Beauties, we’re BACK with our much-loved My Beauty and Wellbeing series! We love hearing about how other people are managing their wellbeing… we’re excited to share with you more stories from inspiring women and men of course to find out about their favourite products and practices- you know …the things that enable them to be their best selves!
Today we’re sharing our feature with Ruth Cooper-Dickson, wellbeing and resilience coach.
Ruth first of all tell us a little bit about your relationship with your beauty….what has your journey been like?
I have always loved beauty but it has been more about skincare than make-up. I remember doing steamer facials from about the age of 13 on a Sunday evening. My Mum used to have Avon and I used to order the peel-off cucumber face mask. I love the ritual of putting on make-up, it is more about power for me, something that makes me feel good. I love trying different and new products. I will always be a Boots No7 girl at heart, but I do love a Sephora when I’m overseas and can spend a small fortune in there! I do make sure I keep my make-up bag clean & tidy, throw out old products and clean my brushes regularly. Pre-pandemic I used to travel a lot for work, so I tend to have a more compact make-up bag than a huge hoarder.
You are an advocate for self-care: what does self-care mean to you?
To me self-care is both what we do for our inside and our outside. For example, a deep hot bath epitomises self-care for me. My Dad jokes when I go home that I’m not allowed them because of the heating and water bills lol as I started this in my teenage years. People say bubble baths and face masks are not the only thing about self-care, that’s true but for me, having a bubble bath is the time spent away from my phone, books, talking to people and my laptop!! It gives me time to just lie there and focus on how I’m feeling, what is bubbling up, to think, or just to relax. I love a sensory overload so essential oils are a big go to for me, beautiful bath salts, scrubs, lighting loads of candles and an alcohol-free beverage, some good yoga style music – that is lush.
What are some of your non-negotiable self-care rituals?
Weekly baths and face masks. Pre-covid spa days every couple of months, including sports massages – as I’m a runner and nothing beats someone pummelling all your muscles to let go of that tension.
Yoga is a huge self-care ritual as I see that a part of how I look after myself, meditation too.
As a mental health professional, what steps have you taken to manage your emotional/psychological wellbeing during the pandemic?
It has been hard like everyone else; I’ve had my own journey to negotiate. I feel lucky that I started to come out of my own recovery of mental ill-health in 2020, having been unwell for a number of years. So it has been a combination of the following: professional support, friendship and family, regular exercise and planning it into my day – running, sea swimming, yoga and online training. Medication, which I finally finished at the start of 2021 after three years. Cooking healthy and yummy foods. Treats. Moving right next to the coast. Being open and honest with myself about how I feel and with others around me – not always the easiest of activities, and cake. Always lots of cake.
What are your ‘must have’ skincare products? and what is the last product that you purchased that you’re loving?
Hmmmmm, definitely a cleanser and eye-make-up remover. Also a decent day moisturiser and a night cream.
The latest product I have purchased is a scrub cleanser from Waitrose – it is gorgeous. It is fragrance free and is really thick, it comes with a muslin cloth and is perfect for in the bath.
If you could only have one beauty product what would it be?
It would have to be my really old fashioned thick original nivea cream. I use it as a night cream, but when I travel I can double it up as a body lotion. But I’m also an advocate for a cc cream and this one is my favourite with an SPF 50 and it just balances out my skin tone naturally with good coverage.
Have you made any changes to your wellbeing toolkit since the pandemic? What items have become your lockdown/ wellbeing must haves?
Hand creams! I never used to use them much before and because of the hand sanitiser and washing hands more I have gone through so many. Also essential oils, I have really started making them a part of my morning and evening rituals especially when it comes to yoga in the morning to wake me up!
What is your typical morning skincare routine like? And your night-time routine? Has anything changed since lockdown?
Nothing has changed, I have always been really good about looking after my skin. If I’m swimming or running very early morning and it is warm I use a sunscreen. Otherwise, I wash my face with Neutrogena – visibly clear spot stress control and then use a day moisturiser. In the evening I will either use Simple’s biodegradable wipes or a simple face wash, then a cleanser and my nivea night cream.
What changes would you like to see and the beauty industry over the next year or so?
More diversity when it comes to the models used to promote the products, although that is changing. Better eco-friendly products, less packaging. As I’ve got into my 40s the skincare products still feel very serious in their approach with marketing which is why I still end up with the cheaper fun products, so maybe that if you are in your 40s, 50s products can still feel fun.
Thank you, Ruth!
Find out more about Ruth
Read more interviews from this series: