Beauty Essentials For Extended Hospital And Rehab Stays

May 1, 2015 • Beauty, Fashion Blog

flowers in hospital

On March 12 of this year I had spinal surgery for Kyphosis so I had a fusion and my entire spine straightened. It was extensive (the scar runs the length of my entire back) and the recovery is longer than expected (I was told up to 3 months and it’s looking more like 6). Let’s not even discuss the pain. I was informed I’d be in the hospital for 3-5 days (I was there 9) and then I’d go to a sub acute rehab facility for a couple of weeks. So what does this have to do with beauty?

I had no idea what to pack prior to surgery when it came to my anti-aging regimen. If you think I was going to do nothing just because I’m lying in bed zonked out on painkillers, you obviously don’t know me. So I packed far too much, but am now ready to break down for you what was I actually used and could not live without…all in the hopes of helping you NOT over-pack in case you find yourself in the same position.

cosmetic bag in hospital

The hospital staff probably thought I was nuts, but this bag was on my tray 24/7. It was over-packed and I didn’t use everything in it, I had to figure out what worked for me in my state which you will see below.

While I was in the hospital recovering from surgery I basically could not get out of bed or if I did, it was to walk 100 feet with PT. I even brushed my teeth in bed so I think you get the idea. I found myself grabbing and using only those products that did double or triple duty. Here they are;

dermalogica Daily Resurfacer $70

These little pads basically replaced washing my face. Each single use packet contains a little buffer you place over index finger and basically rub in a circular motion all over your face. It’s a two-in-one chemical and physical exfoliation that resurfaces, smooths and brightens skin while shielding against free radicals. Then you simply toss the pad in the garbage.

Kate Somerville ‘Dermal Quench Liquid Lift’ Advanced Wrinkle Treatment, $95

This amazing treatment sent from the Gods kept my face and neck soft and hydrated. The deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid provides fast-penetrating, long-lasting moisture like nothing else I have ever tried. I used this twice a day.

dermalogica Multivitamin Power Serum, $66

I can’t live without this anti-aging serum so I was using it day and night on my face and neck.

Kate Somerville ‘Age Arrest’ Eye Cream, $75

This is my favorite eye cream and I have not gone a day since I was 20 using eye cream. I wasn’t going to start now either. So I knew this was coming with me for sure.

Bonne Belle Lip Smacker (sadly no longer available, but my BFF scored me a bunch)

I hate dry lips. Period.


rehab essentials

The essentials

Once I left the hospital for rehab I had a little more mobility. I was also no longer wearing a hospital gown and had upgraded to sweats and tees for physical therapy (hint: cargo style sweats so you can carry your phone and chapstick come in handy, as did my Vans because they slip on feet easily and are comfortable). I was not only going to be seen by other people in the facility, but at this point I was seeing family and friends and didn’t want to scare anyone. I wasn’t wearing a full face of makeup by any means (no mascara either) and wore my glasses the entire time because I could fall asleep (thanks to narcotics) on a dime.

So in addition to the above, I added the following to my daily routine;

IT Cosmetics CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation SPF 50+, $38

This product became my absolute favorite. I really don’t like to go a day without wearing SPF and my bed was right near a window so I could enjoy the sun. In addition to protecting my skin this lightweight foundation brightened my complexion, evened my skin tone and minimized my pores and (ahem) fine lines. It contains all these great anti-aging ingredients like peptides, niacin, algae, vitamins A, C, B, E, hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen. My skin looked flawless.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Eye Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream SPF 50+, $29

An undereye cream with the added benefits of SPF 50+ that also has optical blurring pigments that not only help hide, but eradicate fine lines? Say no more. I LOVE this eye coverage cream. The silver applicator feels fabulous on tired eyes too.

COVER FX Blemish Treatment Concealer, $25

Yes, I still get the occasional blemish so when I did I grabbed this concealer which also helps treat said blemish.

L’Occitane Roses et Reines Hand & Nail Cream, $12

My hands and nails were so dry I used this had cream constantly. All the staff commented on how good I smelled, so I guess it doubled as fragrance too. Score.

Lancôme Lip Lover, $23.50

This lip gloss has a slight, subtle tint (mine was pink) that made me look a little more alive and was literally the only color I added to my face.

Bonne Bell Lip Smacker (sadly no longer available)

I always had one of these stashed in my pocket at all times. What can I say? I’m addicted.

iPad Mini, Happy Plugs Gold earbuds, $29 & Mark & Graham Colorfield Mini iPad Holder, $59

I know these are not beauty products, but I NEVER would have made it through this whole ordeal without my iPad. I could tune out the noise and watch movies, TV series I had wanted to see (Orange is the New Black), and listen to music. I tried reading, but that doesn’t work so well on narcotics. Neither does knitting, but that’s a story for another time.

When I had to go back to the hospital for a week due to some complications I knew exactly what to bring and what to leave at home. Now you do too.

– Lauren Dimet Waters

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