When things start to change.
This is an article about your skincare dilemma’s but first, let me begin with a story.
When I was in my mid-forties, I started to notice a change in my body shape. I was starting to gain weight around the midsection. In my opinion, this is the worst possible place to gain weight; it’s uncomfortable and thinking you can hide with loose-fitting clothing may have the opposite effect, especially if you have big boobs (which I do). Not to mention it is said to be quite unhealthy!
Not since the 80s (when I was a bit obsessed with my weight) have I embarked on anything close to a ‘diet’, and interestingly, once I stopped obsessing, my weight became balanced, and with daily walking, I was pretty happy.
Suddenly, I’m in my mid-’40s!! Unchartered waters! Sadly our hormones are intimately linked to our body shape, and as the delicate balance starts to become a little topsy-turvy, so too our body weight, shape and size.
Wanted: A diet buddy.
So I decided to go on a diet. Like so many challenges in life, getting a buddy helps. Agree? So I went out and found myself a diet buddy (flatmate), and we embarked on our diet together. The goal was to lose a healthy 1 kilogram of fat a week—an achievable and sensible plan. Two weeks into the diet, not only was I enjoying a healthy and, it has to be said, surprisingly gourmet diet. I was losing weight.
But then something unexpected happened.
Unbeknownst to me, my diet buddy, let’s call her Maggie (not her real name) had the patience of a cat on a hot tine roof in almost every aspect of her life, so to lose 1 kilogram a week was just not fast enough. Naturally, she did what any normal person would do. She gave up. Just like that!! Finished!!! Perhaps not so normal, perhaps in truth a bit irrational.
What did my buddy do instead? What can only be described as a starvation diet? A lettuce leaf, a slice of tomato on a Ryvita became lunch, followed by a bowl of salty water for dinner. Brilliant, she was going to beat me for sure! This fantastic, too-good-to-be-true way of losing weight lasted, from memory, an entire afternoon. By dinner time, my soon to be ex-diet buddy was gorging herself on chocolate!! True story.
Not to be deterred by this minor slip up, a new plan was hatched and off she went to an ashram (of sorts) in Thailand and dedicated herself to total abstinence of anything resembling food! The only thing my diet buddy had to look forward to was the daily colonic irrigation of her bowel (Sorry).
This went on for ten days!! To say she came back lighter is true, but let’s not talk about the angry, nail-biting, paranoid arguments that ensued with her nearest and dearest during this time of self-imposed denial. Within a week or two, the weight had settled right back where it had been before. Of course, any nutritionist will tell you; it was just water loss tipping those scales south.
What’s this all about?
Well, it’s actually about commitment. It’s actually about sticking with what you started to do and allowing the time it takes to work. It’s about setting yourself a time frame to achieve goals and then taking regular, committed action.
Last week I told you in quite a matter of fact way, that the skin care you are currently using may never, ever work for you. It doesn’t matter the brand, the science, the price or even the quality. It’s not going to work.
The real reason your skincare never works.
Most of us keep looking for what we hope is the holy grail of skincare. We feel so vulnerable we’ll believe and try anything. Bathroom cabinets worldwide are bursting at the seams with unused jars, bottles and tubes full of promise. Not very sustainable.
And yet, you continue to worry about your skin.
It’s red, sensitive, looking sallow, lined and wrinkling more than it should for a woman of your age.
Or, suddenly, just like the weird things changing in your body shape, you begin to see brown spots and unsightly pigmentation appearing on your skin, or worse, adult acne seems to be residing on your jawline and chin. What!
These are all excellent reasons to get yourself post-haste to someone who knows about these things. Perhaps it’s a cosmetic consultant, or a beauty therapist or a dermatologist.
You’re driven to find the solution to whatever it is that ails your skin.
After many weeks of searching, you settle on something your best and dearest friend has been using and swears by. It’s a strange thing and true of us all. Despite all the expertise available, we end up using whatever our friends are using.
I think it’s sensible to try what others have recommended. After all, how can you trust anyone, however well-meaning, who’s trying to sell your something! With so many, well, charlatans out there, you are very wise to approach your choice of skincare with a bit of caution.
And yet, you continue to seek out something new.
A promise of hope, a new ingredient, something that’s finally right for you. It can get a little confusing. Right? And all too often, the advice is, well, fuzzy at best. But you’re getting desperate in finding answers, so you take the leap and buy the products recommended for you. What now?
A 30 Day Challenge. Ten tips for a skincare routine that works.
1. Use all the products recommended.
2. Think of your skincare regimen as a daily workout for your skin. No shortcuts; don’t skip a thing. Cleanse your skin diligently every night (no matter what time you get home or how tired you are). Never leave any traces of makeup on your skin.
3. Diarise how things are going. We forget how our skin looked. Take photo’s to measure your progress.
4. Apply any serums as instructed by your skincare professional. Don’t skip anything.
5. If you’re not inspired to do this with a friend, think of your skincare professional as your personal ‘skin coach’. Ask them to contact you within three days of commencing your regimen. This is important as you’ll need a bit of reassurance (any skincare professional worth their salt should offer to do this anyway).
6. Book an appointment with your newly anointed ‘skin coach’ for a follow-up visit two weeks after you start your new regimen. Monitoring your success will help you achieve your goals and create new habits.
7. If your new product range is a cosmeceutical or medical-grade skincare, then #5 & 6 are especially true for you.
8. When you feel like you want to go out and buy something new, check your bathroom cabinet and look at how much money you’ve already spent in the past.
9. After 30 days, go back to your ‘skin coach’ and ask about what treatments will complement your regimen. This could be a chemical peel treatment, sound and light therapies, micro-needling or rejuvenating laser treatments. By now, your ‘skin coach’ should have worked out a plan for you.
10. If you’re unsure or not getting the help you need, I strongly advise contacting the company whose products you’re using. They’ll have a customer service or education department, and they’ll be happy to offer advice.
It’s been 30 days, now what?
If you have chosen well, you should see some pretty good results from your new skincare routine. If not, then go back to your ‘skin coach’ and determine why your results are slower than expected. Or, if you’re still stuck on what’s the best skincare for you, then you may like this article.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations to you!! You stuck with it and committed to reading this article. Most people don’t. I hope it was worth the long read, and I’ve given you a little food for thought (no pun intended). When it comes to finding skincare that works, stick with the brand you’ve chosen and give it time to work.
And now you?
But what do you think? Do you commit to your skincare routine, or are you always on the lookout for the next best thing? I’d love to hear from you. Or, if you know someone who would enjoy this article, why not scroll down and share it around. Need help? There are three ways you can get skincare advice from me here.
See you next time,