I recently became a consultant for Rodan + Fields, the #1 acne & anti-aging line in premium skincare in the United States. It’s proven to be quite the fun side hobby and just the creative outlet I’ve needed this season. I’m having a blast sharing these products with other women and talking all things skincare and lashes. This experience has got me thinking, though, and I have a confession: I worry about the message I’m communicating. I worry that you’re hearing you should look younger. I worry that you’re hearing you need these products to make you look more beautiful, as if your beauty is lesser right now. I worry that I’m adding to the larger narrative that I’ve been hearing on repeat my entire life—that aging is bad. That is never what I want to communicate.
Shauna Niequist is one of my very favorite authors. She tells her life story in all it’s raw, precious, bitter and glorious moments. In her most recent book, Present Over Perfect, she writes, “I used to put pajamas and night cream in the same fussy-fancy category as, you know, “self care.” But all my force and all my pushing brought me to the end of myself quite dramatically; brought me to poor health, isolation, exhaustion, resentment. So here I am, self care, pajamas, night cream, all of it” (177-178). She made a commitment to stop falling into bed in the yoga pants she’d been wearing all day and to stop sleeping with her makeup on. After completely exhausting herself, she decided it was time to start taking care of herself.
I’ve been there. Those seasons when taking care of myself is the last thing on my to-do list. Although Shauna and I have never met, she’s challenged me in more ways than one: namely to start taking care of myself before I reach the end of myself. This self-care thing is something I’m still learning and I’m finding that it changes a bit with each season. These days, it looks like making time to paint my nails. I feel like I can conquer the world with a bright, bold manicure and, on hard days, as silly as that sounds, the right polish can make all the difference. I’m currently re-reading some of my favorite authors—the ones who fill me with hope and inspiration, whose words I already know by heart but desperately need to hear again because they are the best balm to my currently weary soul. I’m also trying hard to eat real food. Right now, I deem it a successful week if I eat more cooked meals than takeout ones. Baby steps.
I haven’t reached thirty, not quite yet. Thus, I’m not too worried about my skin’s elasticity or crow’s feet. I’m not all that worried about sun damage or age spots either. Why, then, did I get involved with R+F? Because their skincare products are not about perfection, rather, they’re designed to provide you with the healthiest skin possible, whatever your age. Because self-care begins now. Because I believe that I’m worth it and that you are too. You’re worth taking care of. You’re worth quality products that will nourish the beautiful face you have. You’re worth the time it takes to follow a regimen that will rejuvenate your cells. You’re worth waking up and feeling refreshed. You deserve to love the skin you’re in.
As I practice caring for myself, I’m finding that the rhythm of a skincare regimen is morphing into a song that sings over me. I look in the mirror and am reminded both morning and evening that I have a body worth taking caring of, that I have a soul worth tending. I used to run a makeup remover wipe across my face before falling into bed each night. It took approximately two seconds. Now, I wash my face and apply toner and eye and night cream, and it definitely takes more than five minutes. Sometimes I want to revert back to my old ways, but I try my best not to regress. I’m pretty sure that how I take care of myself tells the story of what I believe about myself. I get that skincare products aren’t always in the budget. I’ve been there too. I encourage you to find unique ways to take care of yourself in those seasons. How are you currently taking care of yourself? What does that say about what you believe about your worth?
In Bittersweet, Shauna writes, “Every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and every year the trade will be worth it. I promise” (90). By connecting you with quality products, this is what I want to communicate: you are lovely and you’re oh so worth it.