Summer of Self-Care


Living in a city where there are so many people and distractions, it’s easy to neglect yourself. You get caught in the 9-6 cycle. Slowly the desire to snooze just five more minutes becomes irresistible, and those five minutes of groggy sleep become more valuable than waking up to steam a shirt or make toast with your favorite jam or take the scenic route to work.

The past couple of months have been consumed by my own professional life. Celebrating a promotion and the busiest time of the year for the design industry pulled me away from being able to blog. Although I wasn’t creating regular content during a stressful and tiring time, I adamantly maintained time for myself.

Each morning, I refuse to leave the apartment without completing two essential rituals—slowly drinking a French press of coffee in bed and a thorough skincare routine. I’ve recently put an emphasis on creating boundaries for myself and practicing effective self-care. And while self-care isn’t just about exfoliating and moisturizing, the idea holds that it is essential to slow down to care for yourself and do little things that give your spirit the fuel it needs.

During the stressful scramble of the last couple months, I expanded my skincare regimen to help hide the signs and fine lines. I added a few products that had dramatically improving results of brighter, healthier skin.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t previously use one, but I recently added a toner to my routine. For combination skin, the In Two Minds Facial Toner from Aēsop is perfectly beautiful. It’s refreshing and has a soothing scent. I’ve been fascinated by the skincare brand’s cult-following, and I’ve discovered the reason for the obsession. Despite Aēsop’s high price point, their products have an unmatched clean and luxurious and even pampering feeling.

The Ordinary is another skincare company you’ve probably heard about at this point—a company that has quickly taken center stage in the beauty world. On my lunch break, I stumbled upon the brand’s new SoHo storefront—tiny, white-tiled and lined with the brand’s seemingly impossibly priced products. I purchased the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 for a total of $12—paling in comparison to the simple toner I purchased from Aesop for $35. Although the products lack indulgent scents and have names suitable for a chemistry set, the brand makes quality skincare at such an accessible price point. The combination of these two serums has dramatically plumped and brightened the appearance of my skin.

Although I don’t often suffer from breakouts, I struggle with razor bumps and with the summer heat, sweating only makes the irritation worse. Fur is a skincare company that has dedicated itself to resolving an issue that can be unsightly and is not often discussed: ingrown hairs. The brand’s Ingrown Concentrate comes with an exfoliating glove. The finger mitt helps prepare the skin and allows the razor to shave without tugging. After shaving, I put a few drops of the concentrate in the palms of my hands and gently rub along my beard area. Over the past month of use, my beard area has become less inflamed and noticeably smoother.

Le Labo  Face Mask  and  Face Lotion

I have an almost religious devotion to Brooklyn-based brand, Le Labo. I was interested in trying a couple more of their skincare products including their face mask and lotion. If you know me, you know I love face masks, but I find that many strip the skin’s moisture in attempts to purify and cleanse. That’s not the case of Le Labo’s charcoal face mask. This is the perfect maintenance mask. The only complaint I have is that it turns my entire bathroom sink black when removing! The face lotion is a thick, richly-scented cream. My previous moisturizer was unscented, so at first, I was a bit overwhelmed by the strength of the scent. However, after its significant smoothing effect on my skin, I’ve developed a love for this product as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the latest additions to my skincare regimen and that you, too, will expand your routine of self-care. I’d also love your help, as I am currently running out of the eye cream I’ve used over the past several months—Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Eye Cream. I’m looking for suggestions and would appreciate if you leave any product recommendations or effective self-care practices you have in the comments.

Austin WhittleComment