Updated: Jan 1, 2020
It startled me when I first entered into the world of skincare and esthetics how many of my clients would apologize to me for their skin prior to getting a facial. People often begin a session by criticizing their faces, their wrinkles, their pores, their chin, eyes, nose, and really any and all perceived imperfections.
The weight of the idea of beauty we tend to carry around with us day to day can be quite soul crushing. And the words many of us use to describe our own indescribably amazing selves can be harsh and cruel. The longer I practice bodywork and skincare, the more I believe there is real value in working with people to change how they view and talk to their faces, their skin, and even their bodies. Our faces do not have to be war zones. Our skin is our largest organ. It is our connection to the world around us. It is intrinsically connected to ourselves.
I suffered for many years with acne and inflamed skin. I picked my face and disappeared into mirrors only to emerge red and swollen and even bloody. Many days were, and memories are, marred with a haze of self consciousness and sadness because I was always so worried about my face. Everyday that my face was covered in pimples and red spots was a day I had to work to walk out the door and interact with people. I tried everything. I tried too much. I worried. I picked. I cried. I tried so hard to figure it out. I spent so much money and time and energy. I couldn't let it be. I battled and fought. My own face. It was awful.
When I was fifteen I saw an esthetician for the first time. My entire forehead was covered in open white heads. I was horrified about it. I know she didn't use super supportive or plant based products (I'm not sure what was even available in 1995), but the most powerful memory I have of that experience has nothing to do with the actual facial products. I laid down on the massage table and she just looked at me and touched my whole face, even my forehead, and she said, "It's ok. We will take care of you." It made me cry. It made me feel like I wasn't gross. Her gesture made me feel like a person who deserved touch and care. I will never forget it.
Sometimes a facial treatment can be about coming back to ourselves, being held in loving touch, being skin nourished, and learning how to take a deep down kind gentle approach to our own selves.