It’s time to make peace with your skin disorder and step out of the shadows. Forget what society says or even what you see in the mirror. You are beautiful, now go walk in that truth.
If, like me, your skin disorder has flared up during the Covid lockdown then this post is for you. Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with so many different women suffering with skin break outs from acne and Psoriasis to eczema (like me) and even hives. Why? Everything, the psychological stress of a global pandemic, being stuck at home and worrying about our loved-ones on the outside as well as ourselves has brought out the very worst in our skin.
So then you feel like a monster, ugly and uncomfortable too. Perhaps you’d rather hide your marks with clothes or heavy makeup. You see, blemishes, itching and raw skin are hardly held-up as beauty standards. This is when I stop you, because at some point, you have to draw a line in the sand and reclaim your beauty.
When my eczema returned a few years ago, I was completely covered in thick, blackened patches of spots and oozing blisters. I’ve been asked if I am a burns survivor or more recently, if I had an accident with wig glue, but I’ve also been told how the fact I don’t hide my eczema or feel ashamed by it has encouraged other women to do the same. My husband finds my attitude to my skin issues very attractive, especially knowing me when I didn’t want to leave the house, I felt so ashamed.
“I’ve been asked if I am a burns survivor or more recently, if I had an accident with wig glue, LOL, but I’ve also been told how the fact I don’t hide my eczema or feel ashamed by it has encouraged other women to do the same.”
The biggest pitfall with skin disorders is the feeling of shame. There’s so often the thought pattern that it’s something you have done or are not doing enough of that is causing your outbreak. Medics and friends overwhelm with “you need to do this” or “have you tried that?”. “You need to relax!” is probably the worst thing someone can recommend to me. Especially when we all know that for the most part, they’re right. There is a strong link between our mental well-being and skin health. When stress kicks in, our immune system takes a hit too. Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline are often released which then triggers inflammation including our skin. You see, it’s a vicious cycle.
“You need to relax!” is probably the worst thing someone can recommend to me. Especially when we all know that, for the most part, they’re right. “
Breakouts and a lack of self-confidence leads to break out – which can feel devastating. The stigmas attached to these conditions make you feel not only crappy, but utterly powerless. Show me an ad campaign where a model hasn’t had her skin airbrushed to perfection, removing the simplest of blemishes, yet alone spots and crusty patches. Yeah, I’ll wait.
Jade, an acne sufferer @Jadeleeruby told me:
“My jaw and chin don’t belong to me anymore and I’m putting it down to the lack of air, terrible diet and the overall crappiness of the situation. Oh well you win some you lose some.”
So what do we do, especially in the middle of this crisis? We soften, nourish, fix our crowns and shine brightly. This is about making peace with our problematic skin and defying societal and internal critics. It’s time to step out of the shadows ladies.
Stop!!!! stop everything, the fighting it, the googling remedies and looking at pictures of yourself or others with clear skin. You need to come out of battle mode, calm the Adrenalin levels and, she’s gonna say it…… “relax”. When I say relax, I mean doing whatever makes you feel relaxed…cleaning, dancing, singing, colouring in.
Mum of 2 Annabel Spooner is the singer @itsblackcactus and suffers with hives and cold sores:
“When someone says to relax by lying down, my mind is still racing.” she says “So the things I like to do are to paint my nails, or, because I’m quite a visual person, get a piece of paper, write my name down inside a cloud and write down who I am and all that I want to do. It sets something off in my brain, that reads back to my skin and tells it to chill.”
Now you need to take control of the things that you can do with YOUR skin, every one is different on there’s unfortunately no one size fits all. It may not be healed, but you can still look after yourself and move things in the right direction with supplements, meditation, natural skincare routines, the right diet (avoiding any triggers), lots of water and a full night’s sleep. The latter two are magic for our immune systems.
THREE. FIX YOUR CROWN
Look in the mirror and say kind words to yourself, thank your body for all that it does for you. Speak out all of the beautiful things you love about yourself from your freckles to your lips and collar bone, everything please. Then tell your loved ones how your skin disorder makes you feel, so they can support you too.
Jen, Founder of @scentandseed a soy wax company, is suffering with Psoriasis so badly, she’s lost 50% of the hair on her scalp. Her dermatology appointments have been cancelled, because of Covid-19, she’s on immuno suppresents and her husband is a key worker, all very stressful, but she says
“We’ll all get through this I know and sometimes just knowing someone else ‘gets it’ means an awful lot.”
FOUR. SHINE BRIGHTLY
Now is the time to stride and not hide. It’s time to step out boldly and say this is me, my skin disorder is a tiny part of who I am and the full package is exquisite. OK, maybe you can’t wear a full face of makeup like you normally would, but you can rock an amazing pair of earrings on or your favourite feel-good outfit. When my eczema gets bad on my face, with flaking on my eyes – go for bold lips and defined brows. This is about acceptance and then expressing who you are in all your glory.
Thank you to all the mums for sharing their skin disorder stories. If you suffer with a skin disorder, have you made peace with your skin? What are your biggest challenges and what are your tips for shining brightly? Please let me know in the comments.
Go slay with love
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