This post is unusual, but it seems fitting since I’ve had a very unusual week. I came back to Nashville from a trip to New York to greet three major exams, weather changes, little sleep, PMS, a stomach virus, and a steady diet of baked potatoes and Sprite. My skin looks like a war zone. My self-esteem took a big hit.
Everyone will have some level of insecurity at some point in his or her life. It’s inevitable. If someone tells you they don’t, they’re either lying or they’re not human (in that case, please call Will Smith and/or the Men in Black). I’ll be the first one to tell you. I have insecurity in my life.
Yesterday I had that moment when you look in the mirror and involuntarily, audibly sigh. Out loud. I didn’t even mean to, but my brain took the mic and said “ooh girlfriend you have some WORK to do.”
My immediate reaction was to do facemask after serum after facemask. I was scrubbing and squeezing and sterilizing—all to no avail. I also had a stress-induced shopping spree of about $100 on new skincare products. If anything, I made the skin problem (and my bank account) worse. After all of this I’m still left with dry, flaky, bumpy, inflamed skin.
Hindsight is 20/20, so I’ve realized a lot of ways I went wrong. I’d like to think of it as a learning experience, so here’s everything I should have done this week.
The term “beauty sleep” didn’t come from nowhere. Your body actually boosts blood flow to your skin to foster cell turnover and collagen production. And if that isn’t convincing enough, BBC reported, “a couple of bad nights is enough to make a person look ‘significantly’ more ugly.” Well then.
Water flushes toxins out of your body and hydrates you from the inside out. Drink like Justin Bieber. He has great form. Try throwing in a lemon to add refreshing taste and a touch of vitamin C.
3. Put Down the Sugar
Sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs can cause a spike in your insulin which then may cause inflammation in your body (even your skin!) Stress eating is a thing. It’s hard to stop. My drug of choice will forever be coffee ice cream. Which brings me to my next point:
4. Chill on the Caffeine
If you’re sleeping more (i.e. my first tip), you don’t need it! Plus if you’re hydrating (i.e. my second tip), you’re just being counterproductive. Stop!
5. Ease Up on the Salt Too
Your potato chips will be sad to see you go, but I promise they’ll forgive you. Try eating carrots and brussel sprouts instead (said no one ever). Kidding. But seriously though, chill on the salt.
6. Hands Off
No one wants to admit it, but it’s so tempting to squeeze your blemishes and scratch off dead skin. Once you start, it’s kind of addicting. My advice: don’t. Your body has it’s own defenses. By all means, carefully pop the ones that are ready, but don’t go on a full-blown face rampage.
7. Do Some Spring Cleaning
Think about what things come in contact with your face and whether they need to be cleaned or swapped out. Common things include your pillowcase, makeup brushes, face towel, and phone screen.
8. Put Down the Credit Card
Trust me on this one. Let my story be a cautionary tale. You know the saying about going to the grocery store hungry? The same goes for buying beauty products when you’re feeling down. Walk away from Sephora. Get off Amazon. In a few hours or a few days, you’ll realize that you didn’t need those things all along.
All that being said, I know how you feel. I go through this acne-induced stress mode every few weeks. I’ll promise you this: you’re beautiful, and your skin will get through it. And remember, your appearance does not define your worth. You deserve to be happy no matter what’s in the mirror.
Carry on soldier,