Those who know me know I don’t spend money on cosmetics – as I’ve written about before, I’ve had the same concealer for nearly 5 years. I buy Boots brand face wash and recently splurged on moisturiser from Whole Foods – it was £6.95, and a night where I manage to take off my mascara before bed counts as washing up. My skin was, for the most part, okay. A bit dry, maybe a bit dull, but I didn’t have acne or widespread blackheads. But what I did have were milia.
A while ago I noticed on my cheeks these white spots that wouldn’t go away. Once I figured out what they were, and how I’d have to go pay to get rid of them, I decided that living with them would be easier – and kinder to my wallet.
Every day I caught my reflection in the brightly lit lift mirror and couldn’t help but examine my cheeks, even though I knew the CCTV camera would catch me. I’d run my fingers over my face, feeling the little bumps that my boyfriend swore he’d never noticed until I pointed them out. My friends insisted they weren’t noticeable, and that it wasn’t as bad as I thought or felt it was. I knew they were trying to encourage me, to bolster my self-esteem… but before long, the little white dots felt like they had taken over my face, and my self.
And so I bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment at a skincare clinic in Marylebone. Forty-five minutes of pain left me slightly red and slightly puffy – but the next day, my skin was smooth to the touch. I was £70 poorer, but infinitely happier.
I knew that my friends were trying to make me feel better. The comfort I usually gained from the compliments of those who love me wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. Of course, these same friends encouraged me to do what I needed to in order to make myself feel better – namely, get them taken care of. It wasn’t by any means necessary to my life on a very basic level – but it was important to me.
It’s hard to make a change – even changes that will bring about positive results. It’s hard to get up and go to the gym (or pool, in my case), to take the time to treat ourselves with care – but we all should. It’s a gift to be able to take a few minutes to look after yourself. Too often we rush from place to place, we worry about how we look but not about why we’re so concerned about how we look. If it’s as easy a fix as taking an hour (and a chunk of your paycheque) out of your day to go to a skin clinic, do it. If it’s a harder path, surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people. Don’t let ‘it’s not essential’ be an excuse – you deserve self care.
p.s., A shout out to those who got my Peggy Blomquist quote.