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  • Erin Pepler

How to Maintain a Youthful Glow When the World is Falling Apart

It's fine, we're all fine, everything is fiiiiine. Right? So obviously you'll be able to focus on an extreme skincare routine to make sure you get out of the pandemic looking years younger. (Yeah freaking right. But this piece will give you the giggles, and that's probably better for you than any product out there.)

The pandemic has been hard on us all in different ways, but nothing has suffered more than our skincare routines. Right? I mean, there’s really no disputing that, as long as you don’t read the news or look outside or allow human emotion and/or logic to creep into your perspective. Skincare routines. That’s what we’re here to talk about today, and how we’re going to get through “all of this.” We may be in another lockdown, but don’t let pandemic life give you stress acne and wrinkles — instead, try this simple, effective seven-step beauty routine. Get ready to glow!

STEP ONE: Cleanser

Tears may be emotionally cleansing but they don’t wash your face, so grab something soapy and get to work. A gentle facial cleanser is best — I use a charcoal-infused bar soap that makes me feel both clean and trendy — but really, any soap will do. Some fancy stuff from a department store, a miniature you stole from a hotel (remember vacations?!), a few drops of liquid laundry soap, or, hey, even that bright green stuff you use to get grease out of pots and pans. It might not sound ideal, but what about the past year has been?! You know what’s really bad for your skin? Never-ending existential dread. So, suds up and wash it all away, preferably with a coarse cloth that stings a little bit. You know, to help you feel something.


What is toner? Nobody knows, but a woman who gave me a spa facial sold me a bottle of it several years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since. Choose something in a calming colour palette, like a rosy pink or seafoam green. Slap it on your face until you can’t hear yourself screaming any more. What, you weren’t screaming? Okay then, person-with-coping-skills. Carry on.

STEP THREE: Moisturizer

Moisturizer is key because everything about us is dry and/or slightly cracked open right now, both mentally and physically. Start with your face, but really, you need to be slathering that stuff all over. Pay special attention to the hands — if they burn like the devil’s fire when the lotion hits, it just means you’ve been doing a good job with the hand sanitizer. The more it stings, the more beautiful you should feel. Is that a little blood I see on your knuckles? Well done!

STEP FOUR: Facial Massage

If you have one of those pink quartz or jade roller ball things, bust it out right now. It’s time to roll that gem-on-a-stick all over your pretty face like it’s a lawnmower and your skin is a neglected patch of grass on a hot summer’s day. Roll it good, letting that moisturizer work its way into your pores. If you close your eyes, it might even feel vaguely like the touch of another person. Remember touching, and people? Ahhh, the good ol’ days. (Don’t think about them too hard. Remember, TEARS ARE NOT CLEANSER.)

STEP FIVE: Eye Cream

PSA: I need eye cream, and so do you. The eyes tell the story, and the story right now is not good, so treat those peepers extra special or you’re going to look like Uncle Fester. Trust me on this one. Plus, eye cream makes you feel fancy because the container is small and costs at least double what you paid for the toilet paper stockpile the news tricked you into buying in March.

STEP SIX: Stare into the Mirror for, Like, 20 Minutes

Because where do you have to go? The next room? Come on, now. You may as well take some time to gaze deeply into your own soul, just to make sure it’s still there, before you go make breakfast. Oh, and be sure to pluck those random hairs while you’re gazing at yourself. If you’re older than 29, there are more of them on your chin than you realize.


After a long day in your house, it’s time for some pampering before bed. Take off your clothes, get into a hot bath and put on one of those sheet masks from the drug store. If the bath doesn’t immediately turn you the shade of a lobster upon entry, add hot water until it does (again, the goal is to feel something — a pumice stone will also help). Finally, repeat steps one through six of this routine before hopping into bed. Or don’t, because nothing really matters. Or maybe everything is fine? That sheet mask really helped. Have they tried to sheet mask the pandemic? It might work. Your skin looks good, by the way.

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