It’s finally Spring in the Crescent City, and that means Fridays spent at The Fly, crawfish boils, music festivals, and cute warm weather clothes. Despite all of this excitement, spring also means catching up on all of the work and readings you’ve been procrastinating on all semester and stressing about summer internships. With all of the city’s festivities overlapping with piling up responsibilities, it is important to have some self-care days to ease the stress and anxieties of school, give your skin a break from makeup and sun, and even give your liver a break from party-associated toxins. Below, I have outlined some of my favorite ways to unwind and relax after a weekend of schoolwork and/or fun.
In the midst of late nights at Howie T., attending Buku, or binging Netflix, it is easy for students to forget to take care of their skin. For your self-care day, give your skin the full treatment. In the morning, wash your face with your favorite cleanser to remove any dirt, dead skin, or makeup on the surface of the skin. My favorite drugstore cleanser is the Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser. I apply a small amount to my Daily Concepts Facial Micro Scrubber, which helps to exfoliate my pores. After cleansing, the next (and I think most important) step is to apply a toner to your skin. Toner helps in hydrating the skin, moves left over oils and dirt to the surface, and prevents future breakouts by balancing the skin’s pH levels. I use Trader Joe’s Rose Water Toner because it hydrates my skin after it’s been stripped of its oils by the activated charcoal in my cleanser. Next, I apply moisturizer to keep my skin healthy and to prevent dryness and peeling. It is important to choose a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it to protect from dangerous UV rays. I use Estée Lauder’s Antioxidant Cream with SPF15. Keep in mind that even on overcast New Orleans days, the sun’s rays are still incredibly dangerous! At night, be sure to wash your face with cleanser, remove all makeup, and if you’re up for it, apply a face mask for 10-15 minutes once or twice a week to further hydrate your skin. My favorite face masks are Dead Sea Clay Masks because of their soothing and cooling elements.
When I have my self-care days, I like to do them to the fullest; this means showering, washing my hair, shaving my legs, and doing my full skincare routine. In addition, I also like to paint my nails, apply self tanner, and shape my eyebrows. Everyone has different routines, so do you in this realm. My routine goes as follows: after I shower and shave my legs, I apply Johnson’s Baby Oil to my wet skin to trap some of the water’s moisture on my skin. I then like to apply Cocoa Butter lotion to my skin to leave it moisturized and prevent dryness. If I choose to apply self-tanner, I will skip the baby oil and lotion so that my St. Tropez tanner can soak into my skin. However, put lotion on areas where you might not want the tanner to stick as well (knees, elbows, ankles, armpits, etc). On days when I don’t self-tan, I also like to blow-dry and straighten my hair because it makes me feel more confident and makes my hair shinier.
Food and Drink
For me, this category can go in two directions. Sometimes on my self-care days, I want to eat and drink foods and beverages with detoxifying elements that help my skin clear up and make me feel fresh and healthy in order to avoid bloating. On these days, I like to drink an energizing tea instead of coffee in the morning, and drink a calming night-time tea before bed. For food, I like to make a spinach and berry smoothie for breakfast, snack on hummus and veggies or guacamole for lunch, and eat a grilled chicken vermicelli bowl from Jazmine’s Café for dinner. Eating unprocessed, fresh, and non-greasy foods will help you both look and feel your best after you eat, and in the following days. On the contrary, after a long week of school work or a wild night out, sometimes my favorite way to care for my body is by indulging in my guilty pleasure foods and drinks. My go-to meal has to be the box combo from Canes with sweet tea. Just be sure to wash your hands after eating finger food and avoid touching your face after to prevent greasy oils on your skin.
For this category, listen to your body and what it needs! Some self-care days mean taking an extra-long nap to catch up on missed sleep, and for some it means going to Reily for an overdue sweat sesh. For me, I try to spend 30-45 minutes doing yoga 3-4 times a week. I bought my own yoga mat on Amazon for less than $20, and use free Youtube tutorials and fitness apps on my phone to guide me. On the weekends, I like to go on bike rides and long walks through Uptown, Audubon, and the Garden District to get some fresh air and to get off the couch. Listen to your body tell you what it needs: if you are tired, it’s probably a good idea to take a nap; if it is aching, try stretching for a little or go on a quick run!
COVER PHOTO: New Beauty