Good advice for your face and your life

I was skimming Man Repeller and fell for the clickbait that is the promise of skin care tips in Harling Ross’s “You Look Moist” column. Now that I’m 31, skin care tips are what “101 Ways to Please Your Man” were to my 16-year-old self. (Let’s set aside the many questions about why those headlines ever appealed to me or why they still seem to sell magazines).

The author’s unsuccessful take on skin care and moderation in college.

Ross asked a former beauty editor what she wishes she knew as a teenager. Perhaps she was reading the same trashy magazines that I was, so we both we know a ton about oral sex but very little about moisturizers and when to use glycolic acid versus hyaluronic.

Her advice to her teenage-self? “To appreciate it!! Stop smoking cigarettes and tanning, dummy… I would say ‘do less’ and be gentle.”

While this is undoubtedly good advice for your skin, isn’t it just good advice for your life? We should all try to do less and be gentle to ourselves. I spent my teens and all of my twenties constantly trying to do more. In college I posted signs around my dorm room that said, “MODERATION: IT’S A GOOD THING.” Yes, I initially printed them to mock the student health center’s campaign against binge drinking. But it really was a good phrase to look at every morning as I nuked my ramen noodles and brushed my teeth.

Alas, I didn’t take it to heart. That black and white sign hung over my in-bedroom sink all year, yet I didn’t moderate my drinking, my over-committing, my over-analyzing, my non-stop pushing for more things for better things, for the next best thing, for everything and everyone, always.

I’m trying to finally take my own advice, and it seems like the universe — certainly the blogosphere — is pushing me to do that, too. Do less, and be gentle. Practice moderation. For my skin and my soul.

I’ll report back on how it goes.


Alicia Amling View All →

Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.

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