Transitions and Transformations
Take a course of good water and air, and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you...
When I began my transition from a child to a young adult, that rather awkward phase, among the changes I noted was what was happening to my skin. I saw the texture of it change, and although the difference was subtle, that was when I began having opinions and feelings about my skin. Since then I have periodically noticed further changes, gradual and natural, as my skin continues to mature. I know that the biggest changes are yet to come, and I want to work with my skin along the way.
Learning to trust my body has been important to me, to appreciate it and understand the cues it gives me has been a long process that began with my paying attention. I have learned the value of staying well hydrated, and that drinking plain old water is an unparalleled way to do that. I know that if Iindulge in drinking alcohol, or stay out in the sun too long without protection, my skin feels dry and the creases developing on my face look significantly deeper. I have learned about the influence of my hormones on my experience, including how they affect my skin, mood and self perception.
My skin routine is holistic, it is everything from trying to sleep, eat and live well, to trying (and mostly failing) to resist picking at that spot on my face! When I wash my face, I avoid using very hot water, having found that exposing my skin to it makes me prone to redness and breakouts. I try to use mild soaps, if using any at all, as I generally prefer just using warm water and a flannel. If I left it at that, I would soon find my face feeling tight, because I've removed the natural oil my skin produces (which is called sebum) in the process of cleaning it. So I apply oils immediately after, and they help create that protective layer on the surface of my skin and give my own skin oils time to develop, without the skin dehydrating in the meantime. If the skin is dry, it may crack, and rather paradoxically may cause your skin to try and restore balance by overproducing sebum.
My skin care routine may sound basic, but it works for me. It is still a luxurious experience that encompasses my senses of touch, temperature, and smell. I massage my skin as I apply the oils, encouraging the blood circulation to my skin which is the source of all its nourishment. I use the best quality oils, enriched by the addition of essential oils. This makes me happy, and that is a precious thing. I heard once that you should try to always stick to a product until you finish it, giving your skin time to adjust to it, and also to take everything it has to offer. Having fewer bottles open also means you can enjoy products at peak freshness, and this will lead to less waste. The wonderful thing about using oils as skincare products is that that can easily be integrated into any routine. On my shelf right now sits Menteath Dusk Wood for my face, and next to it Menteath Wild Path Body oil. Both help me unwind at the end of the day, and during the summer, as I spend much of my time outside, they tone and balance my skin.
I find the skin on my face to be amazing, so distinct from the rest of the body. Consider your skin, the texture of it, the difference between the skin on your hands and feet, or between your elbow and the crook of your arm. Your skin does so many different jobs, and the skin on your face has to be simultaneously the most sensitive and most exposed. As social creatures we have such expressive faces, they are an enormous part of our communication with each other. The majority of our sensory organs are located on our face, and it is almost always exposed to the elements. Learning how to take care of it is essential and can be incredibly rewarding.