As I sit here, back on a makeup trailer, sitting in front of a mirror, in fluorescent lighting, recirculated air and a cute liberty print face mask. I am like most of us scrutinising my skin, the dark circles under my eyes, the breakout on my chin wondering where my lockdown glowy face has gone. Firstly I want to acknowledge that anyone who says Skin Health has no effect on mental health is perhaps telling porkies, unfortunately we have been taught from pretty much the beginning of time that beauty lies in perfect flawless skin. Free from spots, pigmentation, lines, wrinkles and anything in-between. When actually beauty runs SO much deeper than any of this on the surface stuff but alas the world we live in still promotes flawless skin, hey I have a skincare line but as time goes on I’m more and more mindful to avoid terms like anti ageing, because who wants to stop ageing, ageing means were still living, loving, learning and breathing in beautiful experiences the world has to offer. One thing I’ve noticed about myself that over the past few months is that my frown wrinkle in between my brows has changed into small wrinkles around my eyes from smiling and laughing. I try and change my thinking to what a gift It is to have a reminder that my life is full of joy.
I’m now mindful to talk about rebalancing the skin rather than perfecting it and listening to its unique way of communicating with us.
Those of you that know me know I co founded a beautiful company called Love Beats All which is essentially a space to learn, grow and support fighters, survivors and caregivers going through any kind of cancer. Throughout this process alongside my business partner and dear friend Meagan I have been on a journey of exploration of different ways to connect your mind with your body. Ive learnt so many different ways people deal with cancer within the body, one method is to acknowledge that the cancer is a part of you to thank it, and kindly ask it to leave now. However woo woo it may be, the mind is a powerful thing and some believe in order to bring the body back into balance, the mind, body and spirit all have to be unblocked and energy freely flowing between all three. This takes some serious commitment, re training and learning to listen to our bodies. You can find a Mind Body Connection toolkit here
One thing I would love is for us all to have a similar mindset towards our skin, our face is a roadmap, look at it, really look at it, beyond any concept of beauty. What is it telling you?
If you look at acupuncture & traditional Chinese medicine areas of the face correlate to areas within the body, this is similar to the way I work when doing reflexology. Areas of acne, dryness or irritation around the mouth for example can be a sign that the intestines need some help.
So as I sit here obsessing about my skin, I become a detective. And asked myself what’s changed? I wanted to share my checklist with you just in case it may help you guys figure out where your imbalance may lie
Sleep – The secret wellness thread that keeps our bodies functioning happily
Normal (for you, it changes person to person)
Below normal (You wake up feeling like you could go straight back to sleep and this continues throughout the day)
Things to help:
Work on your sleep hygiene, including going to bed earlier, limiting blue light exposure before bed, removing work related things from your bedroom, exercising earlier in the day, eating your dinner earlier in the evening, emptying your head before bed via journalling/list making. Use of essential oils like lavender or Jasmine.
Products – There are so many hidden skin & hormone disrupters lurking in our everyday life that we are unaware of, sometimes we add in a new product that is secretly wreaking havoc on our skin. Common culprits – washing detergent, change of skincare (see this blog post I wrote on the common chemicals to avoid) toothpaste or mouthwash, home or car fragrances, change of water.
Things to help:
Have you changed anything recently that might be disrupting your balance.
Sometimes it can just be a process of elimination, whats the last product you introduced, try removing and see what happens. Try thinking about it from the perspective that if your diet, sleep and stress levels are really high and your products are also heavy on toxins it might be too much for your body to cope with for now.
Diet – The big guy. Think about your normal diet, vs your skin do you suffer any breakouts after eating certain foods or drinks?
Things to help:
If you suffer from dry skin, think about if you are hydrating your body, your water intake, the water you intake from fruit and vegetables. The water secret by Dr Murad is a great book if you want to dig a little deeper.
If you suffer from regular breakouts, keep a food & skin diary. After time you may start to notice a trend then you can eliminate the food or drink that you think is the culprit and see if your skin starts to clear up.
Skin loves a diet full of colour, vegetables, fruits, a varied diet that doesnt give you any digestive discomfort.
Stress – Our modern nemesis
Back to work for most of us means our stress levels automatically increase, from the morning alarm, to emails, deadlines and generally being back around lots of people and personalities. A stressed body doesn’t function optimally and can throw out all the other points mentioned which in turn doesn’t leave our skin looking and feeling balanced.
Things to help:
Minimise your stress where possible I’m a huge fan of using essential oils, I always have some Jasmine Lavender Cederwood on hand to help calm my system.I will apply it morning and night if I know I’m really struggling with stress.
Chamomile tea before bed.
Taking some long deep breaths when you feel stressed really helps.
Losing your phone for a while is a great one!
I would love you to go and play detective with your skin, whats it telling you? What has changed recently? Is there anything you can control to really help it function optimally?
Remember to keep in mind, if you’re suffering with your skin its completely normal to feel like its affecting your mental health. I really recommend having a chat with a qualified person followed by a chat with a nutritionist and dermatologist if your struggling. Its all about bringing the body into balance whether that is through nutrition, hormones or toxin exposure don’t give up there will be a solution even if it takes a minute to uncover it.
Let me know what you find at firstname.lastname@example.org