“The sooner you accept you are imperfect, I promise you half the battle is won.”
I, for one, cannot stress on how important it is to sometimes take that photo without a filter or a special cam and accept however you see yourself. If your perception about yourself isn’t a positive one, no amount of filter or camera can change that for you. So you have to accept all the blemishes, pigmentations, dark circles and puffiness and find beauty in your character and strength. I hope you get that conviction.
When I was 17, I was going through so many medications because of my acne and it used to hamper my self-esteem. At the cusp of being a teenager and an adult, there are dynamic changes we go through. We tend to be so warped up in this transition that we often forget to address our internalisations and don’t let ourselves ease into it.
How can we? We are in such a frenzy to grow up! 🙆🏽
I blindly did what my skin doctor would suggest : chemical peels ✅, steroid medicines ✅, anything and everything, ✅. The chemical peels were the worst, they not only had an adverse reaction to my skin but also damaged my complexion. Yet, pumping up on vanity and feeling like I own my skin, I kept feeding it every kind of junk possible. ❌
Until one day and many products promising various benefits later, it dawned to me : what we consume reflects greatly on our skin too. The amount of sleep we get, our lifestyle, our eating habits and a whole lot of things collectively contributes to our external reflection.
I start my day with a glass of water soaked in fenugreek seeds overnight. Fenugreek has multiple health benefits, even in terms of detox, weight loss, skin and hair. During the summer days especially, drinking water soaked in basil seeds also helps with your detox, cools your core body temperature and keeps your skin healthy. 🍒
Our mental health plays a huge factor as well. I had undiagnosed anxiety for the longest time, I didn’t even know that is what anxiety looked like. I had it all through my college years and I dealt with it just like every young adult out there deals with stress : you shut up and don’t talk about it. And these repressed feelings and sentiments often manifest externally on our skin. During such times, my solace was a very basic skin clearing face wash – The Himalaya Herbals Purifying Face Wash. I used to alter between the Neutrogena Acne Clearing Face Wash too. These two were my biggest skin saviours.
Believe me when I say, your mental health manifests as clear signs on your skin sometimes. Your eating habits too! Gorge on fruits rich in antioxidants that help your skin, hair and boosts mental health! Load up on ripe papayas, kiwi, musk melon, pears and apples, these fruits help to keep your skin clean. Have watermelon and any kind of fruit that is loaded with water for hydration. 🍎🍑🥝🍉
Over the years I have been able to put down some of my personal remedies while dealing with anxiety. Any attack of anxiety or panic requires your 5 senses to be grounded – giving you the reality of time and the moment and breaking you away from illusion. Below are the 5 senses step for anxiety relief that I employ:
Step 1- Hear something – find that music on your phone or the laptop which helps you calm your nerve. The idea is to activate your hearing sense. This song has proven to reduce anxiety. 🎼
Step 2- Smell. Take small controlled breath of air or a deodorant. Repeat inhalation and exhalation. Keep a source of a smell like a deodorant or perfume constant. DON’T switch too much while you are activating this sense. Try my favourite perfume! 🍭
Step 3- Touch. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and the calming stimulus registers quickly. Pick up a guitar if you have at home and play it. Or use a makeup product to apply to your skin. Don’t pinch or hurt yourself. You have gotta be calm about the process. Or play it online here! 🎻
Step 4- Sight. Watch something. Anything. Favourite actor, favourite band, conspiracy theories, unicorn farting rainbows, the cover of a book. Activating your sense of sight is the key. Watching the series Friends has proven to reduce anxiety and depression. 🦄
Step 5- Taste. This is actually one of the strongest methods for relieving anxiety and few people integrate this. Chew a gum. Pop a mint. Eventually when you are more in control brew some Chamomile tea or Green tea. It REALLY helps in calming your nerves, I kid you not. My favourite tea is from Fortnum & Mason! ☕️
I have developed a very minimal skin care routine that works wonders for many reasons. The milder your face wash, more better the results. A Tea tree oil or any anti-bacterial face wash works well too – keeping in mind the Indian climate and skin, it shouldn’t dry out your skin too much. I almost never forget to tone using an aloe vera and rose water toner.
Moisturisation is the skin food and if you have sensitive skin and want to keep it healthy, use a cream that is filled with goodness of Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. Remember the Holy Grail for skin – CTM (Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise). 🍯
Recently, I have started to use an ice pack for 2-3 minutes daily on my skin. Ice packs do really help in tackling pimples, regulates blood circulation, cools your skin and tightens your pores, hence all the toner and moisture is absorbed right into your skin. ❄️ ❄️ A Korean and essentially cheap beauty regime that’s gaining popularity these days!
These days, I love that I have picked up my reading habit again. So while the rest of the people may be partying it up in a club, I enjoy a good book or a documentary series at home on a Friday night. Topping it with some music, going off the grid and masking! I use the L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask Detoxify that is EVERYTHING.
It’s charcoal clay formula helps soak up the negative ions from the depths of my skin and leaves it soft and glowing. Sometimes on Friday nights, I love pulling up a sheet mask from TonyMoly, like the Tea tree or the Avocado one! Have you tried them? They are like mini parties for your skin! It is literally the kind of parties I enjoy off late, masking away in peace, no human conversations please.
I stopped with any kind of skin treatments over the years, and learnt to be more in control and recognise the importance of mental health. I have seen how it has reflected on my skin too! Simultaneously, every four months I do drop in for a skin consultation with my Dermatologist and my Therapist just to keep things in track, even if nothing is wrong.
On an ending note after that rather long blog post this time : I just want to say that its so important to recognise that we need to balance our health overall! Our mental state of mind can make a huge difference in our appearance but by being educated about it and in participating in conversations, we can try to make it easy! Looking and feeling good are so co-related and should be an inside out process!
I hope this helps you guys and if you know someone who are troubled by anxiety and need help from time to time, or have low self-esteem tied up to their skin, do share this post! And get them some help here.
Photography – Mejuljeet Singh
Assistant Styling – Vaishali Pandey