“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams you will always look lovely” – Roald Dahl
When it comes to self-care, we often have negative self-talk during our daily routines. This may include thoughts of not being good enough or beautiful enough. We find fault with our skins and become overly critical of our flaws, comparing ourselves to others or even unconsciously striving for unrealistic perfectionism. Beauty is more than the physical efforts we put in. It starts in the mind.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation whereby one becomes aware of the breath and surroundings, while inhaling and exhaling with deep intention. Mindfulness is to simply be consciously aware of the present moment and all that comes with it.
While becoming aware of one’s breath, the mind is able to slow down. It is easier to become aware of one’s thoughts – which are often compared to a monkey jumping from one tree to the next. It has been said that 70% of human thinking is negative. That is a whole lot of unnecessary negative taking over your mind! With mindful breathing, when we stop to watch our thoughts, we will notice that the thoughts themselves are random; while some thoughts are on repeat, and others can simply not be believed.
Meditation and mindfulness are wonderful ways to become aware of our thoughts and allow them to just come and go – like a visitor in a guesthouse. Welcome them without judgment and then let them go with gratitude. We could also consciously decide what thoughts we would like to keep and which we want to release. Some thoughts can be replaced from a negative one to perhaps a positive affirmation or, a compliment to oneself or, to think about what to be grateful for instead. This way we are contributing to a more positive outlook about ourselves and ultimately also support and sustain the earth.
Mindfulness can be applied at any moment, anywhere and for any length of time. Even one minute of mindfulness can be beneficial. It is from this one moment of mindfulness that more consciousness will grow. You can sit and do work mindfully, walk mindfully and even do your skincare routine mindfully.
So, how do we apply mindfulness in skincare?
Skin care is a sensory experience. This is a great place to start your daily mindful skin care routine. During every step of your routine, become aware of texture, fragrances, aesthetics, sounds and tastes.
First, slow down by taking a few deep breaths. The more you focus on your breath, the deeper the breath will naturally become slower and the mind will automatically slow down too. The body has its own intuitive intelligence to create balance and equilibrium. All we have to do is to trust it and go with the flow.
Then, become aware of the quality of your thoughts. Set your intention on love and acceptance of yourself, of gratitude or, set a positive affirmation about what you love about yourself. This could be anything you wish it to be.
During cleansing, remain focused on your breath, surroundings and intention. As you do so, become aware of your senses. What is the temperature of the water like and how does it make your skin feel? What is the texture of your skin like? How does the product feel as you rub it onto your hands? What colours do you see and what fragrances do you smell? Is there perhaps a natural fragrance you can identify? Move your attention to all the little details and try to be as detailed as possible. Can you feel any impurities, negative energy and the day’s stresses being washed off? Notice how you feel before and after this step.
When applying a toner, a serum, a moisturizer or a mask, take note of your facial features and take care to feel your skin, your bone structure, the muscle tonicity, skin texture, temperature and overall feel under your palms and finger tips.
Become aware of how you are applying the product and the direction you apply it with. We always advise applying products in a slow, upward and outward manner. Doing things slowly increases the awareness.
What is the texture of the product like? If you have invested in luxury cosmetics, the textures are especially delicious and the packing beautiful and practical. It is a really lovely way to enjoy your products and appreciate the money you have spent on yourself. Smell the purity of the natural actives and know that you have selected only that which is for the health of your skin and free of any harmful materials. If using organic products, consider the positive impact you left on our planet.
Feel the sensations on your skin – is it tingling, soothing, firming, revitalizing or thirst quenching? How does your skin look before and after the application? Notice the packaging, the material it is made of, the colours, the consistencies of the different products and how they spread over the skin.
By staying mindful, you can intensity the effect of the products you apply and also have a positive outlook about your own beauty from within. Remind yourself with “I AM…” positive affirmations about your true beauty and intentions.
After a while of doing this consistently, you will notice how you intuitively know what your skin wants and needs. Love your skin and your skin will love you back. As you practice self-care with mindfulness, over time, you will notice changes in your life and on your skin. You will enjoy spoiling yourself but much more importantly, enhance the health of the skin and of the mind. This is a step closer to true holistic skin care while completely loving your skin and bringing value to the time you spend on yourself.