What’s your relationship with your skin? People generally fall into three categories. Only one of them is a happy place that supports healthy glowing skin. And it's important to know how to have a healthy relationship with your skin.
The 3 Skin Relationship Types
- War - Your skin is the enemy.
- Neglect - Total skin neglect.
- Respect - A relationship built on good listening.
What’s your relationship with your skin?
Like all war, it begins with opposition to something. In this case, it usually starts with a skin problem that you hate and want to get rid of. And because skin conditions and problems can be so frustrating, the problem is attacked with the attitude that the skin is the enemy. The enemy must be destroyed. Frustration sets in when the results we want to see don’t happen overnight. We get upset and try to take control of the skin. We want control.
Along with this attitude of seeking control over the skin enemy, comes the idea that the skin is owned--it’s mine and should do what I want. And from this you build an unhealthy relationship with your skin. The plan is all attack. Listening to the skin doesn’t exist.
Like reaching for more powerful weapons, products used to treat the skin problem quickly escalate to stronger. more aggressive treatments. Almost always, taking such a heavy hand with skin healing makes the situation much worse. This feels like retaliation. Like war. And the cycle of fighting continues.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!
Neglect is all about people just ignoring their face. Most skincare neglect starts because your skin looks and seems fine. So why do anything?
If there’s nothing wrong with my skin, it glows, it’s acne free and not dry and flaky, why worry? It seems as if your skin will always be fine, just like it seems like if you skip on brushing your teeth you won’t get cavities. But everything has a way of sneaking up on you.
What the Future Holds
You end up in one of two places:
1- During skin neglect, even basics, like SPF, are ignored leading to long-term, sun damage. Over time this damage builds up, skin starts to age and at some point deteriorates more quickly.
2 -Neglect means not cleansing the skin on a regular basis, leading quickly to pimples because your pores clog. Or you end up with redness and irritation, like the woman who didn’t wash her face for 30 days.
The Chosen Few
Building a skin relationship on respect accounts for the smallest group of all, unfortunately. They don’t take their skin for granted. Don’t assume they own it. Don’t treat it as a battlefield.
This relationship begins with listening first. Because that’s what respect always starts with. Your skin is always giving you signs and telling you exactly what’s going on. And instead of imposing your idea on how things should be, just listen first. Listen and read the signs. Then you will have a much better idea what to do to give your skin. What it needs to be healthy, not what you think it needs, but what it’s telling you.
The Best Relationship All Around
This skin relationship is very similar to your relationship with other people. If the other person doesn’t understand your point of view, if they always interrupt you while you’re talking before you finish, how is it they respect you? They don’t. Respect means valuing the other, listening, waiting--it’s a give and take.
When you adopt the respect perspective, skincare takes a different shape. You start treating your skin like a plant, giving it care. You provide a good environment so it can function normally. But ultimately, you understand that only the skin can heal itself. Whether you have acne scars or old sun spots on your face, you know only the skin can renew itself and heal. You just give it what it needs.
Respect and Listening Grow Patience
The best relationships develop over time. Communication being the foundation, listening and patiently waiting for a response. And your time horizon changes. You stop looking for the “instant” results. In the end, you have the skin you always wanted.
Start Building a Healthy Relationship Today
Take Small Steps.
If you have been at war, slow down. Put away everything that was harsh and end strong treatments, especially if your skin has consistently gotten worse. There are many factors that impact skin health, including diet and stress levels. Read more articles here.
If you’ve been neglecting your skin, start with a simple regimen. Start taking your skin now and the rewards will be healthy skin in your future. If you’re unsure or confused by skincare products begin with learning your skin type. Then take steps to care for it.
There’s no good reason to be at war with your skin or neglect it. In both cases, begin today to turn into a listener. Put down the aggressive treatments and harsh products. Listen instead. It makes for a much happier relationship with your skin.