While we navigate a new normal, many women online have questioned whether worrying about makeup or skincare is truly worth the time. And yet, it’s critical for us to remember that self-care is self-preservation and maintaining a skincare routine can be holistic to our overall being. Moreover, leaning into a practice can improve our moods and our confidence, in addition to our appearance.

When you think of self-care, you may be envisioning a relaxing visit to your masseuse or possibly a mani/pedi in preparation for an exotic vacation. Even with the US slowly getting back to normal, many of us are hesitant to revert to old practices. And yet, routine is actually a simple way to remove stress in these trying times.

Stacey Younge, LCSW and owner of Sixth Street Wellness explains, “It’s not just, ‘know better, do better.’ It’s: feel better, do better. You do better when you feel better. Getting yourself together in the morning by doing your routine and feeling good about your skin as well as your hair—not worrying about those things can really help you feel better during the day.” 

In the absence of your daily commute, it’s a perfect time to instill better beauty habits. In fact, you can use the 30-60 minutes you may have spent traveling to put back into your skin.

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In addition to ingesting an AM green smoothie, give one to your face with the affordable Earth to Skin Super Greens Nourishing Face Cleanser. It contains a broccoli-cucumber-kale complex that revitalizes and replenishes the skin packing in Vitamins A, C, and K as well as iron and other antioxidants. Afterward, apply a gentle exfoliating toner to assist the skin in absorbing products so you can receive the maximum benefits. Next, apply a serum. Serums are a high dose elixir of the good stuff your skin needs. AHC Aqualuronic Serum and Vichy Liftactive Peptide-C Ampoule Serum are personal favorites because they contain hyaluronic acid. New York Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon, Dr. Michelle Henry shares that this is the secret sauce of skincare, “Hyaluronic acid is one of my favorite ingredients. It’s a miracle molecule because it holds one thousand times its weight in water.” AHC also contains mineral-rich French seawater, ooh la la— it’s a 30-second spa-like experience for your face! Ampoules are more concentrated than serums and normally priced in the $100-$200 range. This affordable ampoule is packed with 10% vitamin C and photo peptides to give you firmer, more hydrated skin.

Lastly, apply a moisturizer. In the morning, use something light like Urban Skin Rx Hydrabalance Instant Moisture Infusion. This is a moisture miracle. At night, when your skin is repairing itself, moisturizer is a must. While products containing retinoids tend to be more expensive, you can’t go wrong with Differin Restorative Night Moisturizer. IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream contains ceramides in addition to hyaluronic acid to repair and restore the natural skin barrier without the use of retinoids. Ensure you moisturize twice a day. Dr. Henry says, “Our microenvironments at home are actually dryer than the outdoors.” In addition to this “We’re also wearing masks and my patients are experiencing skin breakdown, irritation, dermatitis, and acne under the mask from constant rubbing. When we fortify our skin with moisture inducing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, it makes our skin more resilient and less prone to breakdown and irritation.”

Not feeling a whole routine right now or just overwhelmed in general? It’s understandable, so you can feel free to start small. While answering e-mails, try a face mask from Masque Bar or Urban Hydration’s soothing aloe vera leaf gel mask. Feeling adventurous? Attempt that protective style you’ve always wanted to do but always had zero time (even if it takes a couple of days). Try a new co-wash (this one from Lusters Pink is super hydrating) and relax knowing your wash and go doesn’t have to be a wash and rush. You have time to experiment (just have a stylish headwrap readily available in case the look goes awry). Accomplishing things focused on you will boost your mood and productivity.

Younge encourages, “Tailor to you and tailor to your day. Something is better than nothing. Don’t feel bad if you go some time without a routine. When you are feeling good again, get started.”