Mastering the Art of Self-Care
How to curate your own skin-care ritual:
As a fast-paced New Yorker, born & raised, anything that constituted slowing down rarely made it into my daily routine. I just didn't have time for "self-care" in the morning & at night after a long day anything I had to do before bed was taking away from the already meager amount of sleep hours I was subconsciously calculating before I'd have to be up to "do it all again tomorrow."
It's easy to get into the habit of pushing yourself to max capacity every single day with no plan of slowing down to stopping any time soon… Always operating at the pace of a sprint on a long-distance course. The mind becomes very skilled at tricking the body into thinking it's taking part in a group event. Running a relay race - assuming the system won't realize that, at the end of each lap (or day), passing the baton to a "teammate" is actually just moving it to tomorrow's version of yourself … disguised in a new outfit (or wearing a different hat).
Before you know it, you have become a Master of Deception & Disguise – and the subject of this deception is yourself! Each of us has an impressive repertoire of roles, a collection of "hats" so to speak, that we put on multiple times each day to play: daughter, sister, mother, partner, friend, teacher, student, entrepreneur, performer, manager, assistant, healer, engineer… just to name a few. We live in a society that praises those who "do" the most, so of course we are conditioned to live this way!
Luckily, our bodies are extremely intelligent highly-functioning fickle systems that genuinely want what is best for us – so out of love (& an innate genius that the logical mind cannot comprehend) – they use the most-effective medium to send a signal it's time to slow down: The SKIN!
Skin-Care = Self-Care
It is never too late to choose self-care & curate your own beauty routine! Having done so in the past 5 months, I've gained a wealth of knowledge — that is definitely out there but sometimes hard to find. With all the new products coming out every day, an overload of choices can cause you to shut down and just stick with what you're already doing (or not doing). Or you may think, "Why buy new products when I already have so many at home?" Surely, I can find something here that works…
Have you noticed that skin products of one type or another are everyone's go-to gift during the Holidays? When you already own a collection of lotions that have your cabinet looking & smelling like a rainforest, it's easy to settle and use what you've got. I totally understand the rationale, but there is nothing more important than clearing your space, finding products that fit your needs and brands that match your aesthetic, because it means you will actually use them… And enjoy doing so in the process!
Let's be real, when your skin is happy and glowing it makes all the difference – your day is just better. Giving your skin the care & attention it so deserves is time well spent… when you feel RADIANT in your own skin, every aspect of your life is improved.
Chore to Routine to Ritual We are creatures of habit.
The more we understand something – the more knowledge we soak up – the more likely we are to "make it a habit" and incorporate it into our daily routine. As with anything, the more we practice *rinse + repeat*, the better we become. With repetition comes progress, which breeds a sense of accomplishment and PRIDE. Confidence. Pleasure. And suddenly what was once a chore has become a routine – a routine that you look forward to every morning because it puts you into alignment with yourself. And just like that your new skin-care regimen transforms into a self-care practice: A Ritual.
It is in our (human) nature.
Getting to Know the Skin You're In
Okay so now that you're on board with creating a daily self-care ritual, let's talk about making it happen.
Here's a down & dirty "How To" Curate your very own skin-care ritual:
Find your aesthetic: Figure out what YOU like (& what your SKIN likes)
PURGE: Toss everything that doesn't fall within #1
Build Your Altar: Create a designated space for your products that bring you joy, Invest in yourSELF: Buy Products that make you feel like a QUEEN
I know, #4 is daunting… With so many products on the market, it's hard to know where to start! I just recently put in the work & built my own (life-changing) skin-care regimen, and discovered that – regardless of your personal aesthetic or skin-type – there are five fundamentals.
Here are my 5 Essentials to Survive the Seasons
Facial Cleanser: My perfect cleansing combination is a daily (gentle) hydrating cleanser + a bi-weekly (deep-cleaning) exfoliating cleanser
Toner: The after-cleanser clean-up crew! That preps your skin for the steps to come…
Serum: *My Personal Favorite* Fun Fact… 'Serum' is the real moisturizer that adds the necessary layer of hydration after cleansing!
Face Cream (aka "Moisturizer"): The term moisturizer is so misleading! Without serum, I was applying moisturizer 3x a day, and my face was still drying out. Face Cream locks in moisture rather than adding it, so it's super important to remember #3 J
Night Cream / Sleeping Mask: During the Winter especially, a thicker cream before bed has been a complete game-changer for my skin!
Don't forget… Skin-Care is Self-Care. So – carve out some time for yourself this Holiday Season – & May it be Radiant.
Grace McLoughlin, 2018