The long hours, the sleepless nights, the constant goals of staying hydrated and the cold hospital air all wreak havoc on our skin. For a large majority of women and men, reaching for skin care routines and makeup to enhance their appearance is very common. For nurses, reaching for the right skincare and makeup is vital. While we should always feel beautiful and confident in our skin, the nurse’s life can be tough. However, with the consistent face-to-face work with patients on a daily basis, going bare skin isn’t always an option we are willing to take. So what can we do to care for our skin and what makeup should we use?
Taking care of our skin is extremely important, but it can be utterly overwhelming to understand what to purchase and what to do with what we buy. Scrolling through social media to find our most efficient options can be both intriguing and overwhelming. Especially when for some of us, having the basics is more than enough for our busy lifestyles. However, when we throw in all of the circumstances that cause our skin to act up, including the need to wear masks, it’s substantial to have the basics covered.
A cleanser is the first step in a good, and simple, skincare routine. A cleanser will clean all of the day’s impurities, makeup, excess oils, and dead skin which will, in turn, unclog pores, keep skin light and fresh, and prepare your skin for the next step. What type of cleanser is really up to you. You can select affordable options like Cerave Hydrating Wash or Cetaphil’s Gentle Cleanser, or you can opt for more expensive brands like Dr Barbara Sturm V Wash or Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser, which is an all-natural line of products. If you want to take it a step further, feel free to purchase an AHA cleanser (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids) which allows you to wipe away impurities gently rather than wash them off.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. If there is anything we as nurses to make sure we do, it’s to keep our skin hydrated. While using a cleanser can be more kept to your nightly routine. In your morning routine, after washing your face lightly with water, you should apply a solid moisturizer that works well for your skin. Think of a moisturizer as a way to replenish the water your skin will lose or has lost throughout the day. You can find many good moisturizers around but look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, peptides and glycerin. You can opt for affordable moisturizers like Cerave Moisturizing Cream or The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. Then there are the more expensive options like Kiehl’s Calendula Serum-infused Water Cream or Elemis Peptide Adaptive Day Cream.
We think of sunscreen as what keeps up from getting burnt in the summer. But no matter what your age or what season it is, sunscreen should be something we wear all year long. To make it a bit simpler, we can find SPF added to some of our moisturizing creams. While some recommend you opt for a specific sunscreen rather than an added SPF, others also recommend applying it every two hours. Something that is just not very realistic for all of us. At the end of the day, do what works best for you. As long as you are adding sunscreen to your skincare routine. You are on the right track.
While masks don’t need to be a part of your skincare routine, they, of course, do help our skin but also assist us on certain occasions. Maybe you’d like to apply cold eye patches under your eyes first thing in the morning to help with fatigue or sleepiness. Maybe you need an extra hydrating facial mask after work if the day has been extra dry or the weather is playing up. Sometimes, you need a colorful and fruity face mask to use when you’re sitting in the tub with your glass of wine and Netflix. There are oodles of options available. Cheap, expensive, natural or fun. So, if you would like to, go crazy.
Makeup is very – to each their own – and we can absolutely do ourselves up or keep ourselves more natural. The great thing about makeup is it’s totally up to us! As nurses, as long as we are getting the right products, then we can be as creative or as simple as we need to be for work.
As we have already discussed just how dry our environment is, seeking long-lasting foundations will help our cause. As we are already applying moisturizer and sunscreen, we have already begun creating a solid barrier for our foundation to sit on. So finding a foundation that will last throughout your whole 12-hour shift is very important. There are some talks about whether to look for liquid makeup or powder. Powdered foundation tends to last longer and offers a lighter coverage. Though liquid foundations can cover more blemishes, or tiredness, and provides more coverage. So once again, finding something that both works for you and is long-lasting will be your key.
**Concealer may be something you would like to purchase too. Concealers are more defined in their coverage, although not 100% necessary. The perk is it can help with under-eye bags, the downfall is it takes more time out of your day to apply.
While mascara may also not be 100% necessary in your makeup routine, it is that one piece of makeup that can really enhance your look. It essentially helps to enhance our eyes and make them more defined. With these perks comes one problem: how messy it can get, especially throughout a long shift. There are two things you can do to avoid this. Firstly, opt for a clump-resistant mascara like L’OREAL Paris Voluminous Mascara or the Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-smudge Lengthening Mascara which doesn’t come off your eyes unless you apply warm water. Secondly, don’t reach for the waterproof mascara! There are some serious downsides like an increased risk of eye infections and irritation.
Whether you go tinted or not, the most significant thing is finding a lip balm that actually goes into your lips and keeps your lips moisturized rather than throwing a layer of balm on top. Burts Bees are perfect for exactly this and you can even pick from their Tinted Lip Balm range too. Keep it on you at all times and make sure your lips are feeling good throughout your shift.
Skincare and makeup routines don’t have to be long and tedious. As long as you are sticking to these basics, you can venture outwards and go for more if you please or stick to what is working. Keeping our skin well taken care of throughout our shift is very important. So take the right steps today!