Social distancing means you've got nothing but time.

By Erin Lukas
Updated Mar 23, 2020 @ 6:45 pm
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Credit: Marija Mandic/Adobe Stock

At-home beauty treatments used to be an alternative to spending money on expensive salon appointments. But right now, experimenting with a face mask or high-tech skincare device can be a welcome distraction from the trash fire that 2020 has been so far.

Maybe you've never tried self tanner because it's possible you'll end up with orange, streaky hands. At-home hair color? Blonde box dye may also end up just as orange as your self tanner-stained hands. But with everyone homebound for the foreseeable future, there's no better time to just go for it and DIY your usual self care routine with some at-home treatments. Because hey, you can always turn off the video on your Zoom calls, right?

From exfoliating foot masks to waxing kits, here are eight at-home beauty treatments you may have been scared to try — until now.

VIDEO: How to Remove Your Gel Manicure Without Going to the Salon

Baby Foot Peel

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The best time to do Baby Foot peel is when you're homebound for an indefinite number of days. For anyone unfamiliar with the cult-favorite Japanese drugstore product, it's an extreme exfoliator that leaves feet soft and smooth — you could say like a baby's. Baby Foot works by sticking your feet into plastic booties that are filled with a gel infused with 17 fruit extracts that exfoliate and moisturize skin at the same time. After letting your feet marinate for an hour and then rinsing the gel off, your skin won't instantly start peeling. But in a few days, your feet are going to look like they're covered in dried up Elmer's glue. Expect to find shreds of skin in random places like your bed, in your slippers, and on the kitchen floor. Gross, but intriguing? A couple days of weirdness is worth it. When I tired Baby Foot, my skin was super velvety once it stopped shedding.

To buy: $18;

Self Tanner

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Confession: I'm a beauty editor who has never tried self tanner. But there's a few reasons I've avoided trying to achieve a natural, sun-kissed glow at home. Self tanners can be time-consuming (they take forever to dry!), high maintenance (touch ups are required!), and there's always the risk of looking like a Flaming Hot Cheeto (not to mention streaks!). However, there are tanners out there for people like me because they are formulated to be foolproof. Take St.Tropez's Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse for example. Since it's a water-foam, it's easier to evenly apply all over your body, plus it doesn't need to be rinsed off in the shower afterwards. Bonus: This tanner also dries down pretty quickly, so you'll spend less time standing naked in your bathroom while your cat stares at you.

To buy: $42;

Hair Color

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Dying your hair an entirely new color is an extremely chaotic choice for an at-home activity. Plus, with salons closed in many areas of the country, there's no way to correct any mistakes right now. You can, however, Venmo your stylist the cost of your future color correction appointment. So, stick within your color family if you want to do something about your roots. The silver lining if something goes wrong? Turn your Zoom video off and no one will know your attempt to DIY your hair color went very, very wrong.

To buy: $7;

Gel Manicure Kit

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Giving yourself an at-home gel manicure will only go wrong if you suck at painting your nails. And you've got time on your hands, so get some practice in. This Sally Hansen kit includes a UV lamp, prep pads, base coat, top coat, pastel pink polish, acetone remover, plus tools to clean up your nail shape and cuticles.

To buy: $39;


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While shaving your face isn't a revolutionary concept, dermaplaning, is an in-office treatment where a medical professional uses a surgical blade to remove both peach fuzz and layers of dead skin from your face. For people like me who manage to nick their legs every time they shave, the treatment seems a little scary. However, Dermaflash is an at-home dermaplaning device specifically designed for your fragile little face. It has a carefully guarded blade to prevent mishaps and includes a post-treatment moisturizer to soothe skin. On top of  smoothing out your skin for better makeup application, dermaplaning can also help your skincare products absorb better. Follow up with a serum or oil afterwards — just make sure to do a patch test first to check for irritation.

To buy: $199;

At-Home Peel

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You know the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha Jones has a bad reaction to a chemical peels? That being said, don't write off at-home peels as a recipe for charred skin. Brands have created more gentle cocktails of acids that resurface skin by breaking up the gunk clogging your pores, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, and even out tone. Just set an iPhone timer so you don't leave the peel on for too long because you got too into binging Law & Order: SVU.

To buy: $95;

Crest White Strips

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Teeth whitening strips are pretty low risk. There's no side effects except for some mild tingling, and they're impossible to mess up. My biggest struggle is not talking to anyone when I have the strips in. However, that's not going to be a problem when you're self-quarantined. While basic White Strips will do the trick, if you have tough coffee stains, I suggest trying the kit with the light.

To buy: $60;

At-Home Wax Kit

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If you're committed to keeping certain parts of your body hairless and can tolerate pain, you just might be able to pull off an at-home wax. While it's more painful than shaving, waxing lasts longer, doesn't cause razor burn, and typically results in less ingrowns. That being said, at-home waxing can go very, very, wrong. You can burn yourself if the wax is too hot and hair has to be long enough for the wax to latch onto it. My advice? Use wax strips. They're easy-to-use and essentially like ripping off a bandaid, albeit one that stings like hell. The hard part? Voluntarily inflicting pain on yourself. This box comes with 20 strips and post-wax cleansing oil wipes.

To buy: $7;