Lockdown Lowdown: May Buranasiri on prioritising skincare and self-care in a pandemic
As Bangkokians go through another round of lockdown, they have creatively adapted their homes to function as offices, gyms, art studios, and so much more. In our Lockdown Lowdown series, we talk to professionals from different areas of life to discuss how they are keeping on with their careers, what they are doing to stay sane during the new normal, and give us tips on how to live a better life at home.
The lockdown may have presented everyone with a slump in their daily routine. Shifting from life on the go to being home 24/7 is not easy. From reduced productivity to slacking off on exercise, the disruption to our normal schedules has kicked some habits that we weren’t expecting to drop in the first place.
When it comes to self-care, veteran beauty vlogger May Buranasiri knows it doesn’t have to disappear. A change in routine may simply be adapting your needs to the current times. Throughout the years, the beauty guru has educated Thai beauty enthusiasts with her vast knowledge of skincare and makeup. Though we know her for her makeup tutorials, May has adapted to a skin-first routine in a time when people aren’t wearing as much makeup. In our recent chat with her, she divulges skincare tips and self-care wisdom that is more than skin deep.
What do your days look like right now? Talk us a little through your daily routine during this time.
I’ve been working from home. I’m quite used to it due to the nature of my work. But some things have definitely changed. I used to film content from travelling and going outside before, but nowadays it’s mostly home content. I’ve just been chilling with my four dogs and cooking quite a bit lately.
Have you picked up any new hobbies or skills? What are they?
I started building LEGOs again! I haven’t done it in a while and it’s a great way to unplug from the fast-paced digital world that we live in nowadays. Being online constantly has greatly affected my concentration levels so I wanted to turn to an offline activity that requires my full attention to rebuild my concentration levels again.
There are these adult LEGO sets that are super fun to build, and I recently finished this 2000-piece typewriter LEGO set. The parts and mechanics make it move like a real typewriter. It was a difficult puzzle that took over 10 hours and I didn’t do it all in one sitting. I’m glad I was able to take some time out of each day to work on it instead of binge-watching television series all day like I did the last lockdown. I’m just glad I was finally able to peel my eyes off the screen.
Have you tried a new beauty or self-care routine during this time? What does that look like?
I’ve had more time to take care of my skin. I think this is also the case for everyone. Recently, the skincare market has grown more quickly than the cosmetics market. When I started as a beauty blogger 10 years ago, everybody loved colours and there was a bigger makeup scene. People were using foundation to create flawless skin or brightening their lips with lipstick.
Now that we’re all working from home during the pandemic, I began focusing more on skincare. I used to be too lazy to do a 10-step skincare routine but I have all the time in the world now. Before the pandemic, I only focused on cleansing, moisturising, and applying sunscreen. But now that I have more time for special treatments, I’ve been masking more frequently since I have time to wait for products to soak into my skin. Since I can’t go out for facial treatments during this time, I’ve acquired some beauty gadgets like LED light therapy devices to take care of my skin in lieu of visiting an esthetician.
How has the lockdown changed or shaped your self-care habits?
I started taking care of my overall health more, especially with my diet. Before the pandemic started, I believe everyone had the same mentality that they don’t have to cook or eat healthy because they were so busy. I was one of those people too. But now that I have more time to take care of myself. I don’t want it to go to waste. I’m trying to keep my immunity up so I won’t get sick easily.
What are some of your favourite skincare products?
Even though I’m indoors most of the time, sunscreen is still my go-to product. You might think it isn’t necessary because you’re staying in all the time now. But we’re not vampires and we still need some sun exposure. Whether you’re sitting by your windows or walking around the house, you’ll still be exposed to the sun’s UV rays. There’s also the blue light emitted from our electronic devices.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been masking a lot lately. I love hydro jelly masks. They’re so much fun to use! It’s a little DIY moment where you get to mix the ingredients and get the hydration and benefits that your skin needs out of them.
What is the first thing you will do once things go back to “normal”? Do you have any plans for the future?
I’d love to reconnect with my loved ones without the constant fear of feeling unsafe. The pandemic has taken away so many everyday activities that we were used to, like getting coffee with friends or eating at a restaurant with our families. These were things we all took for granted before, but I can’t wait to live like we did before it all started once this is over.
How do you think people’s attitudes toward beauty products will change after the pandemic?
I think people will appreciate and enjoy beauty products more. At the moment, most people are favouring skincare products because they’re at home. But I believe they’ll come back to enjoy buying makeup products and have fun wearing colours on their face again. I also believe people will be more conscious about their health and wellness because they have gone through a period of intensely worrying about their health and safety. People will make better and choices with a more well-rounded approach to staying healthy like incorporating more exercise into their daily life.
What are some self-care tips you would like to offer during this time?
Your physical and mental health are both equally important. Back then, people probably equated self-care to good physical health. But throughout this period, I’ve been focusing more on myself and my mental health. It’s not something that’s talked about in our culture, but it’s extremely important to address due to the collective stress we’re all experiencing right now. Besides the pandemic itself, the news we’re consuming just adds to all the stress and impacts our mental health negatively.
I hope this will pass soon, but in the meantime, everyone should find ways to relax. The lockdown can be the difficult part for some, but for others like front line works who aren’t as lucky, they’re dealing with the stress of not being able to work from home and stay safe. I want to extend my support to everyone during this time to take care of themselves both physically and mentally.