Hi. Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
With blogging, I find that sometimes I’m putting up new posts every day, and other times I struggle to write one a week. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been dealing with a bit of anxiety lately, and although I pride myself on being a high-functioning anxious person, this time it has just completely flattened me.
I find myself procrastinating the day away, because even the simplest of tasks terrify me. It’s scary to admit that.
I’m not used to this lull in productivity, and the stress of it is giving me migraines and making me feel both useless and worthless. I’ve always been the person that has to be doing something, and even if I’m not physically doing something, my mind is at work: organising meal plans for the following week, figuring out fun things to do on the weekend, structuring my work days, making mental lists of adulty things that have to be done (like renewing my drivers license and doing my tax) and planning how I’ll visually structure the assignment I have due in two weeks. To some it may sound like hell, and I’ll admit that sometimes it is, but it’s just how my brain is wired.
Well, right now, I’ve lost my ability to do. I curl up in a ball of anxiety and am terrified of it all. I tell myself over and over and over and over that I’ve got a billion things to do, but by nighttime, nothing has been done and I feel feverish with the stress of it all.
Do you deal with anxiety?
If so, any tips on dealing with it or recovering from it would be fab. Semester starts up again next week and I’m in no way prepared for it if I’m feeling like this.
Okay, phew. I’m sorry for getting a lil bit negative there but this post would be completely disingenuous if I didn’t explain where it’s coming from.
Basically, I’m stressed af and self-care is the only thing distracting me from crying all the time.
I might write more on self-care later, as I do feel like it’s the health and wellness trend of 2017, but who would have thought that taking care of yourself could be so popular?
So – along with prioritizing sleep, single-tasking and reducing my sugar and caffeine intake, I’ve been pampering myself a
bit LOT more than usual. I’m talking body scrubs, facial mists, gallons of water + herbal tea and face masks! So many face masks! (Also, this product has changed my skin, just sayin’.)
I thought I would share with you which face masks I’ve been using to keep stress related breakouts at bay and nourish my skin from the outside in. Hopefully you find your next skincare fav.
The first mask that is saving my skin right now is Mask of Magnaminty by LUSH Cosmetics. I’ve been a faithful user of this minty fresh mask for years, simply because it is so cooling and calming on stressed out skin. You can use it year round, and I find it to be especially effective in the warmer months when everything is inflamed and you just need to chill the f out. I also love using it on sunburn and any open wounds in my face/body.
Oatifix is another LUSH favourite of mine, and it’s got a lot to do with the fact that it smells like Bûche de Noël. If you don’t know what that is – LUSH brings out a Christmas range every year, and Bûche de Noël is the ULTIMATE festive cleanser. It contains brandy which totally dries up and cleans out any imperfections and oh my god I could rave about it all day. Anyway – Oatifix is super hydrating, even more so than it’s Christmas counterpart, and it’s beyond gentle – which is essential for my sensitive skin. It also smells like warm and syrupy banana oatmeal too, so there’s that.
Okay, I’ve just realised that I’m sharing a lot of LUSH recommendations, but trust me – I do stray from this brand eventually. BB Seaweed was a face mask I only started using this year, and I’m so mad at myself for not picking it up sooner! It’s got rosemary and kaolin in it, AKA it will clean all the crap out of your skin and leave you with a glowing complexion. I also love that it contains rose absolute and fresh seaweed – I feel like a mermaid whenever I use it.
The last LUSH recommendation I have is Love Lettuce, which also happens to contain seaweed, but this mask has a totally different effect than any of the others. It mattifies your skin without stripping it, and at the same time calms any and all breakouts you might be suffering from. I tend to use this when my skin is super oily and congested – especially in my t-zone!
When my skin is beyond congested and feeling disgusting I tend to reach for The Body Shop’s Seaweed Oil-Balancing Clay Mask (what is it with all the seaweed?!). It makes my skin tingle a little and I think that can be a bit much for some, but I find it really draws out the impurities that are buried deep within my skin. Also – using this on an aggressive spot works wonders.
Now, I only realised the other day that I’ve barely talked about the Green Clay Exfoliating Mask from Raw Zen Skincare here on my blog, even though it’s become a staple in my skincare routine. It’s made out of green olive clay powder and tea tree powder and absolutely destroys spots. It’s also in a powder form, so you can mix it up however you like and use it as a spot treatment, an exfoliant and a face mask. Win-win-win!
The Aloe Soothing Rescue Cream Mask from The Body Shop is the thing you need for sunburnt/inflamed skin. I’ve had the same tub of this for years, which might be kinda bad, but I’m nearing the end of it, so don’t worry – but I use this mask when I have dermatitis, irritation, sunburn and hot flashes (thx PCOS) and it calms my skin the f down. I apply a thick layer before I go to bed, sleep with it on allllllll night and wake up to baby-plump skin. This mask is my secret weapon in the summer.
I feel as though the Clear Improvement mask from Origins is a cult classic, and for good reason. It contains charcoal, which absorbs toxins and smooths and clarifies the skin. I picked this up after watching Zoe rave about it and have been obsessed ever since. This, like the Seaweed mask from The Body Shop, tends to make my skin tingle and perhaps get a little red – but I’ve never seen my pores look so tiny and my skin feel so… clean. Make sure you don’t get it on any light coloured surfaces, though, because charcoal creates a stubborn stain (RIP white face cloths).
Back to The Body Shop – I received the Mineral and Ginger Warming Massage Clay Mask in the mail around Valentine’s Day, and immediately became obsessed with the sensation of applying it to my skin. When mixed with water and agitated (massaged into the skin) the formula becomes hot – which opens up your pores and allows the product to do its work. This mask leaves me with super hydrated skin, which is (weirdly) a shade or two lighter than it was before. Maybe it just removes the redness, but I definitely notice my complexion is more bright and awake after using it.
And finally, something I totally forgot to photograph, but an ESSENTIAL with all of these face masks is a face mask brush. I hate getting my hands dirty, so this brush does all the work for you and makes you feel like a professional artist – your face is the masterpiece. Apart from that, it gives me greater precision when applying the product, so I’m waaaay better at multi-masking now.
Let me know in the comments which masks are in your skincare rotation now, and don’t forget to leave me your tips on dealing with anxiety. I’d love to hear from you.