This week (during COVID-19 quarantine), I’ve been really enjoying connecting with friends, family, and colleagues I haven’t seen in a long time. I’ve done everything from picking up the phone and calling people old school (gasp!) to lots of Zoom and Skype video calls. I also had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with my friend, Dr. Heather Paulson on a live broadcast on her Instagram and Facebook pages. We decided to team up this week to chat about how we can use something as simple as a skincare ritual to find normalcy, comfort, and connection during this time of forced isolation. Dr. Heather also has reopened access (for free) to her Science and Soul of Healing Summit, on which I was honored to be a speaker. We chat about that too.
Watch my Facebook Live with Dr. Heather about how to find comfort in your skincare ritual below:
Here’s an abridged transcript of our conversation:
Dr. Heather: One of the gifts that Rachael has is making skincare from ingredients from scratch. She also has an interview on soulofhealing.com where we talk about things like beauty as a ritual, goddesses, and the origins of makeup. She also covered why we do a skincare ritual in the first place, and how to use our skincare ritual to connect ourselves with our divine nature within. Today we want to give you some tips on what you can do at home right now to connect with yourself through your beauty and skincare ritual.
Rachael: Absolutely. So first of all, thank you so much for making the Science and Soul of Healing Summit available again to everyone right now in this time of such weirdness. We’re all watching this unfold and we’re experiencing what this new normal is in real time. I want to offer a couple of tips for why your skincare ritual is something that you should be focusing on while you and your family is home. I also want to inspire you to get crafty and make some things in your kitchen with your kids.
First of all, I always say when the world goes nuts, find your center.
Find one thing in your life that you have control over, that you can do at the same time every day as a routine. I really think that your skincare ritual can be that compass or center point for people. The reason is because it serves a lot of purposes. It helps us obviously care for our skin. And right now, so many of us have really dry chapped hands from all the hand washing, right? So I want to encourage everyone to make sure you moisturize at least as much as you wash.
I also want to encourage you to stick to your daily skincare ritual or routine because it is a way to nourish yourself. You have to nourish yourself internally with really healthy food, and do your best to keep a clear mindset. Get lots of sleep and drink lots of water. But your topical regimen is really important too, because the skin needs to be protected in order to perform its functions. Some of the issues we see like blemishes, dark spots have causes that lie below the surface of the skin, but sometimes there are topical causes.
A good, plant-based topical skincare ritual also helps feed the skin’s microbiome. Our microbiome helps keep us healthy and is our body’s first line of defense against any invaders that might be in our environment. Plant-based skincare is the best way to do that because plants contain natural prebiotics and oils that feed the different healthy microbes that live on the surface of the skin.
Aside from that, when we do our daily skincare ritual, we give ourselves the gift of touch.
In a time of physical disconnect, yes we can certainly hug our children or partner or whoever we happen to have in the house with us. But many of us are used to hugs, shaking hands, pats on the back with other friends, coworkers, and neighbors too. We can’t do that anymore. That’s a big old bummer because so many people who don’t even consider themselves social people, have realized how much they actually do need that physical and social connection now that they’re stuck in isolation like this. So when we can’t have as much touch from your environment and from your normal social circle, we have to bring that in. I definitely encourage more hugs and massages with your household. You could make it fun and do a little massage line with your kids.
You could also just give yourself a really gentle facial massage. You don’t have to have any specific protocol or anything. Just apply your products in a way that is just calming and soothing, as if your face was a baby’s face and you were trying to soothe that baby. We have to treat ourselves with that same amount of soothing right now because touch activates our central nervous system through the fingertips and receptors on the face. Touch can physiologically and emotionally soothe us more than we actually think it would. So our skincare ritual is not only helping to keep our skin healthy on the outside, but it’s also helping to soothe our nerves and soothe our spirit as well with that element of touch.
Our skincare ritual is something that we can control and find familiar at familiarity with.
That can be our rock, our center point; and then we can start building out more normal patterns from there. I want to encourage everyone to do is see what you have in your kitchen that you could possibly use to make some DIY skincare treatments. DIY masks and scrubs are really fun to make (with or without the kids) as well. You could do a really simple scrub with something like olive oil and old coffee grounds, or olive oil and sugar. I don’t recommend using most scrubs on the face because the granules can be harsh. We don’t want to cause any damage to the delicate skin on the face. The skin on the body is a lot tougher than the skin on the face and can withstand a good scrub. That’s also really good to help stimulate the lymphatic system and keep things moving.
Smoothie masks are also really fun. Have the kids pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables from the fridge, put them all in a blender, and blend them up. Look at what you have that could be used as a thickener in your kitchen, like arrowroot powder or corn starch. Some people may also have bentonite clay or activated charcoal on hand. Another thing you can use raw honey. If it’s a thicker cream honey you can use to just use that thicken your mask. Don’t put that in the part of the smoothie that you’re going to drink of course! Save a little in like a little mixing bowl mix with whatever thickener you’re going to use. Mix that up into a really nice consistency. Apply that, have the kids or your partner do it too, and take like a really goofy mask selfie together!
Dr. Heather: On Instagram, we were talking about how DIY can bring out your inner child. Can you share a little bit about that?
Rachael: For sure. Make it playful! Look at what is in your kitchen that you could possibly use to concoct a magical skin potion with curiosity. Use the same curiosity that your kids would. If you’re having a hard time with that, let kids guide you. Step back and just say, “Hey kids, we’re going to make a fun skin mask today. What do you see in the kitchen that we could use to do that?” And see what they come up with, and then see what that inspires for you.
Inner child work is something that is really important right now, because maybe we want to spend time with our parents and we can’t physically get to them. I can’t visit with my own mother or mother-in-law because they’re in different states. We can talk, but it’s not the same as a hug or familiar touch. My mom is famous for her “mommy hands,” If something, anything is bothering you, whether it’s your foot or your neck or anything, her massage always makes you feel better. So if you find yourself feeling like you need your mommy right now, or nourishing parenting in general, your inner child is a really powerful way to have that experience for yourself when you can’t actually have your parents. If you’re someone who does not have a great relationship with your parents, or you’re not connected to your parents, then parenting your own inner child is an even more powerful thing that needs to happen now when you have this time. It will make you feel better and more supported.
When we can find that support from within ourselves, and from our higher selves, then we’re never alone. We’re never unsupported. And I really just find that to be powerful. With skin, in particular, sometimes our inner teenager needs a little extra TLC. I know for me, my skin really was at its worst during my teenage years. It was bad for, I would say a total of 20 years in my life; but my teen years were the absolute worst to the point where my mom actually brought me to the dermatologist and I had 11 cortisone shots in my face. It was really traumatic, and it didn’t work either. My skin story as a teen really affected me deeply and I carried that weight with me into my adult years. There is still stuff that comes up for me when it comes to self confidence. So there’s always work to be done on our inner child or our inner teen where we can really support those past versions of ourselves. And in doing so we support the future version of ourselves, and that work also then benefits our immediate family or community, and the whole web of life. One positive action to heal one thing has such a huge ripple effect. And if caring for your skin can be part of how that happens, go for it! Now is the perfect time to do so.
Self-care is not selfish. Even during times of uncertainty!
Dr. Heather: One of the things that you and I were talking about earlier–just the two of us as friends supporting each other–is how some of us are more likely to be focused on giving to others right now. So you might be worried and more concerned about how your family member or kids are doing? How is everybody, you know, being that, that hub of the wheel and touchpoint for all these other people. We were talking about how we’re starting to implement some more self care practices in our own lives to realizing how why we’re out there giving because we want to support all of you, there needs to be this pause to support ourselves. And what I love about a skincare ritual and the other things you’re talking about, is that that could be part of your daily five or ten minute regroup and pause for yourself too. It doesn’t have to involve the kids.
Rachael: No, it doesn’t. We all deserve our alone time. My kids are older now, and their schedule when everything is in session is so busy. We don’t get home sometimes until nine o’clock at night, and then there’s dinner and homework, and sometimes they don’t get to bed until eleven o’clock at night. And, you know, I always teach about how important it is to get sleep. But if I tried to go to bed at 11 o’clock at night, I can’t because my brain has not had a chance to unwind. So I usually need one to two hours at the end of the day just for myself, just to be quiet, just to not think and to not plan. And like for me, it’s a fuzzy kitty on my lap and a heavy blanket and you know, fluffy television show or fluffy book that doesn’t have any thinking involved with it. Then I enjoy my nighttime warm shower ritual, which usually includes a sugar scrub.
And of course I do love my evening skincare routine. I love how all of my products that I make smell, because I use my favorite herbs and oils and I love how they feel on my skin. That helps me go to bed peaceful and relaxed every single day because that ritual is mine. Make sure that you carve out your own sacred kid-free, partner-free “me-time.” We each need that own individual “me time” container that does not get disrupted by others, because that’s when we recharge. These are times that we have to take for ourselves to recharge while we’re awake. Whether that’s in meditation, we’re just being quiet and still. We have to do that, in addition to making sure that we are getting enough restorative sleep.
Dr Heather: And you mentioned the right kind of blanket too and I wanted to share with you guys, cause you’re talking about touch and physical touch. One of the things that can help when we’re physically distant from other people is a heavy (or weighted) blanket. If you have one now and you put it away, it’s time to pull it back out. If you don’t have one, then stack a couple blankets on top of each other. Even if it’s just across your chest, and not over your whole body if it’s too hot. Just spend five or 10 minutes like that under the weight because it does simulate that physical contact, and is so good for our own health and wellness.
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining us here today and thank you everyone for letting us into your home. We really know that your house is a sacred space right now and it’s where you are creating a space of calm and peace for yourself. And I so honor and appreciate being able to join you in your home and I hope that you tune into soulofhealing.com.
Click the orange “watch now” buttons and you will see Rachael’s interview on the sacred act of beauty and beautycare.
If you ever felt like beautycare was frivolous, and maybe now you’re feeling a little guilty about even caring about what you look like, I tap into that interview because it’ll give you information about how it really is a sacred ritual. In fact, humans have a long history of beauty being connected to our own inner God, our own inner goddess, our own inner spiritual connection. So thanks so much guys. We will see you again soon. Bye.
How did you enjoy that interview? What’s your own relationship to your skincare ritual?
Please share in the comments below, and don’t forget to access the Science and Soul of Healing Summit free, while it is available.
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