Putting the person back in personal care.
Over the years I’ve had a number of different treatments, some superficial – nails, eyebrows, and some cosmetic – Dermapen, and laser hair removal. However, I got rather ill in late 2017, and since then my beauty routine has changed out of necessity. I can’t do a lot of the things are used to be able to and that very much includes beauty treatments and general self-care. I’ve had to adjust to working around my body, instead of getting my body to work around what I want to do.
Below is a list of all the treatments I’ve had, and a comparison of what I could do before and after I got ill, and any cheats I’ve found to make beauty treatments easier.
I’ve not included makeup, because honestly, that’s another post entirely!
I cannot and will not shave my legs. They are too sensitive, they are in pain 24/7, and I’m slightly terrified that getting a cut could cause an infection.
I did have laser hair removal back in 2016/17 for bikini, full leg, and underarm areas. However, I don’t think the underarm took well, as I still definitely need to shave every other day or so. The bikini area has been amazing because my skin was always irritated, red, and ingrown –it’s now smooth and happy. I got laser hair removal on my legs for a similar reason.
Instead of shaving, I trim my leg hair. I brought a £10 ladies’ hair trimmer and use it only when my legs are medicated and cold, to lightly brush over the area and trim the hair. I do still shave my underarms and inner bikini area, but that’s about it!
Stretch Marks – Dermapen
I only had one treatment our of 5 of Dermapen micro-needling in 2017 because my health declined. The place I was having the treatment done did not have a ramp and the treatment rooms were upstairs with no lift. Needless to say, I got a refund.
I decided to get Dermapen because there was a year when my weight kept increasing (thanks to birth control), and I didn’t know what to do. These stretch-marks were deep and red, and since I film myself for a living, I wanted to do something about them.
Let me say stretch-marks usually don’t bother me, I’ve got plenty on my boobs, thighs, arms and such! The ones on my stomach were red and deep, and I was very self-conscious about them.
In an ideal world, I would like to get another treatment, but considering it’s effectively a ‘trauma treatment’, I don’t think that will be possible.
I don’t really treat my skin for my stretch marks, but I do try to keep my skin hydrated, and creamed.
Back in 2016, I looked at professional teeth whitening (can you tell this was the year I started looking at cosmetic treatments in earnest?), and I got a quote and talked to my dentist. However, today I would never be able to drop that much money on it, and nor could I afford spending that much energy to go to weekly treatments just for my teeth.
Instead, I went down the route of Crest White Strips – I am NOT advising that you do the same. I only went with them because they’re a known brand name, and a lot of my cam friends use them. To my knowledge they’re not allowed in the UK because they are too strong – and they really are! I was a bit too overzealous once and my teeth were sensitive for a week straight, and my teeth are already sensitive (shocker).
I tried to make a habit of getting my nails done monthly – and I only really started doing this in 2015 or so. My nails have always made me feel more ‘put together’, no matter how ill I feel. I mostly got my fingernails painted, as they were the ones that chipped the most, but I did occasionally get my toes done.
Going to a nail salon is impossible now as nearly all the salons are upstairs, or have a few steps on the ramp, or have entire rooms dedicates treatment upstairs but the entrance is downstairs. Makes total sense. *heavy sigh*
Granted, doing my own nails is MUCH cheaper, and there’s a wider variety of polishes, but I liked the routine and taking time to myself. Now, I do my own nails weekly/monthly. I have a gel kit, and I collect gel nail polishes so I can do my own manicures. I found that gel is better for me than regular polish because regular polish gives me a headache (and the smell lingers after application), and my nails are very brittle and thin – so gel stays on longer.
Generally, I only paint my fingernails, however recently I’ve been pondering if I could tolerate painting a thin coat of shiny polish on my toenails. I might ask my podiatrist first.
Nothing much, the odd visit to a salon, but mostly at home food scrubs, nail filing, and occasionally popping lotion on them.
One day I try cutting my toenails with a toenail clipper, and because I’ve got paresthesia and numbness, I clipped off a bit of my toe instead. It wasn’t a massive amount, but the fact I couldn’t feel it was troubling, to say the least. After this, I panicked and decided to go to a private podiatrist. He was absolutely lovely, fascinated with my medical stuff, and told me I should fight to get the appointments on the NHS. I did, and my GP begrudgingly referred me.
Since then I’ve seen a handful of podiatrists and some have been great, some not so great – some have caused more pain as my toenails need to be cut a certain way – thanks to genetics!
Ultimately, it’s the appointment to cut my toenails and check for infections, cuts, and treat any problems. It’s not a fancy treatment where they will tend to my cuticles. I argue that this one is more medical necessity than a ‘beauty treatment’, but it falls under self-care to some extent.
Apart from podiatry, I have to lotion my feet daily because they’re constantly in the path of a fan and exposed to the elements. I also have to try to get rid of dead skin cells myself because I don’t wear shoes or socks, and I don’t put anything abrasive enough on my feet to remove dead skin. Unfortunately, this means I have to find ways to exfoliate the skin. I’ve found a konjac sponge to be perfect as it’s gentle enough that it doesn’t cause too much of a flare, but also strong enough that it removes dead skin. Since using it, I’ve seen a marked improvement of the skin on my feet.
I used to get my brows done by brow bars. I’d usually get them waxed, plucked, and treated, and that was that. I’ve always plucked my eyebrows, and after the super-thin eyebrow trend of 2009 I learnt that I do not suit thin eyebrows, and it’s best to just work with what I’ve got.
My eyebrows are a trait I’ve always loved, and funnily enough, I got a lot of compliments on them from my videos. Whilst I don’t give do as much upkeep as I used to, I do try and stay on top of stray hairs, and I also dye them every few weeks so they seem fuller.
I’m doing a £20 service at home for the price of a pair of good tweezers, and a few tubes of the right kind of dye.
It took me ages to find a salon I was happy with, and then after I started getting more ill (different to the feet debacle) I realised I needed to find somewhere closer. I used to get ‘fancy’ hair treatments, tried balayage, and naturally get my hair cut and coloured.
I stopped ‘going pro’ for hair colouring around 2016 because after the 3-hour salon trip I was in bed for two days afterwards with a migraine. I’ve always been sensitive to smells, and chemicals – particularly those involved with hair procedures, but it was steadily getting worse so stopped going even before I got ill.
I have bleached it once or twice and dyed it red, but at the moment I’m giving my hair a rest– and using a conditioning dark brown box dye that doesn’t have ammonia in to prevent headaches.
Up until very recently, I was still going out to have my haircut. I’ve been going out to have my haircut for years, and I find it one of the scariest things because I’ve gone to a number of hairdressers and have come out looking 10 times worse. There have been some truly odd haircuts.
I changed hairdressers a few weeks ago for one of two reasons. The first reason was that I couldn’t go out anymore – I couldn’t expend the energy to get my hair cut, the second was because they were too rough with my head, even though I’d told them multiple times to be gentle.
My new hairdresser comes to me, and it has been wonderful. They were so gentle and listen to my concerns. They also didn’t have a go at me for using boxed hair dye! Success!
I’ve completely had to overhaul my beauty routine. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, sometimes it’s because of my energy levels, and sometimes it’s because of pain. Before I got ill going out to these treatments saves me more time than doing them myself. Now I’m ill going out these treatments cost more time and energy, and it’s always a battle of energy. Energy my most valuable currency, and I have to be careful about how I spend it.
Whilst I love the feeling of getting the treatments done, feeling pampered, and having someone else do it, it is simply not possible nowadays. I am looking for more people who could come to me for treatments (I really need a massage), but it’s a slow process.
I’ve also found that I quite enjoy some of the treatments, I really like doing gel nails as they take under an hour to do, and I can pop a video on and use the time for self-care – usually, I pop on a face mask, sometimes white strips, and sometimes even some fancy collagen-infused under-eye things too.
An added bonus is that DIY treatments are a lot cheaper, which is great for my bank balance, but I really miss going out and having ‘me’ time. For the most part, I’m at home 24/7, and if I’m not careful that can really get to me.