Is skin journaling right for you?
Over the last few years as a self-employed esthetician, I have found myself discovering new ways to help support my clients without completely losing all sense of boundaries. The first year or so of my practice I had just a handful of clients that I could manage the constant text and email exchanges. It actually felt really empowering since I have never had the opportunity to communicate this much with my clients. In the spa world, I was cut off from communication after a client would leave a session for two major reasons:
- The first being that the personal information shared by the client was the property of the spa management staff, not the individual practitioner. This would prevent clients from being able to follow a practitioner from one job to another without the consent of the spa management. Many people would break this boundary but the consequence of losing my job was never enough for me to really want to go overboard with this rule.
- The other reason would be out of convenience to me since the spa management team would book, pre-book, close sales, follow up, and handle any back and forth communication for the treatment itself. I would just show up and do the work, which is a place I now dream about for its incredible convenience.
So when I was able to break that boundary right away I quickly discovered how a portal of communication was both needed but also one that can easily cross the line of boundaries. However, just with any issues in my therapeutic skin coach life, if you give me enough time I can usually come up with a great solution. That solution is what I want to talk about today with skin journaling.
To preface, it’s important to acknowledge the transition of our skin throughout the course of our day. Your skin will not be the same from when you wake up, workout, eat, go to work, socialize, drive in your car to when you get home and wash your face at the end of the day. Your skin is working really hard to function with you throughout those transitions so that your fighting off free radicals, regulating your temperature, protecting you from UV rays (both sun and your daily screens), as well as how the rest of your body is responding to those same transitions. At the end of the day, our skin has exhausted itself from all of the work it happily does for us. So when we engage in negative self-talk throughout the course of its endless work for us, each cell hears your resistance and starts to respond accordingly. Call it woo-woo, but the more you shut down and think your skin isn’t working for you - the more it will start to dim your inner radiance. Believing in that inner radiance and showing gratitude for your skin is easier said than done, and that’s how skin journaling can help you get to that next step.
What is skin journaling?
Just like any other form of journaling, this is a free-form portal to help you safely release any thoughts, concerns, and questions down on paper. The way this works with skin is that so many people end up compartmentalizing how they feel in their skin that they could unintentionally be diving into some patterns of low self-worth. That feeling will eventually lead to a block in our mind that we don’t deserve or have the ability to have great skin. I simply don’t believe this to be true for anyone but find myself having conversations trying to convince people that they are deserving so frequently that it made me realize something really important - That is that most of us have a wave of emotion in which we go up and down in the intensity in which we feel something.
So perhaps when you wake up, you feel great about yourself and your skin but as the day goes on something happens to trigger you. Since your skin isn’t something you can escape or quick fix, that trigger usually gets turned inward towards yourself and not just released as part of our daily transitions. When you feel trapped in that low place of negative self-talk, you can use this portal to release what’s really going on through a constructive journaling post.
Is skin journaling right for you?
Skin journaling is a great skill for everyone to learn when they are at any stage of transition or low self-worth in their lives. Whether or not your skin is showcasing signs of imbalance, some people simply don’t see how radiant they are so they end up with a case of skin dysmorphia. In order to help prevent that, or at least try to, skin journaling can help you release any of those thoughts that are preventing you from seeing the real you. Each of us has a magnetic and bright radiance whether we realize it or not. You could be the most incredible person in the world but having a skin imbalance can really make you shrink and dim your light.
Whenever I would have clients that email, text, call, or in-person dump out the innermost feelings of their skin, it usually has nothing to do with their skin - it’s connected to a transition or fear of something else. We have so many parts of ourselves that we may not understand when it’s in a space of discomfort or pain, so it’s so easy to blame our skin if it’s working hard for us to adapt throughout those transitions. The thing is that whenever someone dumps this on me, I can create a different channel of thought that the outcome is “whew, I’m glad I got that out” but also a better understanding of the root issue that needs to be addressed. Skin journaling will help you reach that conclusion of release, discovery, and inner peace all in one. The more you do it, the better you become at it.
How do you skin journal?
There really is no wrong way to skin journal, but here is a personal example:
“This morning I found myself to look a little dull, tired, and uninspired to move through the day. I really haven’t been getting enough sleep and try as I might, I can’t seem to get my hydration levels feeling better. I felt my best when I was making my daily infusions but find it hard to want to make the mess in the kitchen. I get really annoyed when I have to clean the house every day because it seems like unless I don’t use the kitchen, it’s always a mess…”
As I start to write out how I feel about my skin, I slowly start to intuitively direct myself to a solution. My skin has been feeling dull and I’ve just been staring at my nettle herbs without allowing myself to brew them for a daily infusion. While writing this out I started to realize that I tend to not want to give myself more work by creating a mess in the kitchen and have to spend more time cleaning, less time relaxing. Immediately making that connection helps me think of a couple solutions:
Ask my husband to help me prepare the infusions.
Switch to bagged tea on the days that I miss making the infusions.
Make infusions to last the week, might be one big mess once a week but it’s better than small messes every day.
Within just a few minutes of journaling, I realized that the problem isn’t really my skin. The solutions aren’t impossible. And I feel better just releasing what’s been floating around in my subconscious instead of letting myself feel less and less radiant.
Just remember that you deserve to not only feel great in your skin, but also discover the communication that your skin is having with you.
The most important part of skin journaling is not to just let yourself vent out your negative emotions towards your skin or yourself. It's essential to discover the endless inner-connections between your skin, other systems, and your emotional wellbeing. These discoveries will help you discover the endless list of gratitude you can have towards your body as a whole.
I hope this new practice is something that you can practice throughout your skin journey. Releasing out the negatives only helps you pinpoint the spaces to fill back in with endless gratitude and positive affirmations towards yourself and your individuality.
If this all feels too confusing or frustrating, you can also start with the education laid out in the TSC program to help you better understand how your skin connects to all aspects of your life. Thanks for reading and until next week, take care!