My Love for You is…Skin Deep?

I had an epiphany the other day, one that I think is worth sharing, because there was someone there with me, who had a similar insight.

Setting: Burke Williams Day Spa in Santa Monica, CA.
Activity: Getting a facial.

The attendant, whose name was Laura was asking me a slew of questions as she did wonderful things to my face. (It was sort of like drinking a water after a particularly long drought. I didn’t realize how dry my skin was until I gave it something to drink).

She started off by asking about what kind of moisturizer I use.

Simple: I don’t.

That didn’t phase her.


I frowned beneath her talented hands: I don’t do anything for my face. I wash it in the shower, without any sort of cleanser, and that’s about it.

She paused and asked, “How old are you?”

I told her.

“Wow,” she said, and proceeded to tell me all of the reasons that a woman my age, especially one who isn’t living in beautiful southern California should be taking care of her skin. At least to the point of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.

As she went on and on and on, I realized something.

I had always coded facials and skin care products as optional, as luxurious, as uber-expensive, and overly feminine. I had always believed that women who took care of their skin (using product after product) were vain and, let’s be honest, shallow. (I realize that these are some of the stereotypes that I used to hold about skinny women as well, but that’s another post). I had essentially coded facials and skin care as not me.

But then I realized something. And it seems so simple that it’s almost too embarrassing to write, but here it goes.

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It protects me from the environment. It is literally the layer that keeps out the toxins and filters the internal toxins out through sweat, etc. My skin is part of my body.

My entire life, up until that moment, my idea of loving my body – or at the very least, taking care of it – was limited to diet and exercise. Everything else, including skin care, was optional. Read: unimportant.

Laying on the table with steam blowing on my face and a near scalding towel around my neck, I recoded skin care and body care and since then, I have integrated a new routine into my self-care.

Now, skin care products are still expensive, but it’s amazing how much better I feel now that I am loving that part of my body as well. Not only is my skin softer and more supple, I feel ridiculously loved and cosseted.

And now that I am totally and completely addicted to skin care, I have to ask myself: Was it the skin care itself that I wasn’t willing to accept into my life, or was it the feelings that the skin care provided?

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