15th May 2020

One up side of lockdown is that it’s forced me into cutting back my beauty regime to the bare minimum and think about the most important principles of what self care is. I luckily always have a health supply of Epsom and magnesium salts to hand for my bath, which I have been using sparingly mixed with essential oils. I’ve taken to eating only healthy whole foods and grateful that I have the privilege to do so in these times, and my skin and hair have a certain glow that wasn’t there before. I have been boosting my health with Igennus Pure & Essential Vegan Omega-3 & Astaxanthin, which has offered me a great alternative to a fish based oil supplement. The capsules are easily absorbed and benefit the brain, heart and lungs. I have loved introducing this easy supplement into my diet.

With the London weather being beautiful, I’ve recently been enjoying jogs round my local park. Outdoor exercise during pollen season can really take its’ toll on my hayfever, so I was delighted to be introduced to Hay-Band– an all-natural approach to seasonal allergies. The band works by applying acupressure to the LI-11 point of the body found at the end of the crease at the elbow. It’s great to see a discreet and natural alternative to hayfever that doesn’t involve drugs or drowsy medicines.

The sudden burst of good weather also made me reach for the sun screen too, especially when I am gardening or out on a job. I have been lathering on sunscreen and aftersun gel by Delph, mainly because they are completely cruelty-free and Vegan friendly, and also contain a combo of UVA and UVB at an affordable price. Their range is really breathable and smells wonderful and lemon-y.

Armenian brand Nairian have a Rosehip Day Serum that has brought pure nourishment into my skin, rosehip being the main skin elixir I lean on for skin resurfacing and smoothing when it comes to the turn of the seasons. The oil contains a heady mix of all the best natural and organic ingredients grown in their eco farm such as Apricot Kernel, Jojoba, Rosehip Seed, Rose and sunflower oils- which leaves my skin glowing and feeling calm. I feel so safe using a product like this that know their organic ingredients can do the talking.

As well as my usual dry brushing, I have been using Kaffir Lime Cane Sugar Body Scrub by spa brand Ushvani. This is their most popular product for a reason: it smells of freshly squeezed limes and has a real ‘zingy’ texture thanks to a magic mix of ingredients like lime essential oil rich organic sugar cane, papaya oil and kaffir lime extract. Bathtime is such a tropical treat when I bring out this scrub; it also contains moisturising coconut oil and cocoa butter so the double nourishment leaves my skin feeling extra soft. A friend travelling back from Malawi gifted me a Kibébé soap- a joyful looking natural soap which leaves my skin feeling nurtured and soft. The soap is wrapped in fabric packaging sourced from women selling from a local textiles market and is produced by artisans in and around the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi.

Having all this time away from the day to day life distractions has given me lots of time to care for my hair. I’m usually wash and go, but I’ve been nourishing it from the inside out with castor and neem oil- plus introducing more nuts into my diet. I recently embarked on a journey with The Hair Fuel, a subscription hair mask that encourages growth. The Hair Fuel feels like I’m hacking the science of hair growth in an easy and approachable way. The product is a clever formula designed by science and biology major Laura Sagen, who acknowledges the phases of natural hair from growth to shedding, as well as the job of the sebaceous glands and blood flow. Plus I can rest at ease that the product is 100% sustainable, from the bottles to the packaging.

I have also really relied on Centred.’s luxury modern haircare products, like their coconut-derived cleansing Daily Calma Shampoo which also contains orange blossom water for shine and their Unwind Detangling Primer to lock in moisture. I’ll also be keeping this one close as a pollution guard for post-lockdown commuting life. With a contemporary and chic design, Centred.’s sustainable and honest products feel like a breath of fresh air in the Vegan haircare market, and they smell heavenly too.

Since I have such tight curly hair, I am super careful about how I brush it. Certain brushes can cause breakage, so my failsafe are combs from the So Eco range who pride themselves on being responsibly and ethically sourced. My favourites are their biodegradable detangling and cutting Combs (proving a great addition to my partner’s lockdown hair cutting sessions!). When I use their brushes, I feel good because they just slide off the hair as opposed to pulling it. The brand is PETA certified and also an official partner of Tree Nation, planting a tree for every 100 products sold.

Taking me back to the yoga mat during lockdown has been Movement for Modern Life. It’s easy to slip out of practice with classes not on, so this subscription streaming platform has been a saving grace for getting active with hundreds of virtual classes to choose from. They have also been hosting a string of interactive courses and retreats, which is a great excuse to keep returning to the site and try something new.

Note: this article is from an archived version of Higher Self- pre 2021