at the tender age of 5 when her parents moved to Taiwan for a year. Since then she’s travelled and lived in China, India, and South Korea, and spends her face-masking moments planning the next great Asian exploration.




I believe it is critical to take advantage of this time to assess the variables in our lives that contribute to stress. five nights at freddy's Stress has a negative impact on your skin, and this period of lockdown has highlighted the impact of stress on many aspects of our lives.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

This still seems like it will be happening for a while longer, and the masks can increase breakouts in some people due to masks that don't really breathe. So it's as good a time as any to try out new products and see what will help, especially if our old routines aren't working any more. And Beauty Tap shipping samples to your house makes it easier than ever!


My skin has never been better than during this quarantine, because I am less stressed and let my skin speak for itself instead of forcing it into the perfect routine. I even got my partner started on consistent skincare! We feel closer than ever because of the awareness of our daily habits and self-care. We keep each other accountable to treat ourselves with the care we deserve.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I think that it is important to use this time to evaluate factors in our life that contribute to stress. Stress can take a toll on your skin and this time of lock-down has really shown the effects of stress on many areas of our lives. Find ways to ease the extra stress and keep your skin (and yourself) healthy!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

We are pretty much still in lockdown in California, so this article is very helpful! I was worried my skin would be dull staying inside so often, but I agree with you that it has actually stayed refreshed. I have also been turning to makeup tutorials to spark my creativity!


I'm using this time to reflect on life. I spent this time writing down and journaling all my thoughts. I find it very therapeutic and it's good to let all of your thoughts out rather than keeping it to yourself. I also used this time to focus on my skin and to have a solid skincare routine! Which has been very successful, I have already seen amazing improvements in my skin.


I have found that is this time I absolutely have given my skincare situation more attention. I worked crazy hours and had to wear full face of makeup regularly. Giving my skin a chance to breath and being able to stabilize a regular skincare routine morning and night without having to wear makeup in the day is amazing. Also, having such control over my diet and sleep patterns has also played such a big part in my overall wellness.


I think that I have been able to focus on the things that are the most important: Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness. Everyday I have the opportunity to show gratitude for what I have in my life, as do others. This gives humanity the opportunity to be more connected, even in isolation. If we are all doing this, then the fruit of all this grief and loss can be hope and an increase in value of all that is truly important in life.


Despite everything going on right now, it’s definitely allowed me to focus on myself and get things in order. Individually I feel like I’ve definitely grown to be a better me. I’ve gotten back into doing things I love that I haven’t done in at least a couple years, my skin is glowing, my creativity is through the roof. Despite the current disaster happening, personally I’m happy with myself and I feel ultimately relaxed. I also loved how you mentioned caring for our communities from afar! That’s also an important thing at this time, providing any details online about where... Read more

Becky I.

I'm really inspired by those who're noticing their creativity and connectivity with others improve during these times. Our characters really do get refined during times like these and we have a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Agreed that staying calm and productive/creative is the best option. And being kind to ourselves, practicing self-care in the little things, and doing our best to care for our loved ones even if we can't be physically present for all of them will help deepen our bonds to each other :)


Quarantine has forced me to slow down....because I'm always on the go with 2 little ones. Now, I have the opportunity to be present for my children and I'm soaking that in!! I'm also taking time for self care, and that includes my skin care routine. I've been masking and peeling more in the past several weeks than I have in a year! Woo hoo!
I love how this article mentions caring for our communities. It's a nice reminder to be helpful and kind in anyway possible. Especially now.

Becky I.

Aww, that's lovely. Being present is a real gift and I'm sure your wee ones will really treasure this level of attention. I've learned how to be truly grateful for my friends and family because we're all so much more intentional with each other now. Not that we weren't great before, but this situation is helping us rely on each other in new ways.
It's been heartening to me to see my neighbourhood and community groups really come through for each other even when in lockdown.


Slowing down is such a big part. I have noticed that I went from never having time for anything to actually being able to take my time with self care and family. It has been really lovely spending more time with my daughter as well. Being a part of her school day and learning more about her. I can not say she feels the same cause she misses being at school...LOL....but it has been great for me!!