Instead of chasing the latest skincare products, embracing some deliberately ‘slow’ beauty practices might just improve your skin and change the way you view your beauty routine.
Surfing for beauty tips? As a headline, ‘Celebrity Beauty Secrets’ makes an alluring promise, as all good headlines do. After a few–or even twenty–clicked links, even the most dedicated beauty follower must get wise to improbable tales of copious water consumption, ‘super’ (expensive) creams and Benjamin Button-like age reversals. Inquiring minds want to know: beyond the botox, fillers and lasers, what can a woman like me do?
As far as this long-time beauty seeker can tell, the answer to this–and possibly just about every other human concern–all boils down to self-compassion. Protective and sensitive, the covering of our souls acts as a remarkably communicative organ. Regardless of wrinkles, the odd rough patch, or a few unwanted pounds, the manner in which we treat ourselves always seems to shows through our skin.
So while the right creams can hydrate, smooth and protect, taking the time to add a few gentle beauty steps into our routines pays dividends to the appearance and the quality of our skin. Like slow food and fashion, slow skincare makes the most of what we have. Here are five slow beauty practices that–taken with some deep, slow, meditative breaths–have the potential to transform your everyday routine into a daily beauty practice.
1. Lip Brushing: Ever wondered how those celebrities get such luscious pouts? Brushing your lips with a toothbrush every night is a simple tip that can make such an impact, no needles required. Not only do you gently remove any dry skin on the lips to keep them soft, the technique also promotes blood flow to the lips, which stimulates and makes them look plumper. Slick on some lip salve first and brush away.
2. Exfoliate with Muslin Cloths: If you’re looking for the best way to cleanse your skin, you might be tempted to try the very expensive cult cleansing balm that Vogue called “probably the best cleanser in the world.” While the cleanser can easily be substituted by any oil-based formula, the included muslin cloths are the true ‘magic’ of the product. Made from a finely woven 100 percent cotton, they gently exfoliate and help to improve blood circulation and tone creating a virtually poreless finish to the skin. Track down some simple muslin and make your own. Use daily or more infrequently depending on how sensitive or reactive your skin is.
3. Cold Water Rinses For Skin & Hair: Everyone loves to take hot showers, but horrifying as it sounds, turning the water to cold is one of the best ways we can keep our skin’s radiance without resorting to cosmetic surgery. Finish every shower with a freezing cold blast of water for super smooth hair and increased skin tone, not to mention an exhilarating start to the day.
4. Frownies: While its one thing to embrace those smile and laughter lines, there’s a reason why no one ever thought up a nice word to describe those lines between your brows. If botox isn’t for you, consider trying Frownies. The original stick-on wrinkle remover patches were first developed in 1889 and have been worn by stars like Renee Russo, Raquel Welch and many of Hollywood’s great beauties. Designed to gently re-educate the underlying muscles to assume their correct, and relaxed appearance, they’re a great tool to prevent the formation of new wrinkles and a physiological reminder to stay serene and beautiful throughout the day.
5. Chinese Medicine Massage: Do you eat well and work out but still can’t shift those last few pounds of belly fat? It sounds too good to be true, but according to Kimberly Snyder, celebrity dietician and New York Times best-selling author, a gentle Chinese stomach massage twice a day could be the trick that finally melts those bothersome pounds away. Snyder says the reason belly fat is so hard to shift is because stored fat’s purpose is to protect you from all the toxins you take in by living in the modern world. Rubbing the tummy in a circular fashion for two minutes when you wake up and before you go to sleep is all it takes to speed up your digestive system and allow you to eliminate the toxins that build up in the intestines, which might be the best weight loss advice we’ve ever heard.
Image: Mike Monaghan