When it comes to our skin, it’s easy to fall into categories that are very limiting to growth or change. If you have dry skin, you’re immediately meant to get wrinkles faster. If you have oily skin, your pores will forever be clogged and you’ll most likely breakout. If you have sensitive skin, then you better watch out for every product or procedure out there because you’ll most likely have a reaction from it. Come on people, it’s 2019. It’s time we rewrite our skin stories.
There are so many people that I meet who think that the zit on their face today means they are just as broken out as they were in high school. The disconnect happening is from the endless conditioning that we have experienced as a culture obsessed with having perfect beauty. But if you look around, who’s really living up to that standard? No one other than the extra small percentage of people with “perfect” genetics and the other extra small percentage of people who make it their job to look “perfect”. And as a former perfectionist, this ideal that we are not meant to age or have flaws completely destroys the inner child I’ve worked so work to heal over the years. To scroll through my feed of my already insanely curated social media, I still manage to feel the deepest wounds of my teenage self. The story of young Hayley who was obsessed with beauty magazines to read each ingredient of the newest beauty product she couldn’t afford and who felt worthless because of her acne. Even now as a 31 year-old woman with healthy skin and an abundant life, I still feel the old story of my skin creeping through as if it were my present reality when I’m not careful.
I began to rewrite my skin story starting in 2010 when I was 23. I decided to start taking compliments about my skin and stopped using products that were labelled for acne or breakout prone skin. I finally transitioned out of the mindset that if I don’t over-treat my skin, I’ll get my acne back. Throughout the years, I would slowly regress when a breakout would come up or I’d be covered in a rash from an allergic reaction. It would make me want to cover up and hide from the world. But as soon as my skin calmed down, I would embrace my complexion and forget about my irrational reaction to hide the days prior. It wasn’t until I was going through a deeper physical and emotional health crisis that I realized how when allowing myself to fall back into the old narrative that teenager Hayley held with her acne, I would relive my old wounds of it every time a transition in my life would cause a breakout or flare. My language towards myself would revert back to negative self-talk and I would pick at my face as if I were in the 7th grade bathroom again too ashamed to leave because of my bloodied complexion. My body underwent the most intense changes after my shingles that I finally decided to honor everything I preached to my clients by advocating the shift of skincare as self-care to each new client in the early stages of Therapeutic Skin Coach.
When I started my practice, it’s as though I really started to hear what was going on with the majority of people struggling with their skin story. The irrational behavior that would come with a single breakout or development of a wrinkle would prove to me that some intense healing would need to happen in order for these individuals to finally see a more accurate reflection of their skin. Creating a custom facial is not difficult, but what would soon become my greater mission would be the thorough follow up notes I would put together after each facial. Diving into every aspect of an individual’s life to help them better understand how their skin isn’t just a label of “good” or “bad”. Skin health is a subject of endless study and interest within the health community because there is no one size fits all solution. For as many products out there, wouldn’t you think that at some point we would have discovered the right formulas to help balance all skin types? The true study of skin is a study of individual health and emotional well-being. Crafting an often novel length follow up email full of resources, custom recommendations, and discoveries of uniqueness in their skin was taking over my days because I felt they brought so much value to helping my clients rewrite their skin story. It wasn’t about the products anymore, but rather finding the root(s) of the imbalance. Or discovering the full spectrum healing that would reveal itself upon more self-reflection. Clients would start to uncover the pain that was initially linked to their skin woes and work towards healing from a more holistic approach.