A couple of weeks ago we talked about aging and wrinkles. How advertising and media makes it out to be a severe unnatural condition that must at all times be avoided...like we’re all deliberately choosing to get older! The world of marketing has successfully tapped into our deepest fears… and getting old is right up there with the greatest of them. Everyone wants skin as soft and smooth as a baby's bottom, and I guess we all like to use a lot of smelly stuff on it to keep it that way...umm...pun intended. But getting old is not a problem, its the human condition and we can get there kicking and screaming or we can cherish those laugh lines and accept the pain lines and move along with gratitude for what we have.
And if aging isn’t your current obsession, the reality is that all of us have hiccups with our skin at some time or another, and for most these would often just pass with time, if everything about skin wasn't framed as a problem that has to be dealt with like its an emergency. Acne, pimples, dark circles, fine lines, pigmentation patches, the list of ‘problems’ is just endless. And for each of them there is a customized (fairly expensive) solution designed to work its magic overnight so you can get to that wedding radiant and glowing. Of course, it never happens in reality. The irony is that an issue with skin can most often be attributed to diet, allergies, stress, hormones or disrupted sleep cycles. So being urged to buy this or that unguent as the miracle cure for a zit is like focussing on the finger that points to the moon. Its really only long-term practices that make any difference to our skin and taking it slow and spending ten minutes pampering yourself is as important as self-care as it is skin maintenance. If we were more able to handle the state of our skin and its changing landscapes, with a little more equanimity we would all be a lot happier and at ease. And thus have less stress and self-doubt, which would lead to better health which would lead to better skin...you get the drift.
Sometimes the best ways to treat our skin is to find calm spaces in our lives, nurture the friendships that make a difference to us, allow ourselves to be touched by people who are inspiring, find exercise buddies with a great sense of humour, and exchange recipes with people who eat healthy. Then when we use the night time regime and the overnight creams they’ll actually make us glow, and it’ll come from both the surface and deep deep down.