Turning 30 was a big deal for me. I remember as the time approached how nervous I was. Now that I have a couple years past 30 under my belt, I realize how silly it all was. While I was in my late twenties, friends would tell me that life didn’t start until my 30s. They also told me that my body would completely change on me. That last part freaked me out, especially after my body started rebelling against me at age 27. By the time I reached 30, I couldn’t eat certain foods that I had eaten all my life. Milkshakes became the devil. Ice cream was even worse. In the aftermath of all the changes I’ve gone through, there are 3 important lessons I’ve learned about my skin in my 30s:
Let Go of What You Learned in Your Teenage Years
I’ve been going to the dermatologist since I was 13. I was always given the same formula: wash your face with a mild cleanser, use a topical medicine, and take a pill if it’s serious. Rinse, recycle, repeat. If one topical medicine didn’t work, I was switched to another one. If all else failed, the dreaded Accutane was mentioned. The topical medicines had my face on two extremes: sometimes extra oily and sometimes super dry. On top of that, I was given other remedies to cope with how the medicine was changing my skin. When I got frustrated with my persistent acne, I was told that it was all hormones and that it’s just my time to have acne. Now that I have a much better understanding of my body, I know it’s way bigger than “just my time”. As I’ve written many times before, I’ve learned that diet does affect my acne, that topical medicine can sometimes sabotage your skincare regimen, and that multiple factors impact your skin health. I no longer approach my skin with a band-aid approach; I seek out the why, when, where, and how of it all. I know my body much better and feel so much better that I'm working with my body, and not against.
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Not that I’m calling myself stupid or anything, but I admit that I’ve gone through my fair share of products. I’ve tried all kinds of homemade remedies, prescription medicine, and over-the-counter products. I’ve played the waiting game where you wait weeks for something to work, get frustrated, and jump to something else. My nighttime regimen has been as long as 30 minutes. I’ve taken up to 10 vitamins a day, hoping that something would work. Then I discovered the single best thing I could do to fix my product overload. Stop. That’s it. Trying all those different products got me into the mindset that there was a miracle product out there that was going to solve my problems. The biggest lesson I learned was to stop and simplify. I needed to worry less about the quantity and pay more attention to what I was using. One of the biggest changes I made was simply how I washed my face, which helped way more than trying out different products.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
There’s a couple of perks that come with growing older. One of my favorite is the ability to say “I’m grown” to people who try to push their beliefs on me. You don’t like how I style my hair? You don’t think I made the right decision? You don’t like who I date? Guess what, I’m grown! It’s the perfect response that communicates that I’m confident in who I am, and celebrates the experiences that have molded me into the person I am. Growing older gives you confidence and wisdom that you never had before. That confidence has definitely carried over to my skin. It’s not perfect and I know it never will be. I have skin fails all the time. I’m still trying to perfect my routine, as I still find new foods and products that irritate my skin. But it’s all mine. I cannot spend my time comparing myself to those who are different than me. I’ve spent a lot of my time wondering why I had to be the one with sensitive skin. Why can’t my skin just be naturally smooth and clear like everyone else’s seems to be? Growing up made me realize I was wasting my time. The same people whose skin I was envying probably were picking themselves apart as much I did myself. I learned that other people don’t care as much about what I agonize over, so why do I care so much? Instead of worrying about everyone else, I concentrate on myself and what feels right for me.
Now that I’m finally in my 30s, I definitely agree that it’s shaping up to be one of the best decades I’ve experienced so far. That’s of course until I reach my 40s and 50s. But I’m happy that I’m finally hitting my stride. What are big lessons or changes did you go through in your 30s?
- August 20, 2015
- Tiffany A