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Learning To Love Myself (Through My Skin)

BY Danya Li

I’m influenced by the simple pleasures of life and the beauty that every new day brings with it. The people around me, nuanced observations of my environment, and myself. The moments we have with our friends, family, and complete strangers. Creating something (beautiful) out of nothing. Food. Art. Conversation. This year has taught me to appreciate every beautiful moment life gives us. This year was a journey in rediscovering myself and the beauty within.

I function off of routine and structure, and my morning routine has become extremely important to me during this time. My morning coffee, my skincare routine, and getting dressed in a cute or cozy outfit is me showing up for myself every day. I used to put on makeup to go to work or to see friends, covering up my acne scars and feeling comfortable only when I had makeup on. I’ve taken care of my skin fairly well in the past few years and as a consequence of being stuck in my own thoughts since March 2020, I realized the issue was less with my skin insecurities and more to do with confidence.

This past year, having not seen many people, I’ve grown more comfortable not wearing makeup and embracing my natural face, which has also resulted in me taking my skincare more seriously. I used to rely heavily on eyeliner and straightened my hair every single day. Winged eyeliner had been a staple to my self-identity, particularly for my almond shaped eyes – I’ve learned to love and appreciate my skin, embracing my natural face and gaining confidence in every following day. I embraced my natural, kind of wavy, kind of crazy hair and have learned how to take care of it properly. Previously, I was worried that people wouldn’t recognize me or that I looked any less like myself. Today, I default to my natural skin in my daily routine – I still enjoy wearing the winged eyeliner I had worn for the past 10 years, but now, I do it for me. I’m beginning to understand there are many forms of beauty – confidence being one of them. Taking care of my skin is a form of self-love and I’m learning everyday how to appreciate the beauty of life, my body, and my skin.

I start and end my day with a skincare routine, time that I give myself to take care of my skin but also reflect on the beauty within. I worked on myself, for myself. And to eventually love myself, my skin, and my body. There is beauty in the everyday and I’ve only begun learning how to do stuff for me – right now, it all starts first thing in the morning when I apply my serums and moisturizers. Everyone is beautiful and there’s no time to waste on how you or people perceive scars or makeup. It’s time to embrace it and celebrate yourself, with or without wings. The best thing I did for myself is learn how to appreciate what my body does for me every day and it all started with a skincare routine.