I’m not going to lie, I have been very lucky in the skin lottery and have taken it for granted. If my skin and I were a couple, we would have broken up A-G-E-S ago. I have been treating it like crap for far too long, until now.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we?
Rewind 20 years ago to the late 90s when Google was founded and the box office sensation; Titanic was released. It was also when my brother; who is four years older than I am, was experiencing severe cystic acne during his teenage years. So, after months of trying nearly every anti-acne product known to man, Mum took him to see someone. The dermatologist put my brother on Roaccutane. While the medication worked wonders he unfortunately suffered some scarring and pitting on his face. I will never forget Mum saying “If you end up having pimples like your brother, I will take you to the doctor straight away”. This terrified me. I was in a state of panic leading up to my teenage years thinking that I too would suffer the same as he did.
Now a few years pass and I am now in my teens. Those terrifying thoughts of having acne like my brother had not come to fruition. Just like the Y2K bug, it was all talk and no show. Sure, I had pimples... even the odd Mount Vesuvius 🌋 would erupt but NOTHING like what my brother had to go through. I was even a rebel and never used any type of special skincare to prevent breakouts. So you would think I would be grateful for my skin being nice to me and start treating it with the care and respect it deserved, but nope!
I, like many other young female teens would start dabbling in makeup. Let’s be honest, makeup wasn’t the same then as it is now. No such thing as contour kits, primers or highlighters. It was Covergirl foundation in an incorrect shade, bronzer all over your face so you look like an Oompa-Loompa and black eyeliner to the point you are now deemed a close species to the panda or racoon 🐼. Oh and to make matters worse, I also smothered my lashes in mascara and NEVER washed it off. Yes, you read that right, I would go to sleep with tonnes of mascara on my eyes and when I would wake up, I’d just apply new coats straight over the crusty-three-week-old existing layers. To combat the clump, a trusty old safety pin would be used to carefully pry apart my lashes.
Straight out of high school I started working full time which led to more disposable income that I just wasted on alcohol, clothes and a membership to a tanning salon. I shudder thinking how much damage I’ve caused my skin 🙈 – queue that old lady looking like a leather handbag from There’s Something About Mary.
Oh and don’t get me started on how many times I would go to bed with a full face of makeup still on. Not even a quick swipe of a makeup wipe! Just my caked face on my pillow while I snooze for 8-ish hours at night. With all of these bad habits punishing my skin, it was still loyal and displayed no real issues.
Fast forward to now… I must admit I am still not great with my skin. I do make an effort now compared to what I was doing previously. I no longer go to a tanning salon and religiously wear SPF. I wash my face but there are odd times that I can’t be assed or if I do remove it I don’t do my whole double cleanse, tone, moisturise routine. Sure I am spending cash-ola on decent skincare products, but if I am not consistent with its application it won’t work. I have come to the realisation that if I continue to take my skin for granted, it is going to kick me to the kerb. I almost imagine my skin, (if a person) to have the following dialogue with me in couples counselling:
Skin – “Hey Jess.”
Jess – “Hey Skin.”
Skin – “You’re a poopy head and don’t treat me well. You only care about me when it suits you. Because of this I am going to age prematurely, contain a tonne of texture and not be as flawless like I could be! You did this to us!!”
Jess – “Oh I’m sorry, how can I make it up to you?”
Skin – “Treat me like the princess I deserve to be!”
Jess – “Ok.”
I know I am nowhere near perfect and will not be able to do everything I need to get my skin in tip top condition right away. I need to regain the trust I had with my skin and nurture it bit by bit. I am going to consciously try to start and maintain the below habits:
Drink 2 – 3 litres of water per day
Take my vitamins and supplements
Sleep at least 6-8 hours per night
Ensure I follow my skincare regime every day and every night
Get regular treatments like facials, microdermabrasion and lasers
I am comfortable with going out in public with bare skin and know that it honestly isn’t that bad. There are some areas that contain a fair bit of texture as well as some milia. In case you’re wondering what milia are, they are small keratin filled cysts that are under the skin that mimic the look of a whitehead and often forms due to a build-up of dead skin cells or clogged pores. You can’t pop the little buggers like you would a pimple. They must be lanced (pierced with a needle or scalpel) and extracted. I also have a few dark spots that I wished I didn’t have. However, with constant use of Vitamin C and some lasers I believe this will assist in these spots fading. Finally, to help improve the overall appearance, luminosity and hydration of my skin, I must do this from the inside out. Getting sufficient sleep, drinking enough water and taking vitamins and supplements will aid in this.
Below are some images of my skin au natural. No filters or photo-shopping of sorts. It’s me yesterday morning before I slapped on my skincare or makeup. I’ve done this on purpose to show you the real me, to make me accountable. Then as my skin and I work on repairing our relationship, hopefully in a few months’ time I can share more photos to demonstrate the progress I am making and how I was able to achieve this.
Could you be nicer to your skin? I would love to hear how you currently treat your skin and whether you too could make any improvements. Leave your comments below.
Image for There’s Something About Mary - Variety
Milia – Australia Skin Clinics