THE IN-TRAY

5 ways to practice mindfulness while doing your skincare routine

We’ve all been encouraged to ‘maintain a normal routine’ while living in a pandemic-present world, and while for some, Zoom pilates and yoga have served their purpose, for others finding time for mindfulness has deemed a little trickier. Pair that with the fact that people are investing more into their skincare routines and less into makeup (thanks to the elimination of a commute, a subsequent extra few minutes in the morning and the soft-blur of video calls), and a new form of multitasking mindfulness emerges. It’s likely that in some way or form, you already practice it.

Holistically speaking, a robust and regular multi-step skincare routine has shown to make practisers not only look, but feel good. Miracle-working ingredients aside (niacinamide, we see you), it’s the calming, self-nourishing and focused nature of applying skincare in the mornings and evenings that can do wonders for your mental health, self-esteem and overall productivity.

If, like me, you struggle to meditate, ‘turn-off’ or practice mindfulness (but would love to), keep these five things in mind next time you step into your bathroom.

1. SET THE SCENE

In order to tap into your calmest, most grounded self—whether you’re starting your day off or about to go to sleep—your environment needs to reflect the vibe you wish to emulate. A clean, neat bathroom with fresh towels and tools, your favourite candle burning (these are our favourite for winter), and a podcast or playlist on in the background is the perfect place to start. Lay your products out in front of you to avoid any frantic searching through drawers, cupboards, or bags.

2. BE PRESENT, AND TAKE YOUR TIME

By being present and intentional while running through the motions of your skincare routine, you can instantly transform it from being a monotonous daily task, into a self-care ritual you actually look forward to.

Really feel the texture of each product, and think about what it’s going to do. Take Cosmetics 27’s must-have moisturiser, Baume 27. Thick and buttery, it requires the warmth of your fingers to melt the cream into your skin; pay attention to how it changes in texture, and how it feels from your hands, to your face. Apply each product with purpose, giving them time to work by pressing and massaging them into the skin, paying close attention to pressure and placement. If you’ve got a device like a roller or microcurrent toner, don’t let it gather dust—now’s the perfect time to use it.

READ MORE: DIY facials with tech: how to pick the best beauty device for at home use

3. LISTEN TO YOUR SKIN

There’s a mirror in every single bathroom for a reason; look at yourself. How does your skin look, and how does it feel? Our skin is deeply connected to our diets and hormones, and will not hold back in communicating what your body needs—whether that’s more water, less sugar, extra hydration (in which case we’ll slather on either Chantecaille’s Jasmine And Lily Healing Mask or Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask), help in the brightening department, or for you to stress a whole lot less. Before you reach for your skincare, take note of what your skin might be telling you. It could even be as simple as a breakout on one side of your face telling you it’s time to wash your pillowcase.

READ MORE: The effect of stress on your skin and how to avoid it

4. BREATHE

It’s so simple, yet so often forgotten. A good, deep breath will work wonders to keep stress hormones at bay, ground your mind and body, and further enhance the experience of your skincare routine.

Take time to inhale the aromas of your products—this will create an added sense of relaxation and serenity, and, by means of aromatherapy, can totally change your mood or outlook. Citrus scents will help to energise, so take a deep breath in as you smooth Sunday Riley’s subtly zesty C.E.O. Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturiser across your face. More herbaceous aromas will calm the nervous system (another reason on the long list of why we love Go-To’s Face Hero), and scents you’d typically find in your local café—like coffee, maple and vanilla (found in our favourite scrubs, Frank Body’s Original Coffee Scrub and Soap & Glory’s The Breakfast Scrub) will uplift, de-stress and promote attentiveness.

READ MORE: The 6 scents to transform your home into a relaxation station

5. DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

An important reminder: your skincare routine—and the makeup that may proceed it—is for you. Whether it’s two steps or 12, if it makes you feel good, that’s all that matters; especially right now. By carving out daily me-time to practice mindfulness, whether intentional (a 30-minute meditation) or not (your daily skincare routine), you will reap the benefits, inside and out.

If no-makeup makeup is no longer cutting it on the vibe front, even if you are just at home, throw on your favourite lipstick, or define your brows. Take pride and care in your beauty decisions—although they might seem small, their impact on your day can be mighty.

Do any of these feel-good beauty favourites call your bathroom shelf home? If so, don’t forget to give them your vote in this year’s MECCA Beauty Election.

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