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Skincare Sins

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#tobevulnerablyhonest – this post originally started off as a (very) long story on Instagram, but I realised that instead of using that space to share my thoughts, this will always be the better choice because it’s my own AND I can waffle on for as long as I want to without worrying. But, I digress. Today, I’d like to share a small vulnerability with you all that I have actively chosen to never speak to anyone about – sorry best friends, this one includes you too for the first time.

Between you and I, skincare has always been a contentious topic for me. I had the worst skin growing up and heard everything you could possibly hear by ways of taunts from both immediate and extended family (friends don’t count here because let’s be real, if you were choosing to be unkind, were we really friends? psst, the answer is no). I invested hundreds of pounds that, frankly, I had to work a little too hard for, on products that would help or steps that would fix things so I wouldn’t feel so much like an outsider. But naturally, things didn’t help because I was always so angry about it and my internal state was most definitely making itself shown on my exterior. Eventually, I ditched it all.

And so, as I reached my mid-20s and everyone experienced the sudden influx of a million step routines and the availability of all the skincare products you could ever imagine and wouldn’t stop going on about how I needed to use this or that, all I could do was try and stop myself from trying to crawl out of my own skin. I had to pretend like it wasn’t a big deal because how are you supposed to explain that you cannot stand this conversation and the self-righteousness that pours out of these moments? How are you supposed to explain that you chose silence consistently and feigned ignorance because it was the easier thing to do? How are you supposed to tell people that you know exactly what each ingredient in each of these products is because you’ve spent an entire lifetime measuring how much of what affects you where without coming across like a pompous know-it-all?

But, that was then. And this is now. I know that I am different to who I once used to be; I had to allow myself to understand that a lot of the questions I was struggling with were coming from a place of insecurity from within myself rather than the people in my life and it was important that I accepted it rather than work around it.

On a practical level, one of my (many) priorities as I decided to embark upon an active healing journey was to find a healthy medium when it came to my skin. I wasn’t going to neglect it completely, but I was going to start using more than just water. I needed to find a sustainable routine that wasn’t too much, by effort or by costs. And so, after the last year of trying to reframe my thoughts and doing the work around managing that little voice inside my head, I finally found a routine that works for me. But, it’s important to note that I started small. Super small. From just washing my face with water, to adding a day moisturiser, to adding a cleanser, to adding a night cream, to adding SPF, and now adding an eye gel. The ones I’ve found most comfort in using are:

On some mornings I still stand in front of the mirror for a minute too long and have to fight the urge to knock all of these products off the sink, but I have to take a moment to remind myself that this is for me. It hasn’t always been for me, but it is now. I owe it to myself to be kind to my body, mind, and soul.

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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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