Friday, February 10, 2012

Two Faced

Today's post is called "Two Faced" for a few reasons. I have two things I want to discuss. You'll understand the title after you read this. I assume you're intelligent enough to get it!

Part one is about skin care. Hints the word "face". Get it?

You have had the same face since you were born. Your body grows and changes shape. Your hair can change colors, lengths, and styles. Your face doesn't change, with the exception of plumpers, fillers, and invasive surgeries. Shouldn't you take special care of your face? I personally would like to avoid using knives and needles to restore my face.

Women of all ages neglect their faces. It's not until we notice a flaw that we start worrying about skin care. Once the flaw is there, it is hard to get rid of. The key to a fresh face is early intervention. I like to call it Skintervention. So many of the things that we hate about our skin are preventable.

The number one culprit to many of your skin's misfortunes is the sun. I know that hearing about the sun damaging your skin is like hearing a song on repeat, and you can't make it stop. But there is a reason so many people preach about the sun. It's killing your skin! Recently I was at lunch with my family, and we ran into a woman whom we have known for years. I remember as a child thinking how beautiful and tan her skin was. Now her lovely tan face has deep lines and wrinkles all over it. She is probably five years younger than my mom and looks ten years older. And I haven't even mentioned the dark spots on her face. It's not my intention to talk badly about this woman, but the way the sun had aged her really struck me. I should also note that when I saw her it was January, and she was quite tan. So I'm assuming that the tanning bed played a role in this, too.

I'll admit that I used to love a tanning bed. I have freckles, and as we determined at the Clinique counter today, ivory skin. There is nothing about me that says "This girl should bake in a tanning bed and lay in the sun." Even if you don't burn after sun exposure, it is still damaging your skin. Put on some sunscreen! Not wearing sunscreen is like saying "I want to look older than I am and die younger than I should". It's harsh but true. While I've harped on the aging aspects of the sun, skin cancer is a real thing. There isn't a tan body out there that is worth skin cancer. If you have fallen victim to the sun, I strongly recommend a visit to a dermatologist. They will check you for suspicious moles and sun spots, and they can give you some really awesome facial sunscreens that you can't find in stores. I got one that is super gentle on my sensitive skin, and it's even tinted so that I have light foundation-like coverage. It was only about $15 and well worth it.

The other major way that we neglect our skin is in the way that we cleanse and moisturize. I understand that the majority of women don't want a 5-step skin care routine (Mine is 6 or 7 steps!). I think that everyone can handle two things: Cleanse and moisturize! Please, please, please wash your face before you go to bed. If you don't wash your face, then all of that makeup, oil, and environmental pollutants are staying on your skin. Even worse, all of those things are getting on your pillow. So night after night you're adding more nastiness (It's a real word!) and laying on your old nastiness. ICK! Aside from being completely unhygienic, this is what causes clogged pores, blackheads, pimples, and oily skin. You don't want any of that, now do you?

As far as moisturizer, it's quite simple. The right moisturizer balances and evens out your skin tone. When shopping for one, read the bottle. It will tell you what type of skin it is for, it's active ingredients, and how it works. I prefer to moisturize morning and night. And guess what, the one I use in the morning has sunscreen in it!

My preferred skin care line is the Clinique 3-step system. The three steps are cleanse, tone, and moisturize. It's very simple and takes less than five minutes. Your consultant will ask you questions about your skin and determine what will work best for you. There is also a 90-second skin quiz on the website that helps you determine which products you need if a Clinique counter isn't available in your area. They will mix and match products to best meet your needs. During my consultations, I've added steps to take care of my puffy eye problem and my super dry skin. I love that it is completely customizable and can change with your skin. You can do as much or as little as you want.

My drugstore picks are Johnson's Purpose and Neutrogena's Fresh Line. Both of these lines have been recommended by every dermatologist I've ever been to. They are extremely light, gentle, and effective. My skin is extremely sensitive, and I have used both of these lines without any irritation.

Now it's time for your Skintervention!!!

And now it's time for part two. If this was it's on post I'd call it "Haterade". I'm talking about woman on woman hate. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, but we all know that we are guilty of hating on other women. I will be the first to admit that I am very guilty of this. I am a people watcher and being in the beauty business, I pay close attention to how people look. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's what comes out of my mouth after I make the observation that is unacceptable.

I don't understand why we feel the need to talk about each other in a negative way. I do it, and I don't even notice it. The little things like "Look at her hair!" or "What is she wearing?" are not okay. It's going to take a conscious effort for me to stop doing that, but it is my mission to stop being that girl. I am constantly saying that you should be yourself and present yourself in a way that makes you feel beautiful and confident, and I really do believe that wholeheartedly. So it is my goal to stop making side comments about how a woman looks but instead to appreciate the beauty she possesses.

Ironically, many of us also speak negatively about women who we think look amazing. Somehow when you see a woman who you think is beautiful with amazing skin, hair, and style, you feel like all of your insecurities are out for show. I promise you that no one is comparing you to her. Elanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Her words couldn't be truer. The only reason other women can make you feel insecure is because you let them. Your beauty and worth are not from other people. They are within you.

So this is my challenge to you: Stop being so harsh. Even if the person never knows you said it, those mean-spirited words are still on your mind and most likely can be read on your face. Have you ever stopped to think that with every negative word you say about someone, someone else is saying just as many terrible things about you? It makes you cringe, doesn't it? This is a huge challenge for me which I gladly accept. There is enough negativity around us every day. Let's not contribute to it any longer.