There comes a point in every woman’s life when she looks to develop a spiritual practice to truly connect to her inner self. However, in today’s world, many women are turning to less conventional ways of tapping into their inner self and spiritual side.
From yoga to reiki — women of color especially — have begun to familiarize themselves with routines that allow them to feel connected to a higher source, without necessarily having to work within the confines of a traditional church or temple. As more women are exploring spirituality beyond organized religion, it’s become evident through podcasts like Naked Beauty and blogs like Into the Gloss, that beauty routines — particularly skincare ones — are becoming ritualistic in ways that make us say “Amen.”
We visited CAP Beauty in New York City to learn exactly what goes into a spiritual beauty routine. Here are five ways we learned to make skincare more sacred.
Nurturing Your Skin Is A Practice
While receiving the most calming facial I’ve ever experienced in my life (esthetician Jeni Sykes spoke to me in low, drawn-out syllables barely above a whisper), I learned that your skin is the last organ to receive nutrients. Thus, when you focus on nourishing your body from the inside out, it’s important to do more than just drink a lot of water or just slap on a ton of moisturizer. Create a practice of hydrating by drinking water regularly and carefully, methodically, and slowly moisturizing your skin from the outside. Build up an arsenal of products and tools that allow you to become more committed to the practice of caring for your skin. By slowly building your routine, you will have maximum impact. This will create an opportunity for you to slow down during your day and have a quiet moment of intentional care for your skin.
Set Aside Time for Regular Facial Visits
If it’s in your budget, set aside time every month to visit someone who can truly care for your skin and help with cell turnover. As we age, our skin cell turnover slows down, gradually expanding from a 30-day process to a 45-day process. By visiting a facialist, we can help retrain our cells to turnover at a faster pace.
Ultimately, though, there’s value in having a ritualistic visit to a spa that truly makes you feel centered and connected with yourself — the way visiting a church or a temple feels.
Give Thanks and Praise to Your Skin Before Bed
The best way to show our skin how much we love and appreciate it is by taking time out every evening to care for it. Sykes, from CAP Beauty, recommended I spend each evening doing a double cleanse routine followed by a custom oil that best fits your needs. A favorite of mine? Herbivore’s Phoenix Oil which includes sea buckthorn oil for soothing. The application process of the oils should feel sacred and take a few minutes. “Warm the oil in your hands and press it into your face, neck and décolleté,” Sykes advises. These few moments every evening will ultimately allow you to create space to tap into your skin’s needs and feel the areas of your face that may be stressed or in need of additional TLC.
Find Aromatherapeutic Scents to Add to Your Arsenal
Many spiritual routines involve the lighting of candles to create a sensory experience that helps transfix your mind beyond the physical realm. During your skincare routine, products with certain scents can have the same effect. Try introducing various scented oils — whether they be lavender or chamomile or orchid or sage — to your routine and take a moment to experience them. Take in several long and deep breaths, wafting the scents of your oils in before exhaling for three counts. This simple process will help ease your mind and relieve a day’s worth of stress.
Release Expectations of Perfection, Be Grateful for Your Skin
Understand that your skin — like any other organ in your body — is a blessing. When things are going well on the inside, your skin will reflect that. But when your inner body is in need of a little extra love, your skin will be one of the early signs that you need to slow down and offer your body more attention. Thus, our skin has a natural ability to help us get in touch with our own needs. As long as it continues to do its job in that sense, the occasional wrinkle or pimple should be celebrated as an opportunity to become more connected with your physical needs in a spiritual way!