I have been reminiscing a lot lately about my esthetician practice, waves of nostalgia come over me as I reflect upon all of the lessons I’ve learned and all of the sweet faces I have had the privilege to touch. I miss the personal one-on-one connection with my clients, I miss the peaceful energy of my treatment room and that serene glow that would emanate from everyone as they hugged me goodbye. At the end of each day, I would journal- taking note of specific things that were brought up during treatments and rituals to incorporate during our next session. Over the years, I noticed a pattern in the language that would occur when I would first lay my hands on a client’s face to begin their skin analysis. Right away, they would start by apologizing for anything on their face that they saw as a ‘flaw’.
“I am so sorry that my eyebrows are so out of control”
“I am so sorry that my face is such a mess”
“I'm sorry that I have the worst skin in the world”
“Please excuse my big nose and big forehead"
The list goes on…
These casual apologies made my heart sink into my stomach. After all, I was examining their skin through a magnifying lamp and I still couldn’t even see what my clients were so quick to point out to me as ‘flaws’. I was cradling such precious faces and marveling at the unique beauty that was their very own to carry throughout their lives, while they only saw flaws that they felt the need to apologize for. Total heartbreak. I realized quickly that the complexion I was looking at was very different from the reflection that was seen in the mirror.
In my mid 20’s, right around the time that I enrolled in esthetician school, I developed painful, full-blown cystic acne and avoided mirrors at all costs. In fact, there was a time in my life that I avoided the outside world completely because of my skin. If I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, how could I let someone else look at me? This was the dialog inside my head. I began to learn and understand that the skin often mirrors the health of the whole body, especially when there is an imbalance; the body communicates through our skin. At the time, I had endometriosis and multiple ovarian cysts- and while the pain wasn’t enough to get my attention, the cystic acne sure was. One day, I finally worked up enough courage to really look at my reflection and develop a connection to what was truly going on, inside and out. I accepted that my body was fighting a battle, trying desperately to heal, and was communicating to me through my skin. I listened, and thus began my journey of healing, which started with an entirely new internal dialogue; one that would come from a place of love, acceptance and patience.
Later, as a trained aesthetician, my job was to provide a safe space for my clients to feel comfortable, to help them release and let go, and to guide them in healing and balancing their skin- but I always felt a deeper responsibility. The pull within my heart was to help them develop a new internal dialogue when they looked in the mirror- because ultimately, that is where healing truly begins. By changing this dialog with yourself, you can absolutely transform your life- I promise. I invite you to start infusing positive affirmations into your self-care rituals, this is the perfect space to do so. When you look in the mirror, begin by smiling at yourself. Instead of picking apart the things that come up on your skin (dry patches, breakouts, pigmentation etc.), try instead to listen and connect with the message your body is trying to send you. Are you not drinking enough water? Too much salt and sweets lately? Are you eating foods that are hard for your body to process and digest? If you find that you are critiquing yourself, allow those negative messages to wash themselves down the drain as you cleanse your face. As you apply your serums, elixirs and balms- and each time that you touch your precious face, do so with tenderness and love. You are beautiful just as you are, and it is okay to remind yourself of this.
Here’s a little secret: I have infused these intentions into each and every batch of Leahlani already. All you have to do is unscrew the lid and allow yourself to be enveloped in abundant aloha. Your skin never stops working, it has many very important jobs to do. Treasure it, listen to it and take care of it- always.
Photo by @therealhannybee