In my experience, there is no in between lighting in hotel bathrooms. When it's good, my confidence is high and I know that the vacation glow must be doing really phenomenal things to my complexion. I head into the day feeling fresh and ready for anything. But when it's bad, I question my home mirror and wonder just how long my pores have been looking like this. I spend more time putting on makeup, more time trying on and throwing away clothing options, and more time thinking about how I look than I do the vacation scenery around me. In short, I've wasted far too much time obsessing over my skin on vacation.
This should be a lesson for all hotel interior designers to spend more time on lighting. Seriously, it is important. But more importantly, these experiences have taught me a lesson to give my skin and myself a break away from the mirror.
I have recently made it my goal to keep my distance from the mirror. This doesn't mean that I cover every reflective surface or leave the house without looking in the mirror. I literally keep a distance of about 6 inches to 1 foot. The exact distance for this Simple Skin Care The trick is not so important here. It's about principles.
If you're all caught up on Stranger Things, where Hopper's rule of leaving the door open three inches discourages hormonal teenagers from swapping spit, my rule discourages me from getting up close and personal with my face. And my skin is thanking me.
There is a reason why dermatologists support the limitations of my mirror. Perhaps you've heard the warnings before. Do not touch your face or burst a pimple. Excess oil and bacteria from your fingertips can cause breakouts, and picking at acne can lead to scarring. Leaning into the mirror for a closer look magnifies everything, and it's hard to resist the temptation to touch your face. But no matter how satisfying it is to temporarily remove that whitehead, the inflamed mess it leaves behind is not good.
I can't tell you how many nights I've lost half an hour or more in the bathroom just pinching my face and inspecting everything that floats to the surface. It is a vicious cycle of shame. I go to bed with bad skin, get angry at myself for doing so, spend the day feeling anxious, and repeat. I wanted to stop letting my skin consume so much of my time and my thoughts.
My self-imposed mirror rule is not only to achieve healthier skin, but also to develop a healthier relationship with my skin. It's easy, especially for women, to internalize the pressure to create perfect airbrushed skin. Rarely do we see acne or pores on the pages of magazines or in close-up shots on TV, so seeing them in the mirror feels wrong. However, no one but a dermatologist should hold a microscope up to your skin. The saying about being your own worst critic applies here as well.
A few times in the past few years, when someone complimented my skin, I was caught completely off guard. My acne and overall complexion have improved greatly since puberty, but my perception of them has not kept up. When I was spending so much time analyzing all my skin imperfections up close, I couldn't understand how someone could see my skin as a compliment.
Shortening my mirror time helped me bridge this gap between the way others see me and the way I see myself. It bothered me how much my self-esteem was tied to my complexion. A good skin day and a bad skin day were directly correlated to how confident I was and how present I was in my daily life, but now my skin doesn't consume much mental energy.
This doesn't mean that I don't care about how I look or jump on every new skincare trend. I frequently break the mirror rule and apply winged eyeliner, and I'd be lying if I said I'm getting any gut health digestive benefits. But no matter how much time I spend on changing my skin and appearance, I am committed to loving and embracing it, and keeping a healthy distance from those mirrors.
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