Struggles are a potential doorway to know that 'you are enough'.
Why did you get into skincare? This is a question I am sometimes asked. The answer makes me feel vulnerable because it involves talking about struggle, tears and feeling not good enough. I will tell my story because I want to share what I discovered. Struggles can lead to self-acceptance.
Have you reflected on the big picture of your life? Where you have come from and where you are today? I have and I realised that I have gone through 5 stages in life:
There is struggle in early years. There are challenges in coming to terms with your identity, and dealing with expectations of peers and parents. My upbringing was strict - and that's an understatement: I feared my father. My father wanted nothing more for his daughters than to be housewives and to have light coloured 'pretty' skin so they could be married off. I regularly received verbal abuse for skin that was too dark. I was naturally sporty with olive skin, yet was belittled about the way my skin looked.
When faced with struggle most of us will do our best to try and improve our situation. My struggle was with a growing lack of self-esteem about my looks. I tried many ways to lighten my skin. I couldn't afford skin whitener so I collected the left over powder from rice and used it to paint my face white. This was my first attempt at skincare! I applied it every day and after doing it for a long time, cried because it didn't seem to work. I felt increasingly isolated because all my sisters' skin was lighter than mine. Worse, after prolonged use of the rice powder, it dried and damaged my skin.
This was the last straw that launched me on a path of self-improvement. I worked out at the gym, could now afford skincare and nicer clothes. Guys started taking notice and asking me out. I began a relationship with a man attracted to my new confidence in my physical self. As the relationship developed however, this man tried to control my choice of clothes and makeup. He started to be demeaning towards me. I was made to feel I am 'not enough' again - like I felt before in my family home.
Focusing on just outer beauty is not satisfying. So where should we turn? I decided to focus on inner beauty: mental health and inner wellbeing. I let go of the need to wear makeup, expensive clothes and materialistic things. I started to accept myself for who I am. For the first time in my life I felt at peace. I started attracting people who appreciated me just the way I am. That's when I met my husband and we started a family together.
Once we are able to feel 'we are enough', what next? With self-acceptance comes the ability to better care for those around us. We can nurture our children, our family and anyone we have a relationship with. We can nurture ourselves and our bodies.
I continued to use commercial skincare, but found that my skin was not being properly cared for. It was prone to being dry, rough and flaky. "Why aren't these expensive products helping my skin?", I wondered. I researched natural skincare in the market to see what would nurture my skin. I soon realised that the products from the leading cosmetic retailers contained a lot of harmful chemicals and ingredients. This led me to ultimately create my own products so I could look after my skin in a healthy way.
I hope these reflections on the stages we can go through in life helps you. The struggles I faced were the inspiration I needed to accept myself. Making skincare is my way of encouraging others to feel comfortable and confident in their skin.
I hope my story helps you to view struggles as a potential doorway to know that 'you are enough'.
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