Skin Care as Self Care
I look at skin care as a portal to understanding self care. Paying attention and absorbing what your skin tells you is an excellent way towards advancing your relationship with your body. Listening to your body's needs, limits, and abilities is often overshadowed by society's constant expectation of us. Lately, there has been a resurgence of appreciation for self care, and I couldn't be more pleased by this. Skin care is not the only way to care for one's self, but paying attention to and caring for your skin opens doors for further understanding ourselves. Digestive issues, stress, intestinal problems, reactions, allergies, sickness, and more often surface to the skin, almost notifying us that something needs attention. Paying attention to these notifications is key to nourishing our bodies, rather than slapping quick bandaids on our problems!
My skin, since puberty, has always been on the verge of an inflamed breakout. Red, dry patches have resided on my cheeks since age 14. It's been a constant source of insecurity for me.
When I used to drink alcohol, some mornings I would wake up with what felt like a swollen face. Tight, sore, and totally inflamed. I also started using drugs and heavily drinking at age 15, so whatever problems were lying beneath the surface were only further to understand by these extreme variables.
I sobered up over two years ago, and after leaving my substance crutches behind, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin. It wasn't perfect, but hey, I wasn't swollen half of the time anymore! It hasn't been a steady or smooth ride. I've had some bad allergic reactions and seriously painful inflammations during high stress times. What I have learned through this process of self improvement, is that my skin is constantly reacting to and reflecting what I eat, where I am, and how I feel.
Some days, I am so hard pressed to finish work by a deadline, that I will nearly forget to counter my coffee intake with an increase in water. When I lived in LA, my skin required way more care to try and counter the free-radicals I exposed it to from air pollution.
Our skin serves as a mirror to our overall well-being. [You'll notice that I will reference Mirrors often in my blog. Mirrors can serve as portals in dreamscapes, in exposing alternate potentials yet to be tapped into, and in reflecting truths lying beneath the surface.] Take note of your skin, and you might start taking note of much more than that.
What has shifted with how I care for my skin now versus two years ago is that I am paying attention. What did I do yesterday to make me feel so dry? Whoa, my forehead broke out in pimples, when is the last time I washed my pillowcases? Or even more accurately-- when is the last time I took a minute for myself?
So for me, the most important aspect of skin care is not buying the most expensive products, having a cabinet full of quick fixes or serums, or sticking to a crazy regimen. What's the most important aspect of skin care is paying attention!
While tossing all of my harmful chemical filled beauty products certainly stopped me from constantly breaking out in hives, and absolutely tempered the inflammation, I still have a lingering redness issue. When I started looking inward, I was able to start recognizing what triggered inflammation. By drinking kombucha, taking a digestive tincture by Sun Trap Botanicals, and eating kraut on the regular, I have become "regular" and my skin inflammation has lessened.
So, while I personally adore skin care, I know that the bigger picture is just as important as soft lips. I learnt to internally prevent inflammation and find the right fix for any existing inflammation. We all deserve to glow, inside and out!
Skin care is a method of self care because it reinforces this notion of paying attention. Listening to when you need to take it easy, and when maybe you've been taking it too easy and should re-energize. By eating a nutrient rich diet, drinking plenty of water, and listening to your body's demands, your skin will improve. However, by finding a ritual that works for you and your lifestyle, using natural products, and welcoming the healing power of plants, your skin radiate!
I hope you'll keep checking back to the blog every week for new recipes, ideas, thoughts or rituals! I promise they won't all drag on as long as this one!