With the new year came all of the recommended diets, restrictions and pressure to transform into a more perfect version of ourselves.
Women who were already overwhelmed and burned out from the holidays were now bombarded by all of the appearance have-tos our culture and media inundate us with.
Many people don't make resolutions, and that's fine. What's truly beautiful is that it's never the wrong time of year to resolve to treat ourselves better.
The fresh start is here, now.
One of the first places stress will show up is on our faces.
Lack of hydration, harsh hot or cold air, lack of sleep, and poor eating habits show up in the form of dulled complexions, breakouts, fine and deep lines that become more pronounced, blotchiness—these are a few stress symptoms our faces reveal.
Many think they need a million things to overhaul their complexion back into health. Many think it will take a lot of time.
I am thrilled to tell you: Neither of the above is needed.
What is needed, first and foremost: Begin being kind to yourself and your face.
Research shows over and over how important it is to have self-compassion in addition to compassion toward others.
- Put the magnifying mirror down.
- Stop obsessing.
- Stop saying the phrase "anti-aging" and replace it with "well-aging."
- Speak kind truths to yourself about your face, every day.
- Amp up your water intake.
This alone does wonders!
Next, it's time to simplify.
- Switch to or use a cleanser that is balancing or hydrating. Do not use anything that will overdry the complexion.
- Exfoliate the skin with a nonabrasive exfoliant, twice a week. This will remove the dull surface layer of the skin, so your skin will accept moisturizer better. The texture of skin will be refined and more even, and fine lines will decrease alone from this.
- Look for AHAs, kerotolytic enzymes and lactic acid, which are magic for sensitive skin. Walk away from anything that contains crushed nut shells and microbeads. They can cause micro-tears in the complexion that can lead to breakouts. Plus, microbeads harm our waterways and aquatic life. Thankfully microbeads have been banned, but production of products with them is still allowed for another year.
- Use a face oil alone or add into your current moisturizer. Face oils can heal, wipe out breakouts, plump up fine lines and calm redness. Face oils are also gorgeous pressed on the upper cheekbones on top of makeup, for a little extra dewiness. Massage the oil and your moisturizer into your complexion and neck for one minute, every night. Start at your neck, then work your way over your entire face, massaging in upward circular motions.
Last, if the lips and hands have seen better days and are cracked and dry, here is a DIY treat that is super-effective!
Mix together 2 tablespoons coconut oil with 1 tablespoon raw honey (or agave nectar, if you are vegan) with ¼ cup of natural organic brown sugar. Take out a small amount, then massage your hands and use a little on your lips. Rinse with lukewarm water and voila! Your lips and hands look and feel amazing. Store this miracle mix in a little jar and keep it next to your kitchen sink.
These simple and intentional suggestions will be rituals you look forward to, instead of things you feel you have to do.
Kindness and love always go further than you could ever imagine. Now is your opportunity to practice this toward yourself at the place that shows everything: your face.
Written by Rachel Williams, a joy-filled wife and mother of two children. Rachel is a veteran beauty expert, author, internationally recognized makeup artist and esthetician, and is the founder of Lorde Beauty. Michigan's first clean beauty boutique and spa, Lorde is located in Grand Rapids. Find out more at www.lordebeauty.com. Headshot Courtesy of Brian Kelly.