Breaking Out, Making Out: A Couple's Quarantine Theme Park
The Spot

Breaking Out, Making Out: A Couple's Quarantine Theme Park

By Amanda Hercules

Welcome to the theme park that has been quarantine. Let’s take a walk over to my most visited ride, Skincare Catalyst. I know many of us have encountered similar rides but this one is nothing like we have experienced before. I’m your host and guide, Amanda. Please keep your feet and belongings inside the vehicle for the duration of the trip. Trust me when I say: This will be a fascinating, emotional, and bumpy ride (literally). My partner Milan and I have both struggled with skin troubles for as long as we can remember. These breakouts have kept us humble for far too long.  

When the stay-at-home order was put in place in NYC, we decided it made the most sense to stay at one of our apartments opposed to traveling back and forth. If any of us wore the “pants” in this relationship it would be Milan.  So, there wasn’t much discussion. My apartment lost. 

Once my unofficial sublease began, so did the “new normal”. What I did win was my own personal esthetician, chef, and trainer. Milan has always been a stickler when it came to maintaining a strict routine for her skin, diet, and just about every aspect of her life. My little perfectionist has successfully rubbed off on me in the last three months being cooped up together. Well that’s what I let her think. She is the Drill Sergeant and I’m the cadet. That’s not supposed to be kinky; get your mind out the gutter. What I meant was that I try to avoid washing my face at night and sneak snacks right before dinner to be rebellious. I read that back and I sound like an eight year old. 

I’ve always been a fraud when it comes to taking care of my skin. My idea of a skincare routine, until recently, was getting suckered into the 4 for $10 mask deals at Target. I used to pick sheet masks based on colors and aesthetics. (That's not all I picked, hence all the scarring I'm left with.) So! When it came time to really take care of all my recent breakouts I was just shy of clueless. That’s where my personal esthetician came in. Milan has struggled with cystic acne for several years, and with that, comes testing every product on the shelves and online, and sitting through the most expensive and excruciating treatments. Some mornings, I would wake up to a surprise treat: Another spontaneous delivery from Sephora. We have weekly mask days, and somehow we think that’s gonna combat the grease we’ve been eating. I can say in no uncertain terms that my diet rubbed off on her—anything from taco and chili night to late night McDonald’s deliveries.

Since quarantine started, our most used apps are Uber Eats and Drizly. At the end of this, we will have likely tried every take-out restaurant in Crown Heights. There’s also no way to go wrong with wine delivery, and I invite you to challenge this opinion! Supporting our community, no?!

Don’t worry we don’t order in that often...anymore. The first two months, it took awhile for us to adjust to WFH lifestyle. Do you know how often I used to go without breakfast before COVID-19 hit? Some may call that unhealthy, I call that time-saving. Now we eat all three meals and a little more than we are supposed to throughout the day. Who would have thought binge-watching movies on Prime Video would work up such an appetite. It accrued a huge bill as well. $2.99 adds up when you’re ten movies deep. 

Those months were filled with a ton of unexplained breakouts. We could never pinpoint what exactly was affecting our skin. Obviously, we had our guesses; anything from the grease I mentioned earlier to these obligatory (but entirely necessary!) masks, to all the new added stress we were under. Although this time, for some, became one of relaxation, I believe Milan and I unlocked a new level of stress. The new safety precautions kept us on edge daily. Stress also showed its face as complacency. The spare time was actually very dangerous; we became very consumed with improving ourselves. We figured if we left quarantine the same way we started it, we would have failed. Well I am here to say we succeeded! I have found a skincare regime; I now go nowhere without my sunscreen and face elixir. Milan’s journey to clear skin has been a success with her personalized acne treatment plan.

We are approaching the end of the ride. Please stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. Quarantine has been a whirlwind of emotions, stress, happiness, and fear. We learned a lot about each other, our skin, and ourselves in general. It allowed us to reset, relax, and reassess. We might have to make this unofficial sublease official?

Want more isolation content and indoorsy self-care stuff? Right here!

Need to focus on the long game for beating breakouts? Shop SKIN DISCIPLINE.