The Calming Ritual of Skincare

Most fashion and beauty blogs are about the beautiful, highly curated parts of life. I get that — they are supposed to be aspirational. But, to be quite honest, it's part of why I haven't found my groove on this site yet. Most of my days aren't very pretty or carefully styled, and I started this blog so that I could write with honesty about my life and how it intersects with my love of fashion and makeup.

As I write this, I'm wearing sweatpants so old I forget where I got them and a ripped t-shirt I bought at my college bookstore that says "Sarah Lawrence College Football" on the front and "Still Undefeated" on the back (the joke being that Sarah Lawrence College doesn't have a football team). My hair is unwashed, I'm not wearing makeup, and my face is splotchy because I spent half my morning crying for no discernible reason. It's not particularly glamorous, but it's the truth.

As much as I love reading them, I don't really want to write a blog that's only about my favorite beauty products and which shirt I'm most fond of that week. I'm aware that plenty of people think clothing and makeup are shallow interests. I can't count the number of times someone has acted like my full time job as a fashion and beauty editor at a highly trafficked website geared towards women is a fun hobby rather than, you know, a job. But clothing and makeup serves a deeper purpose beyond paying my bills. It's about self care. I'm not talking about the temporary burst of happiness you get when you make a new purchase — I'm talking about the rituals of beauty in daily life.

Nothing is more calming to me than the process of working through my skincare routine, especially at night. I strip off my makeup using a cleansing balm or micellar water (right now it's Simple Micellar Cleansing Water), wash my face with something gentle, like Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (which has an extremely soothing rosewater scent), swipe Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner across my cheeks, follow up with serum (Glossier Super Pure is the star of my routine these days), and then end with a hydrating eye cream like Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm and my favorite moisturizer, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Some days I even top it all off with a facial oil if my skin is in need of a little moisture.

So, why do I go through this every single night, almost without exception? Is it because I'm vain? I have to admit that I like my face a great deal, but it's not so much about that. The time I spend performing my skincare routine or putting makeup on in the morning is pretty much the only time that I actually relax. My mind stops racing with all the various Things I Worry About when I dip my finger into a jar of soft, fragranced face cream. I'm not reciting my to-do list for tomorrow when I'm massaging an oil into my skin.  These are some of the few moments of mental peace that I experience, and I truly cherish them.

Yeah, maybe I don't need so many different jars and glass bottles on my countertops and spilling out of my medicine cabinet. But if they make me feel even slightly more sane on a daily basis, I'm going to keep using them.

Erin Mayerbeauty, skincare, anxiety