It’s obviously not fun being sick, as anyone who has hacked and sneezed her way through winter can attest. Yet there are a number of surprisingly enjoyable ways to seek relief and slowly recuperate even from what can often feel like the very depths of misery.
Since dry air tends to exacerbate sickness, it stands to reason that my skin usually follows suit when those telltale signs start to make their unwelcome appearance. So while my nose may be red and stuffed up and my eyes so bloodshot they render me unrecognizable, I can at least do something to deal with my parched skin. That’s why, along with aloe-infused tissues and cough syrup, I usually grab a tube of hydrocortisone at the drugstore and make sure to dab it on my nose throughout my sickness. That usually is enough to keep the redness at bay. Of course, the rest of me also tends to get a little dry, so I use my sick time to indulge in my heaviest moisturizers — think lavish creams infused with shea butter and hydrating oils — and apply them liberally.
Another sickness side effect is limp, oily hair. Chances are high that if you’re sick, you probably aren’t hopping up to take a shower at the crack of dawn — or any time of day, if you’re really miserable. Solution: Dry shampoo, which soaks up oil at the roots and even leaves hair with a fresh, clean scent — and that, in turn, will help you feel a little more pulled together if you’ve got a caring friend coming over with chicken soup and fashion magazines.
If I absolutely have to go out, though, a little makeup keeps my face from looking too sallow and tired. I prefer to layer a BB cream over my moisturizer, this leaves my skin doubly soft and evens out the color, so it looks healthy even if I’m not in the best shape. I forgo the rest of my complicated routine, finishing instead with a simple slick of tinted lip balm. Again, it’s moisturizing and adds a little life to an otherwise dull complexion.
On the flip side, staying in is sometimes all you can do. I try to retain some element of style in my life even if I’m not stepping outside the door. When I’m sick, a pair of ultra-soft, comfortable and pretty pajamas does the trick, and in the winter I love wrapping a plush shawl around myself for an extra layer of warmth and coziness. The whole combination feels luxurious and indulgent — and deservedly so, wouldn’t you agree?