My beauty routine is my way of showing up for the world with the dignity I deserve.

When I learned that I’d be sheltering in place, my first instinct was to throw my hair up in a messy bun and leave the makeup on the shelf. This went on for a few days.

As I finally realized that this wasn’t going to be just a week or two, my perspective shifted. If shelter in place is the new normal, I’ve got to step up my game.

I can do the bare minimum for a few days — maybe even a few weeks. But longer than that and I feel it taking its toll. This drove home the fact that, for me, beauty is truly not about how others see me.

When I intentionally go through my beauty routine each day, I’m expressing how I want to show up in the world. The truth is that, even though I’m at home, I’m alone, and I don’t have any people to see except those I “see” over video calls, I’m still showing up in my world.

In some ways, how I show up for myself is the single most important factor about any of my daily routines. After all, who am I doing this for anyway?

My beauty routine is my way of meeting the world with the dignity I feel I deserve. It’s the first step I take to express self-love and self-respect, and that’s at bottom why I do it.

In my experience, true beauty arises from feeling fully alive in how I live. My movement, personality, thinking, and actions all affect the way beauty manifests.

Just as true beauty isn’t dependent on external factors, like current fads or other people’s opinions, I can keep up your beauty routine simply because it makes me feel good. My beauty routine can arise from self-love rather than a compulsory social behavior.

When I look in the mirror first thing in the morning, I see a blank palette to create art. I see a face that wants to express itself to the world, and my beauty routine is my first opportunity to do just that.

Some days I go all natural. Some days I do full makeup. I respond to the moment, and it puts me in the right headspace to start my day.

Obviously, these are extraordinary times. The current worldwide crisis has disrupted normal routines. It’s easy to neglect or simply drop my beauty regimen when I’m not going out and mingling with others.

Now that I’m home all the time, it takes a little extra effort to motivate myself to follow my routine. But when I do, the payoff is that I feel a little lighter, a little more confident, and a little more upbeat.

It’s easy to forget that my beauty routine is not just for others. Its primary purpose is to expand my own joy. When I’m in a time of crisis and my peace of mind is disrupted, cultivating joy can be a lifesaver.

When all of my normal schedules are stalled, my quarantine beauty routine is a chance to self-nourish — for me, it’s the ultimate form of self-care.

That’s why I’m still going.

“Beauty will save the world.” — Fydor Dostoevsky

When sheltered at home, disconnected from the outside world, and unable to visit salons to take care of myself, being present to my own beauty needs can structure quarantine chaos in an unparalleled way.

A beauty routine isn’t just about my body. It’s anything and everything I let into my senses that fills me with pleasure.

When I smell the essential oils that I use for self-massage or feel the oil against my skin, I am getting in touch with my senses. This gets me out of my head, out of the worry, and into my body.

With so many things out of control, an intact beauty routine is a gift. It’s something I can do. It’s one thing where I still have a choice.

When I start my routine each morning, I feel the empowerment of directing my own actions and making my own decisions. I focus my mind every time I engage in simple self-care. The reflection of who I become in the mirror each morning is something I can choose.

When I do, I feel radiant.

When I consciously choose to make beauty a priority, there are a few ways I set myself up with the right mindset.

First, I get inspired. I give my mind something delightful to settle on by spending a few minutes savoring something beautiful. I’ll gaze at a fine piece of art, listen to a soothing piece of music, or relish an intoxicating scent. I let it into my senses like the most delectable food, allowing it to fill me up.

Then I treat it like a date with myself. I ask, “How do I want to adorn myself today?”

I imagine that each piece of clothing I put on gives me energy, power, and poise. Each hue I dust my eyelids with is like the colors of the sunset. I evoke sensuality every step of the way.

I let it be fun, even playful. Once I commit, I can sculpt my routine daily to fluidly nurture my needs.

The well-crafted regimen not only gives me a glow and relaxes fine lines, it can soothe the harshness of the ever-changing times. Beauty is its own unique and essential medicine.

From this perspective, my beauty routine doesn’t need to be dismissed as an indulgence. I can cherish it as fundamental to my health.

Routine makes it real

A framework allows for attention to beauty from your head to your feet. With no one watching, you can deepen your daily routines.

Try these quarantine pamper tips to add some extra beauty to your day:

  • Add extra moisture to your hands after constant washing and sanitizing.
  • Massage your feet with oil or lotion and wear socks to bed. Bonus: You’ll sleep more soundly, too.
  • Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a spray bottle and spritz around your home.
  • Create nourishing lip scrubs with brown sugar and olive oil for moisture.
  • Mix a DIY hair mask or blend of oils that work for you. Comb the mixture through your hair and wrap up in a towel for 20 minutes. For a deep conditioner, leave in overnight and rinse out in the morning.
  • Give your nails a break right now. Apply coconut or olive oil to your cuticles at night in lieu of polish.
  • Don’t forget your eyes. If you, like many right now, are spending extra hours staring at your screen all day, show your peepers some TLC by lightly dabbing some oil or face lotion on your under-eye area.
  • Pamper with self-massage. Use light body oil and slow, sensual movements. When we’re physical distancing, massage is an important form of self-love.

That space can be an opportunity.

When something gets taken away, I get to choose what fills that space. For me, extra self-care is the perfect addition.

My routine matters more to me now than before, because I can no longer rely on what used to work.

Every day, I structure my life around the values I choose. When I make beauty a core value, I stand up for my health and confidence. Plus, I’m bringing a little beauty into a difficult time.

Remember, beauty is not superficial. Beauty is a way to pamper your inner life and always remind you — quarantine or not — of your essential dignity and worth as a human being.

True beauty is radiant. It’s the kind that makes other people stop and take notice. It starts from deep within.

It’s the kind of beauty that comes from love and respect for ourselves, and our beauty routine can be the ritual where that deep self-love happens.

Dr. Karuna Sabnani is the founder of Karuna Naturopathic Healthcare. She works virtually with patients internationally. Her advice has appeared in a variety of publications including Cosmopolitan, Business Insider, Yoga Journal, Martha Stewart, and Allure Magazines. You can find her on Instagram and at