Every morning we wake up to discover that our mouths have played host to a bacteria party overnight. Our breath is noxious, our teeth feel slimy and coarse, and we are driven to remove the offensive feeling. This is our cue. We respond accordingly by brushing our teeth at the first opportunity and are rewarded with a pleasant, fresh, tingling sensation. This feeling becomes imprinted in our brain and we start to crave the clean, fresh sensation whenever we feel our breath or teeth slip back in to an unclean state. This habit formation is described by Charles Duhigg in his best-selling book "The Power of Habit", as a process of three stages: Cue, Routine and Reward. The cue is the feeling of uncleanliness. The routine is brushing, and the reward is the fresh, tingling sensation afterwards. The cue makes us crave the reward so strongly that the performance of the routine is automatic.My skin is one of the features people seem to notice about me, and I am complimented quite regularly. This is a result of the daily skincare regime I follow, which I have found has become just as strong a habit for me as brushing my teeth. No matter how we are feeling, we still brush our teeth whether we're upset, angry or tired. In my case, I have created a cue between brushing my teeth and my beauty routine. If I do one, I'll definitely do the other, no matter how I am feeling."Oh mirror, mirror on the wall, why does my reflection make me recoil?" Have you ever had this thought when studying your 'just-out-of-bed' face in the cold, artificial bathroom light? As we age, it seems that every worry, restless night, or over-indulgence, leaves behind a visible reminder etched in our faces in the form of puffy, dark eyes, creases and wrinkles. Turn this feeling in to a cue to kick start your skin care in the morning!
Use the pillow creases or puffy face as a cue to put on a facial masque. A clay masque is the best option. (If you're using my Green Clay Masque, keep it on for only a few minutes). Then remove your masque with a brush, rinse your face with lukewarm water and gently pat dry. Apply a good quality moisturizer and begin a knuckle massage or scrape the skin with my Facial Strigil. Do something to provide stimulation for your skin. You will feel a pleasant tingling sensation, and puffiness and wrinkles are all but gone, or at least greatly diminished. Now you will be ready to face the world with confidence. This is your reward and you will begin to look forward to it, as I always do. Once your brain turns this beauty procedure into a habit, it will not require any effort on your part at all and will become as automatic as brushing your teeth. Similarly, my evening routine is so ingrained that I can't fall asleep if I haven't done it! I developed the habit of applying castor oil on my lashes and around the eye area as a teenager and, in forty years, there hasn't been a single evening when I haven't done it. My cue is going to bed and my reward is the moist, smooth and soft feeling around my eyes each morning.Over the years, I have added two more skin pampering treatments to my nightly routine. I discovered facial dry brushing in my forties and, in my mid-fifties, I added a night cream. When I'm ready to go to bed, I dry brush my skin, then I apply castor oil on my lashes and night cream on my face. I immediately feel a skin warming effect of the dry brushing and soothing effect of the night cream, but the real reward is the knowledge that I am treating my skin well and see the results each day.
As I was writing this article, I received this post on social media: "My grandmother was from Poland , she taught me most everything you teach Tonya. At 98 Doctor's requested from her if they could take her picture because her skin was so unbelievable at her age."
If you do not currently follow any daily skin care routine, do not try to add all of these beauty steps at once. Try starting with just one that you can link to an already established habit. For example, you could try putting your masque on before making the bed or dry brushing immediately after changing in to your night gown. Once the habit has developed, then you will be more assured of adding additional steps to the routine.From my own personal experience, I am confident you will be very happy to have established these skin care habits as the years roll by. The day definitely holds more promise when you can begin it with a smile toward your own reflection."Mirror, mirror on the wall, I can have no wrinkles after all!"