"There's two ways to pay attention to your skin," says licensed esthetician Hayley Wood, founder of Therapeutic Skin Coach. Wood shared this advice during a recent workshop on sensitive skin in partnership with Burt's Bees. (Check out the recording here.) "You can do it through the lens of fear and self-criticism, or you can do it through the lens of love."
Of course, love seems to be the obvious answer in terms of happiness and well-being, no? The problem is, it can be so challenging to become the sort of person who is able to look in the mirror without going straight to criticism. For many of us, it's a habit we've adopted over time and just have a hard time kicking.
"You could be someone who knows everything about every ingredient in your skin care routine, and if you still pick yourself apart in the mirror, it can cause stress and that inflammatory response. You want to train yourself to have this mindful daily check-in , "Wood assures us. "You have to do your grooming anyway. You have to do your hygiene routine, like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and washing your face anyway. Why not create an atmosphere where that is your check-in time with your skin. Ask yourself, how am I feeling in my skin? For me, the biggest difference I noticed in my skin and my approach to my routine was when I stopped attaching my skin and stopped being too critical. "
So what does this look like day-to-day? Well, just like everyone will find a mindful gratitude practice that works for them, your personal skin gratitude practice may shift. But here's a good place to start, and it takes a page from some of the more famous gratitude practices out there: