Yesterday, I cried about retinol. (It takes very little to set me off lately.) I’m grateful to even consider these options because I currently have a low-risk pregnancy. I’m able to prioritize partner support and a familiar environment, which is a privilege. While I still haven’t decided where I want to give birth (in the This Is My Senior Skip Day Month Semester Shirt and I love this living room or my bedroom…just kidding!), I remind myself that as a mother, I have practice adjusting to the unexpected. And, in this pandemic, I find myself having an open mind about an option I would have never considered before: having my baby in my own home.
I had read an Instagram caption suggesting that the This Is My Senior Skip Day Month Semester Shirt and I love this current global pandemic provided the perfect opportunity to introduce some of the more irritating ingredients to one’s skin-care routine—retinoids, chemical peels, concentrated acids. Who cares if they eat away at the precious cells of your stratum corneum, or if your face peels off in raw, red patches? You’re social distancing to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the post argued. No one’s around to see. It just seemed so sad. Isolation has already shaken my mental health. Must my skin suffer too? For that matter, do I really need to tend to my roots right now? Trim my bangs? Paint my nails? Put on makeup to feel more “professional” and “productive” while I livestream updates on death toll projections and safety precautions? As the stories about self-administering a salon-grade facial or maintaining a Brazilian wax continue to pile up, I wonder if we’re missing the point. Maybe this is a time to just be with our bare faces and big pores and chipped polish, to examine why we feel this frantic need to keep up appearances at home, alone, anyway.