Tag Archives: skin and mental health

A View from the Centre Pompidou. Polaroid photo by Oliver Squibb.

Ziba and the Girl

July 11, 2012

I want to switch things up a bit.

I’ve been talking so much about skin care, body health, chemicals in products and other technically loaded subjects.

Yet I’ve barely given my readers an idea as to who I am, and what I’m doing talking about all this stuff.

The last thing I’d want to sound like is a boring old professor lecturing in the middle of an empty auditorium.

This time, I’d like to give my readers a feel for who I am and what it was that got me so interested in beauty and skin care in the first place.

Because to be honest, it wasn’t until quite recently that I became interested in the subject of beauty and the quest for having great skin, let alone make up and glamour. In fact, my friends will tell you that this new interest of mine has been quite a surprising one. To them AND to me!

It’s not that I’ve been entirely ignorant of skin care. Ever since I was twelve, I’ve had a skin care routine. It wasn’t something I gave much thought to. I just did it because I was copying what my own mother was doing. She used Pond’s cold cream and moisturizer. So I started doing that too. I had dry skin, so I didn’t suffer too much from acne during my teenage years.

Actually, I remember how some girls used to compliment me on my flawless complexion. But again, I didn’t give it too much thought back then. I just kept using my Pond’s. Over the years, I switched to other products. Namely Aveeno. And I had great results from that too. More years passed. And my skin became a combination type, with dry and oily spots. I would get the occasional pimple. But they were easily manageable and barely merited my attention.

It wasn’t until the fall of 2011 that my skin changed dramatically. It became very oily and broke out badly. I had just turned 26 and was developing acne on my forehead, my cheeks, and the side of my face. I was perplexed. I wondered as to the stimuli that could have triggered the change. So that was when I really began looking into how the skin works. It was also the first time when I came across the idea that a link exists between diet and the skin.

But there is definitely more behind acne than just diet. There is a lot of hormones involved. There’s also environment. And then there’s stress. Sometimes, all of these things are found to be causing havoc together.

Let me just back up a bit and talk about where I was at that point in my life. I had just gotten back from a two year service in Central Africa with the Peace Corps. I was living at home with my parents. I was burying the remnants of an old relationship I’d been desperately holding onto. I was also spending a month in the hot tropical climate of my birth land, the Philippines. And I was getting ready to move to Paris.

To summarize, it was a HIGHLY transitional period in my life.

There was the stress of hopping around on planes from one continent to the next. There was also the stress of being around my family and being around the problems of poverty. There was the tropical humidity to boot. And the fact that I kept slathering on more moisturizer certainly didn’t help. All these things together were factors that contributed to aggravating my problems with acne.

But if I had to point out the actual root cause of my skin problems, then it would have to be the one factor that had been continuously looming over my life. A broken heart.

Before I left for the Peace Corps, I had been madly in love. And when I came back, I was still so madly in love. I was beset by a wild spectrum of emotions, from misplaced hope, to pride to anger. Oh, there was so much anger in my heart. I spent my days ruminating and allowing this anger to fester inside me. I didn’t know how to let it go. And it was this inability to let go that disturbed my mind and all my insides. My mental state became imbalanced, which was then reflected upon my physical state. All this ugliness that had been brewing inside me eventually erupted on my face, for the entire world to see.

There is certainly a more complex dimension to this story, complete with exemplary instances of foolish human behavior. But I will spare you the details. This is not the “Kareen, the Human Girl Who Makes Lots of Human Mistakes Blog.” This is a Blog on Beauty and Skin Care. And helping others to find the best ways for caring for their skin is my aim.

My point in writing and sharing this very personal story with you is to shed light on a very important aspect of the skin.

Bitterness, anger, and all your little secret ugliness. Sooner or later, these things have a way of being externally manifested either through your skin, the light in your eyes and even through the aura that you project.

Beauty and ugliness are not just things seen by the human eyes, they are also things that can be sensed and felt.

These days, I am in a much clearer and happier state of mind. Through meditation and yoga, I’ve learned better methods of coping with my emotions. I have a much easier time nipping anger in the bud. I’m content. Life has been good to me. I’m in a healthy, happy relationship with my very supportive and loving boyfriend. And we are living together in Paris, the most romantic city in the world!!! And if we’re going to be perfectly honest, THE most beautiful city in the world.

Seriously, Paris takes my breath away every day.

My skin has been clear of acne for months, and has taken on a noticeably healthier glow. And why not? I’ve learned to let go of the past. And now I am throwing my arms wide open to the future and to all the possibilities!

So here’s to love and letting go. And true deep breaths. And peace and happiness.

Yours Naturally,
Kareen

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What about you? Have you had problems with acne? Did you find a way to clear it? Share your story! Or leave me a simple thought, comment or a hug.