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Sara Matsetti

Establishing a Skincare Routine During Quarantine

If you’re anything like me, the sheer number of skincare products available at your average pharmacy or makeup store can be overwhelming. Who knew there were this many products claiming to fix everything? It makes shopping complicated: do you want to get this face mask to heal your acne, or do you use this serum to brighten your skin? Do you get facial scrub or a foaming cleanser? In this article, I’ll be breaking down some of the differences between these products and explaining how you can create a skincare routine based on your specific needs. 

Establishing a skincare routine can become one of the most relaxing parts of your day, especially while many of us are feeling the stress of remote learning and life. Since quarantine has us indoors, taking time out of your day to really create an experience for your skin can also help with de-stressing! With a skincare routine, it’s honestly the little things that add up and leave your skin feeling refreshed. 

Everyone has different skin and is therefore going to have a different routine, so part of the process is using trial and error to see what works for you. Of course, everyone has bad weeks where their skin has a mind of its own, but figuring out what products work for you is vital to establishing a skincare regimen. I’ve listed my recommendations below for products that are easy to experiment with and wallet-friendly.

Face Wash

Since I have fairly sensitive skin when I wake up in the morning, I prefer to just wash my face with warm water instead of using a facial cleanser. However, if you have especially oily skin, I’d recommend starting the day washing your face with a cleanser. I’ve found that Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser is particularly effective.


I highly recommend using a moisturizer in the morning, especially if you’re going to apply makeup. Moisturizers are a great base for makeup, because they ensure a smoother application process. Even if you’re not going to apply makeup, using a moisturizer is always a good idea to make sure your skin stays healthy. If you have oily skin, I recommend using a light, oil-free moisturizer, like Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. A less pricey option is Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin – it’s also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic!

Facial Spray 

Facial sprays are a great way to rejuvenate your face and are a pretty versatile option – you can use them before or after applying makeup. Mario Badescu has amazing facial sprays that feel incredible on your skin.

Facial Rollers

If you really want to pamper yourself (which you should!), I’d also recommend looking at facial rollers. Facial rollers are effective in reducing under-eye circles and wrinkles and also help products absorb into your skin. Facial rollers assist in circulation by helping bring oxygenated blood to your face. 

After you apply moisturizer, use these to gently roll upward in one direction – never roll down. The recommended use frequency is two to three times a week for five-minute increments.

Face Scrubs, Masks, and Pore Strips

Using either a facial scrub, face mask, or pore strip once a week can have great effects for your skin. I don’t recommend using all three in a short period of time because some of these products may be harsh on sensitive skin.

Using a facial scrub helps exfoliate and get rid of old skin cells; Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub is a great option for this purpose. 

There are many different options for face masks: sheet masks, clay masks, peeling masks, bubbling masks, and the list goes on! Sheet masks are a fun way to heal and brighten your skin, especially if it’s dry (some sheet masks also come in cute animal faces, so… who doesn’t want that?). Sephora Collection has a variety of sheet masks that usually aren’t too expensive. I also love Mario Badescu’s Rose Hips Mask – it helps restore your skin’s natural, healthy glow; give you an even skin tone; and lift impurities from the pores.

Lastly, Bioré Pore Strips help eliminate blackheads, dirt, oil, and excess makeup, specifically around the nose, chin, and forehead. I’ve found that using a strip once every two weeks has also helped my face produce less oil. 

No one knows your skin better than you, and sometimes it takes some time to get acquainted! Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself each day as it’s important to take care of yourself during this stressful time. Take advantage of the time you have at home to explore and create a personalized skincare regimen. You (and your skin) are worth the extra care!

Emily is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about medicine, writing, and women's empowerment. In her free time, she can be found playing tennis or exploring Philadelphia with friends!
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