At the end of May, I turned 36 years old. I suppose you could still say I’m in my “mid-30s,” but 40 (40!) is so close I can almost touch it, and I have a feeling I’m going to blink and it’ll have arrived, complete with all the wonderful and terrible things that come with for-real middle age (wisdom, wrinkles, and so on).
I’m not a big believer in resolutions because to me resolutions are basically just ways to siphon guilt directly into your brain, but on my birthday, I decided I wanted to make some changes to how I treat myself (which is historically not especially well, as both my best friend and my therapist could tell you; they certainly tell me all the time). Even I can resolve to do something small – anything – to care for myself every day. A few minutes of meditation. A playdate with my children where no phones are invited along. The permission to take a few minutes each morning and night to care for my skin. Vitamins.
My skin has been a trouble area for me for the past couple of years; I’ve written about this extensively. I’ve tried various strategies to handle the one-two punch of having some parts of my face be broken-out and red, while others are Sahara-level dry, and what I’m finding is that for me, there is no one-size-fits-all solution: the only constant is that I have to pay attention to what’s going on with my skin; how it feels today.
I spent years doing the bare minimum for my face – and I do mean bare minimum, including wearing makeup to bed more often than I’d like to admit – but now that simply doesn’t fly. I’m discovering that the more deliberately and carefully I treat my face, the happier and calmer it is. And as a bonus, I’m also discovering that I love those few minutes I spend each morning and each evening alone in the bathroom, doing nothing at all but paying attention to what I might need.
My glorious recent discovery: SK-II (the brand beloved by the queen of beautiful skin, Cate Blanchett) has a signature product called “Facial Treatment Essence.” I’ve heard of it before, referred to as “miracle water” – it’s one of those cult products that people swear by – but I’ve never actually tried it; I wasn’t even sure what it was. But any cult product with the word “miracle” in the description is one I would like to try, please, and so I embarked on SK-II’s #OneBottleAwayFrom journey, using the Facial Treatment Essence both morning and night.
What It Is: The only product made with Pitera™, which is a unique yeast strain created via a natural sake fermentation process.
How You Apply It: After washing your face (but before your serum and moisturizer), you saturate a cotton ball (or simply pour a little into the palm of your hand), then gently pat it into your skin.
My Results: I wrote my first draft of this post after I’d been using the essence for a couple of weeks, and said that my skin seemed softer and less sensitive. But since I’m working with the brand for this post I wanted to make sure I got a really solid understanding of the essence’s potential before I went ahead and recommended what is, if we’re being honest, a pretty pricey product, so I decided to give it a little more time to see what the longer-term benefits would be, and YOU GUYS.
A month ago, I was waking up and staring at my red, reactive cheeks in the mirror, struggling with breakouts and dryness, and patting on concealer to cover it all up so that no one would see my bare face and ask me if I was okay (this really happened – twice), and…I mean, I have to assume that the fact that I’ve been exercising and generally trying to care for myself better has helped, but over the past months my facial skin has transformed. Transformed. I don’t even have to wear makeup beyond a little tinted moisturizer with SPF – and that’s not something I’ve said in months (maybe years?). I cannot tell you how much better it feels to have my skin finally feel like my own again. I am now #OneBottleAwayFrom going bare faced!
The Only Problem: Now I’m such an SK-II superfan that I need to try all of their products, in case they’re equally miraculous. (Not a terrible problem to have, but still.)
This post was created in collaboration with SK-II, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.