Author: Pamela Sithole (BSc, Aesthetic/Beauty/Skin/Massage Therapist, Organic Skincare Formulator)
It’s undeniable that every human being craves to feel good, happy and be in good health. It’s also true that what brings happiness to one person is not the same as what does it for the next person. Hence we find ourselves in positions of stress, jealousy, fear, competition, ungratefulness, dissatisfied with our lifestyles, always wanting more and putting ourselves in overdrives that may send us to places of no return. I’m not however talking about ambition and hard work, which are admirable qualities to have if done in a smart and balanced way.
One thing I have noticed is that no matter who you are and what you do in life, one desires to look and feel good, presentable and confident in their skin. We may deny it but the truth remains, ‘appearance matters’. In work places, schools, Universities, Network events, any social gatherings, you have to make the effort to look good. Just take a random look on Facebook and WhatsApp profiles or even the professional LinkedIn profiles. Under this Covid-19 pandemic, with masks covering our noses and mouths, one still tries to look good and IT’S GREAT we should encourage it!
So how do we achieve that balanced wellbeing and nurture our skin to its healthiest state in order to feel and look good and go about our day with confidence?
For many years, ever since I was a teenager, I have been searching for one answer, a solution to have one product that would give me that clear, blemish-free, buttermilk, good blood circulation normal skin. Yes, we are all looking for answers in one thing or another right? I have sampled, tried most products over time as recommended, products that are hyped in adverts, supermarkets, pharmacies, beauty salons etc. We are living in the era of misinformation and market manipulation and claims that are more daring and provocative but many products on the market deliver less than claimed. These claims are based on the presence of cosmetically active ingredients and their cosmetic effects, however, without the sufficient concentration, no significant cosmetic effects can be expected. I’m still optimistic that there is something we can do about this. In fact that hunting and seeking for a solution led me to study beauty therapy, hoping that one day I would have that answer.
While many people suffer from many facial skin conditions I relate more to the oily skin and its accompanying problems, i.e enlarged pores, glossy shine, comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules ( small bumps with no visible white or black head), pustules (medium sized bumps with noticeable white or yellow dot at centre), hyperpigmentation(especially in dark skin), red and inflamed appearance. While these are challenging conditions to deal with, you have to learn when and what conditions your skin is at its healthiest. For example, having tried so many cleansers for problematic skin, it’s only recently I discovered that using the dermalogica Ultra-calming cleanser, my skin became much calmer and steady on breakouts. All the other oil-free products did not work for me despite all the hype about such products for oily skin. It’s very much possible they may however work on someone else’s skin.
Sometimes we are so desperate that when something pops on TV or internet or even beauty magazines as the next best thing that is going to clear your skin problem, it’s so convincing that you believe it and find yourself in checkout for that product order. This is also common with weight loss programs and products. Be careful, most businesses making products are focussed on brand building and making profits. Consumers are lured by the attractive packaging and images with convincing words that answer the exact problem they have but with no actual skin health benefit.
How then can you successfully gain optimum skin health that can give you peace and happiness that you so desire?
When is your skin challenging and what are those challenges?
What is your diet like-has anything changed lately?
Are you drinking enough water?
How long have you been experiencing this and does it ever go away?
What products am I using and are they helping? If they are helping, what ingredients are in them?
Are you stressed lately?
What advice has your skin therapist given you? If applicable.
If you can write them down that would be good, then you will be able to remember more details as you search for a better solution.
Also consider how this condition on your skin make you feel, how does that affect you and your relationships with others. How does it make you see yourself when you look in the mirror as that’s exactly how you will be thinking others see you when they look at you.
When it comes to skincare, learn to read ingredients on packages and not just the name or function of the product. Given that scientific literature is easily accessible, we should educate ourselves, carefully review the ingredients of the products we need and then make wise decisions based on proven effects, not marketing trends. Note that, some quantities of the active ingredient concentrations are not significant enough to actively solve your skin problem even though they are written down on the package.
Be wise in your research, get factual knowledge from the experts.
When you do get a good thing, use it, follow the routine and don’t give up on nurturing your skin to its healthiest state. They say happiness comes from within, love yourself, be confident and make the best of what you have. Be anxious for nothing but be patient.
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