I never used to give my skin a second thought. My skin care regime consisted of slapping a bit of moisturiser or face oil on and I rarely took my make-up off at night! Earlier this year I began to take a closer look at my skin. Not just for appearance sake, but the overall health of the organ itself. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, yet one of the most neglected. It gives an outward manifestation of our inner health. Our skin offers a direct reflection of what is happening inside the body. Any internal issues with our hormones, digestive and immune system are reflected in our skin, as well as the impacts of stress, diet and lifestyle.
Over the years my skin has developed a, dare I say it, ruddy complexion. Probably caused by my outdoorsy, active lifestyle and lack of UV protection -oops! As I’m in my thirties now I’ve begun to develop some fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and forehead. My skin is clear but tends to break out once a month when I’m due my period. It also has a tendency towards dryness and redness.
I have a 13 year old daughter. She is of the GenZ generation, and therefore extremely into skincare. She is essentially a skin care expert; having extensive knowledge on skincare ‘must-have’ products. Products I was oblivious to. I was unaware our skin could benefit from applying chemicals such as hyaluronic acid, retinol and niacinamide, but my daughter did. She was doing weekly facials and had a finely tuned skincare routine at the age of just 12. As a result, her dedication and commitment to taking care of her skin twice a day every day is paying off. She is turning into a beautiful young woman, with a radiant complexion and glowing skin.
At the time, I worked in spas and I was surrounded by products from the skin care and beauty industry. It was the perfect opportunity for me to explore skincare for myself. I was overwhelmed with the variety and choice of products and had no idea what order you were supposed to apply them or what was suitable for my skin type. I didn’t even know what my skin type was. But, with my daughter’s (sometimes exasperated) tutoring I have studied and learned. I completed a facials course and began to give facials at work. I discarded my old skin care products (all two of them) and invested in some higher quality items. I began to exfoliate my skin and apply masks and hyaluronic acid. I started to remove my makeup at night too!
Now, several months later I have a skincare routine that I do twice a day every day and I give myself weekly facials and I love it! I never expected to enjoy the experience of simply applying products to my face, washing then off and then then adding serums and creams. I especially enjoy my skin care routine in the morning which sets me up for the day.
In all honesty, before, I was a skincare skeptic. Half of me believed that most skincare products were mere marketing ploys designed to play on women’s insecurities by turning women against themselves. Wrinkles, pigmentation and blemishes were ‘problems’ that needed to be ‘fixed’. I was almost defiant in resisting the lure of getting into cosmetics and skin care products. I thought they were a waste of money and couldn’t understand the appeal of expensive ranges. I could think of far more things I’d rather spend my money on.
But now I enjoy treating myself to cleansers and serums. I like to think that taking care of my skin is a small way I can show up for myself everyday. I enjoy the way it makes me feel afterwards -I feel refreshed and revitalised. I get a thrill when I realise my skin has a ‘glow’. It’s starting to look brighter and clearer. My skin feels softer and smoother and I don’t have breakouts any more. I’ve also felt I look better overall. Dare I say, more attractive. More radiant. I write this in italics because describing myself in such terms feels bizarre. Your face is the one thing you can’t hide from the world and feeling confident in how your skin looks and feels is a confidence boost and enhances self-esteem.
Having a love of skincare is now something I share with my daughter. I enjoy talking about skincare with her and finding out about new products. Our favourite shops are Lush and Harrods Beauty and we love going there on our shopping trips to Edinburgh. I signed up for a beauty box subscription and we now enjoy getting new products and trying them out each month. I love giving her facials and she loves receiving them. I even give them to her friends. I’ve given my mum a facial and even my boyfriend. I just love sharing my newfound love of skincare. A facial is an extremely effective way of rejuvenating yourself. I’ve discovered that having a skincare routine is a positive daily habit I do to show up for myself. I do it because it’s one small way that I show up for myself as part of my efforts to love myself and treat myself with kindness.