This post is brought to you by Beautycounter.
As most of you probably know, we at YBC® run Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Trainings throughout the year. In order to be accepted to our program, you need to fill out an extensive application. The purpose of the application is to make sure the program is a great fit for the applicant and vice versa. I chose questions that may be challenging to answer like, “Tell us about a time things didn’t go as you expected, and how did you react?” or “Name three of your most positive personality traits, and three things you know you could work on.” In the latter, without a doubt, the majority of the applicants say they get down on themselves, compare themselves to others, or suffer from low self-esteem due to skin or weight issues. And each time, without a shadow of a doubt, my heart breaks.
Because we only get this one life, and the way I see it, we have a choice. We can choose to radically love ourselves, or we can choose to let the self-doubts and negative self-talk be amplified. In my twenties, I struggled with negative self-image and poor self-esteem which I wrote about in my book Namaslay®, and then when I got Lyme disease and was in the depths of it – unable to walk, pretty much bed-ridden, I thought, “What a waste of my time. If I ever get better, I will live on purpose.”
And I’ve committed myself to that. To living a life where I genuinely like myself. To making it a habit of noticing the things I like about myself, rather than focusing on the things I don’t. And I’ve learned, in the years of doing this, that it really comes down to habit. Just like with any new thing you do, it takes practice until it becomes second nature.
Beautycounter reached out with a collaboration opportunity and I’ve been hearing rave reviews about the brand for literally years but haven’t tried it, so I jumped at the opportunity. I liked what they stood for – aiming to get cleaner skincare products into the hands of consumers. They have banned parabens, phthalates, and over 1,500 other ingredients from their products to produce a line of makeup and skincare products that have quickly become cult favorites.
Lately, as part of my mission to keep radical self-love at the forefront, I’ve cared less and less about being out and about without makeup. I stepped up my skincare routine with Beautycounter products and that’s jumpstarted my skin’s health, and been keeping my skin clear and even recently. Here’s my current routine:
Every night I use the Cleansing Balm, which I’m a big fan of because it helps to take off makeup but is super moisturizing at the same time. It comes in this jar you see here, and a little goes a long way, so this jar will last for a while.
The Cleansing Balm just needs a little drop or two of water and it gently lathers up and feels so good on the skin. I apply it all over the face in a circular motion, and then gently massage my face, working it in to the skin.
The Beautycounter Cleansing Balm also comes with a muslin cloth, which is more gentle than your traditional washcloth. (And hollerrrrr for not staining any more of my washcloths!) I wet the cloth and gently remove the Cleansing Balm, rinsing the cloth as I go.
Once my skin is cleansed, I follow with Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion to my face, neck and chest, and go to sleep. In the morning, I find my skin is brighter, even toned, and supple.
The next night, I’ll do the Cleansing Balm as normal, and then use a few drops of the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I love a good peel and this one checks all the boxes – you get a nice tingle, and it’s an AHA/BHA peel which targets skin texture, and as I have some leftover acne scars, I’m a big fan of that.
The glycolic, lactic and malic acids help remove dead skin cells while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids moisturize and smooth the skin. I let it soak into my skin for about five minutes, and it tingles a bit, which I love. It’s not a burning pain or anything, just a slight tingle. Just like all the other Beautycounter products, it smells light and fresh and uplifting.
After that, I follow with the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil. The Facial Oil + Vitamin C is so incredibly hydrating and and lightweight. I put just a few drops onto my hands, rub them together and then gently pat it into my face. My skin soaks it up and I find that it really brightens and evens my skin tone.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, which I’ve always viewed as a reminder to love and be loved, I challenge you to step up and commit to loving yourself fiercely. Nourish yourself with healthy, whole, real foods. Treat your skin to cleaner, safer products like those from Beautycounter. I encourage you to actively practice caring for yourself as you would a loved one. Own your inherent beauty, strength and smarts, because the more we take care of ourselves, the better we feel. And the better we feel, the better we’re in a position to love and care for others. So put yourself first this Valentine’s Day, and take a step toward a more positive, vibrant life.