About a month ago, I described the ongoing battle with my skin, which has long been a point of embarrassment for me, fraught with frustration and many tears. Rather than accept this fate, I vowed that I would work to dedicate myself to clearing my skin and achieving that signature vegan glow.
In my previous article, I enumerated my goals: eat foods to enhance overall complexion, exfoliate daily, wash my skin after any and all sweat sessions, and avoid touching my face. Overall, I’m happy with the results of my little experiment. Throughout the month, I made an effort to drink lots of green juice, consume water-rich vegetables, and eat foods containing high amounts of vitamin A and zinc. After exfoliating daily for a couple weeks, my much more beauty-competent sister told me that this routine will actually irritate my skin if done frequently. My goal is to exfoliate three times a week–Dumplings, do you think this is too much/too little? I’ve also been good about washing my face after the gym and yoga, carrying my favorite cleanser in a travel container with me at all times. Finally, I’ve been getting more disciplined with keeping my hands away from my face, though this is a practice that will take time to concretize. I have also started to use this rosehip oil before bed a few times a week, per Mary’s informative article.
Here’s a photo of my skin in its current state:
Granted, this was taken with an iPhone, so blemishes are much less apparent…but I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in just a month! For years, my objective was never to achieve clear skin; instead, I focused on finding the best concealer, or locating the most efficacious acne cream. I simply did not want to expend the energy it takes to heal one’s skin. But this year, when I began to adopt a more whole foods vegan diet (and eating more food in general), I wanted my skin to reflect all the good I was doing for my body internally. Although I know that there are many other contributing factors to one’s complexion, including genetics, hormones, and stress levels, I am hoping to at least see some progress with my improved eating and cleansing habits.
For a long time, I thought a preoccupation with my complexion would convey a level of narcissism and self-obsession that I never wanted to reach. But, in refusing to invest time and energy in my outward appearance, I became deeply unsatisfied with myself–so much so that it literally consumed all of my thoughts. Now that I’ve gained some perspective, I see that caring for myself externally will settle (or at least mitigate) the warfare that goes on in my mind. Yes, we should all put some stock in the “beauty within” mentality, but it would be remiss to not acknowledge the real benefits of that glowing skin or those well-manicured nails.
What’s next for me? Time will tell. I plan to continue with the habits I’ve adopted over this month, while researching new products that I believe might be helpful to my skin. I also plan to get a facial this week as a little vacation treat, so here’s hoping it won’t irritate my skin. Any tips for someone relatively new to facials?
It’s important to note that I don’t regard any of this as some sort of panacea; everyone, no matter their status or prestige, will experience some sort of skin woe at least once in their lifetime. I’m simply trying to learn to care more and better, and hope that it will pay off in the end 🙂
What are your favorite tips for clear skin? Do you think external beauty should be valued in our culture?
Also in glowing skin: Getting My Best Skin Ever (Juhea)
Also by Molly: Why It’s Important to Honor Your Inner Child
Photo: Molly Lansdowne