Warning, emotional and motivational post ahead!
Still with me? When I started this crazy skincare and K-beauty fueled journey, I was about to graduate college. I was lost, no career prospects and very little money. I felt so much was possible but I also felt very lost on how to accomplish it.
As I grew into adulthood, into myself, my skincare journey has closely paralleled my journeying through my twenties trying to figure out my path in life.
As I’m closing the chapter called my twenties (hello 30 December 12!) I want to reflect back on all the life lessons I’ve learned through skincare.
1. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective
One of the biggest reasons I got into K-beauty is because of it’s affordability. K-beauty taught me that expensive doesn’t always equal better. A high price tag doesn’t promise quality and more expensive skincare won’t promise results. Use your best judgment and don’t let the high price tag fool you — value comes in many forms.
2. Confidence doesn’t come from makeup
You can’t fake confidence. Hiding your insecurities under layers of makeup only creates a vicious cycle of more insecurities. Focus your energy on showing off and flaunt what you love about yourself instead of covering up and hiding what you don’t.
3. Your flaws are beautiful
And while we’re at it, your flaws are beautiful. They are what make you, uniquely you. There isn’t another person in the whole world who has the gifts and talents that you do, flaws and all.
4. Wear your sunscreen
Sun damage is the quickest way to stop being carded at 23, and of course will lead to a whole host of skin and health issues down the road. Sunscreen is your cheapest skincare product that will pay off handsomely in the future.
5. Your body is your temple
Treat your body just as well as you treat your face! Eat real food, exercise and take care of your health. Your face maybe bangin’ at 60, but it’s no good if you don’t have your health.
6. Consistency is key
Stick with your goals, consistency is key. It takes at least 2 weeks and often times much longer to see progress with your skincare goals, so why aren’t you as persistent in life? Stay consistent, even if someone says no, keep trying.
7. Patience is everything
Stay patient! Goals you want to achieve take time. Nothing worth having comes easy. Remember to do the work, stay humble and stay patient!
8. Small steps will bring you closer to big goals
Sometimes the hardest part about anything we want to achieve in life is just starting. Big goals can feel overwhelming and can paralyze most people into a state of inaction. Don’t be that person. Want to fade sun damage, get a promotion, change careers, make a difference in the world? Start small and keep going!
9. Don’t judge a product by its packaging
Not all gorgeous, shelfie-worthy products will perform well for you. Not all people are what they first seem. Don’t let the outside packaging get in the way of your judgment.
10. Beauty is more than skin deep
What makes you beautiful isn’t flawless skin, a v-line jaw or a killer body. Your heart, your soul, your generosity and your mind are what the world finds truly beautiful about you.
11. Listen to your skin and gut
Listen to what your skin likes. Intuitive skincare can help guide us to giving our skin exactly what it needs. Listen to your skin and listen to your intuition and gut. If something doesn’t feel right or you have doubts, don’t push your feelings down. Listen to yourself; you know best.
12. Don’t follow the hype
Get to know yourself and don’t just follow the hype. Everyone may rave about product XYZ but you know that product ABC is best for you. Stay strong and believe in yourself.
13. Do your own research
Learn ingredients, learn concepts, don’t always rely on someone else to give you the answers. Do your own research and come to your own conclusion. Do you lead or are you being led?
14. Don’t blindly trust the well-meaning reviewers
Learn to take reviews and criticism with a grain of salt. Try to understand their point of view but make sure to filter it for what will work for you.
15. You can Google anything
Don’t wait for the answers to be fed to you, you can Google anything! “I don’t know” is no longer an answer in the age of Google. You have the entire knowledge of the world in your purse. Want to learn a new skill, get better at something? Google it!
16. Be a lifelong learner
Keep a student’s mind in everything you do. Don’t ever think because you’re not in school you’re done learning. Be a knowledge sponge, be curious and ask questions. Do research, take classes, teach yourself. It’s shown that most people will change their careers about 3 times in their lives. Make sure you’re always learning and leveling up.
17. Treat your inside as you would your outside
Take care of your health, not just your body. Get health screenings, listen to what’s happening in your body, and eat sensibly. Take care of your mental health, take breathers, exercise your brain.
18. Self care isn’t a waste of time
Don’t feel guilty if you need to take a mental health day off from work. Don’t feel bad if you have to put down some work to just take a bath and disconnect for a few hours. Taking care of yourself enables you to show up as your best self for others and yourself.
19. Meditation is freeing
Applying your skincare with mindfulness can be a step towards mediation and reflection. Take that moment in your day to not just slap on layers but mindfully meditate on your day.
20. Skincare is something that can be worth getting out of bed for
Sometimes we just can’t imagine leaving our bed and facing the day. Depression, anxiety, a case of the blues — whatever it is, it’s normal and we all experience something like it at one time or another. What gets you out of bed? A routine, a sense of consistency and sometimes that’s your skincare routine.
21. Keep an open mind (about snails)
Keep your mind and heart open in all situations; don’t be quick to judge. Stay open in all situations, even if they involve putting snail mucin on your face!
22. Healthy is gorgeous
Even when my face is full of dark marks and clogged pores, you know what makes my skin glow? A healthy complexion. Your glow will hide all flaws.
23. No one can see that pimple
Don’t get so caught up in the minute details, no one will zero in on that pimple on your chin. You are a full package, not just one detail. Step away from the magnifying mirror and take in the bigger picture.
24. Dream bigger
Sometimes we hit our goals quickly. Don’t be complacent, dream bigger. Imagine what more you could do.
25. Don’t do something you don’t love
If you hate using a jade roller, don’t waste your time doing it. Conversely, if you hate a job or aren’t served by a friend group, don’t waste your time being miserable. Life is precious, time is short, make the most out of what you have.
26. Stress shows up everywhere
Stress is a bonafide killer. You know stress has a major effect when you get that nasty pimple that just won’t quit right around the time that everything in your life seems to be going haywire. Create practices and self care acts that help you manage your stress levels.
27. Be kind and gentle with yourself (don’t push those pimples so hard)
Sometimes we push ourselves too hard, to the brink of illness or the brink of a nasty pimple-popping scar. Be kinder to yourself and be gentle. Sometimes we just need a break.
28. You can’t force something to happen
Just like you can’t force that cystic pimple to come to a head, you can’t force things to happen in your life. Accept that something just won’t happen on your timeline and relax.
29. Honor the journey
Speaking of, remember it’s not always about the destination but the journey. When we laser-focus in on the end goal, we fail to see the beauty of the journey and we fail to recognize our progress. Slow down, recognize your wins and honor the beautiful journey you’re on.
30. It’s not anti-aging, it’s well-aging
And finally, it’s not about beating the clock. Aging isn’t about trying to look younger. Aging is about embracing your journey, embracing your hard-earned wisdom, grey hair, laugh lines and confidence. Aging is about learning to know yourself better and being comfortable in your skin, inside and out.