Meditation is a ritualistic, repetitive process. We must sit down on a mat and be still.
Meditation can be any thing we do with intention. In the last few months I have been thinking about how skin care could be its own meditation practice.
These cleansing routines are not only effective for glowing skin, but they also reduce problem areas.
As I began to integrate mindfulness into my daily life, I realized how important skin care was for my overall wellness. Here’s how:
1. Intentional touch is no shame
Touch hunger, the “deep desire to have physical contact with another person”, has been shown to be a deeply-rooted side effect of modern society. While we reserve physical touch only for romantic relationships, this leaves so many opportunities to have positive, needed touch.
Although skin care remains a niche that is highly gendered, it is one of few areas where everyone can use their hands and be socially accepted. This touch is more than just surface cleansing.
Regular skin care – massaging the skin, applying sunscreen and serums to it – is an intentional approach that promotes touch as an integral part of our daily care routines.
The benefits of touch can extend beyond skin care. It can have a positive impact on self-love. When we feel more at ease with our skin, and are more aware of how we want it to be treated, we start to feel better about ourselves.
It can be as simple as a gentle touch with oil or body lotion to help you get into the habit of mindfulness.
2. It reminds me of the importance of slowing down and being present
How often do you have the chance to slow down and just be there? Many of us are so busy that we forget how to slow down and take a deep breath.
Something that reminded me of this within skin care has been the “sixty-second rule,” coined by Nayamka Roberts-Smith of LABeautyologist.
In a viral tweet, she wrote that 60 seconds of cleansing your face with your fingers allows the cleanser ingredients to work. “Most people only wash their faces for 15 seconds. Sixty seconds softens the skin and dissolves any sebum better. Overall texture and evenness are improved.”
This rule is free and has many obvious benefits. However, I was also struck by the cost of rushing through things. We often feel dissatisfied and disconnected from our lives when we rush to finish everything.
How can we fix that? Slow down and tether yourself back to the present.
The 60-second rule is a good reminder to be mindful of what you are doing.
3. It emphasizes skin-care as relaxation and not vanity
Turn off the lights. I learned this trick online. It has made skin care fun again. When I do my skin care at night, I turn off all lights.
Some people believe that skin care is a vanity pursuit to achieve flawless, smooth skin. This is not true.
I switch off the lights and turn my back to the mirror. If I feel extra, I might light a candle to encourage me not to look at the mirror.
For me, turning off the lights not only helps incorporate the above tips, but it also grounds me in feeling good for myself, rather than an image of what I should look like.
This allows skin care to be a relaxation practice that I do for my own well-being and not something that I try to achieve a certain beauty goal.
4. It’s all about progress and not perfection
Another thing to note about ideals is that they take us out of the current part of the journey and not fixated on one point. Perfectionism is a common misconception in skin care.
It is nice to be able to concentrate on the feeling.
It’s not about perfection – it’s about making progress in a practice that brings joy and contributes to our well being.
5. This is a great opportunity to make a difference
Sam Escobar, a friend of mine, was the one who showed me that skin care could be part of a meditative practice. I have always carried their words with me.
If they are having a bad day, it can be comforting to wash their face, moisturize, and do their makeup routine. Nylon says:
“My eyes started leaking, then streaming. My cats snuggled beside me when I returned home. After I was done, I did what I do every time I cry: I washed and moisturized my skin, then I carefully applied my makeup. This is a ritual that I find comforting. It is so helpful to have a step by step process. This allows me to get to know all the characters and products. Beauty can be seen as silly by some, but it can also be very healing for others.”
Skin care reminds you that we are worth taking care of
The best part about the routine is this belief that I am worthy of care.
It is a chance to heal oneself, to get back to the core of who you are. It’s why skin care should be done before going to bed, and before we go out into the world. It helps us feel more grounded and restful.
When we feel grounded in ourselves, we can greet each day with confidence.