As many of my lovely beauties would know I had surgery recently to remove a large skin cancer via skin graft: thus I have two rather sizeable and ugly wounds, on my chest and my thigh. A week after surgery I had the stitches removed. And by ‘stitches’ I actually mean large metal staples, which the nurse pried out, sans a local anaesthetic, with what looked like giant pliers. A peek at my freshly grafted skin revealed what appeared to be a slimy piece of patchwork. I promptly felt faint. Then I went home and had a glass of champagne to cheer myself up.
As one may have guessed I have been in pamper overload since this surgery. Well since the night before to be truthful, whereupon I cocooned my face in my faithful Korres Yoghurt Mask in preparation for the skin-draining general anaesthetic and 12 hours of fasting which was to come, and kept my dry-eye prone peepers moist with Systane preservative free eye drops. I have been feeling bruised and torn and stiff – all this for such a small area on my body! Nonetheless I have been making up for lost skin by pampering my hair and my face to no end. I took four days off work, plus the weekend, and in this time applied four face masks, had my hair done, exfoliated like there was no tomorrow, ate organic butterscotch chocolate, and watched copious episodes of The City, Gossip Girl and Sex and the City (New York themed television makes me happy).
I was talking to a friend about this; a while ago she underwent more major surgery and had to stay in hospital for a period of time. We both agreed that these little acts of pampering were intensely important to our recovery. In my case it was a need to feel sensuous and attractive even with a great hunk of mis-matched skin stitched to my chest and the knowledge that even after the bandages come off the area will look weird for a long time. On a basic level too, my skin was cranky and in need of some TLC because of the dehydrating effects of a general anaesthetic and hours of fasting – and emotional stress. My beloved Ultraceuticals Ultra Moisturiser Cream came in handy here: I applied it the morning of surgery and daily for over a week afterwards, along with a new jar of Ole Henriksen Ultimate Life Eye Gel, which (mostly) pepped up what was a very tired under-eye area.
My friend experienced the same need, but for her it was also important to maintain her beauty status quo – to simplify her beauty rituals while in hospital but without sacrificing what she loved most. So while I was experimenting with new face masks and sample products, she was diligently applying her favourite foundation, powder and moisturiser.
Because I was a day patient in hospital, I did not need to pack anything for my stay; my pampering occurred pre and post surgery. My friend however had a deluxe beauty case of all sorts of sensible but pamper-worthy products, including a waterless cleanser to keep her skin clear and clean, a hydrating moisturiser, a tinted moist, her favourite lipstick and some ‘I’m not in hospital I have actually been frolicking in the sun’ blush. So while she may have felt terrible, and indeed her body was dealing with some intense issues, she could at least feel she looked attractive and in touch with the ‘real’ world outside the hospital.
Here are some more of our favourite ‘get well soon’ pamper products. What are yours?
Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel. Really does pep and tighten, yet gentle to use on sensitised skin. From Adore Beauty.
Fresh Rose Face Mask. I bought this in New York and it smells and feels satisfyingly old-school with its heavy glass jar and jelly-like formulation, complete with whole rose petals. Sadly not available in Australia but is available in Fresh stores and Sephora internationally.
Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask. I waited until my facial skin felt rested and recovered before using this – the night before I went back to work. It ensured fresh and glowy skin the next day. From Adore Beauty and Alpha H.
Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser (Peach) and Clarins Hydra-Care Tinted Moisturiser. My friend is a Clarins nut and these were the first things she packed for her hospital stay. From Adore Beauty, David Jones and Myer.