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The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Stressed Out Skin Care

Dana Rutherford

I will never forget the moment that I received a message from my dear friend, Kellee May, while I was a newly single mom without a permanent home for me and my children.

“Come to my studio, and I will give you a free facial and pampering, on me.”

I desperately needed it. In fact, it was the first facial that I had ever gotten in my life. I had such a hard time doing anything for myself during my first marriage. We didn’t have a lot of money, and there was immense guilt that I put on myself because I had very low self-esteem. Kellee’s act of kindness touched my heart in so many ways, and I vowed that one day, I would pay it forward.

Just 3 short years later, we are here. She is now a single mom herself, running a business while parenting her two adorable daughters. She represents what a strong woman is all about, persevering through hard times while keeping the joy of the Lord in her heart. Her drive to help others in painful situations shines, and through being an aesthetician, she is doing that in creative ways!

I was able to revisit her studio recently in Tampa, Florida. The atmosphere was incredible, full of modern decor and relaxing elements. Part of my treatment included a hydraglow facial with a hydrabrasion machine. The LED light is a combination of red and blue light. Red light stimulates collagen and elastin, while blue light kills bacteria. I felt like I was riding Space Mountain while I was in it, so it added to the fun. After my hour of pampering, I left with fresh skin and a glow that only Kellee can provide. Most importantly, my spirit felt refreshed because I did something to better my health, mentally and physically.

As I said before, trauma recovery is so much more than just letting go of whatever has hurt you. It’s healing in every single way in the day-to-day life after the crisis is over. In my own journey, I had to “triage” the aspects of my life that were vital to my survival in the beginning, but as I got better in the big areas, I began to reflect on the small stuff that I had neglected for so long.

As Kellee discusses in this video, our skin is our biggest organ. It can absorb toxins that enter our bodies if we do not keep it clean. Regarding stress and trauma, constant fight-or-flight mode produces cortisol, a hormone that damages our sebaceous glands when it’s constantly produced, and that can lead to more breakouts of acne due to an abundance of oil and sebum. It can make the skin look different in texture and could result in scarring. A lack of sleep that often comes from trauma and/or stress can lead to an inability to exfoliate dead skin cells at night, and as a result, the skin is unable to heal itself.

On the emotional side of the issue, many survivors of trauma include those who have been abused. They may have had physical damage done to their body, or they may have been beaten down constantly with words. Taking care of yourself promotes self love, and that is something that many survivors have lacked for years. For me, I felt guilty for a long time to love myself. My view of love was very warped as well, so I didn’t even know where to start. I now know that loving myself is not only vital to my recovery, but it’s biblical. The book of Mark states:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31

Many people hear “love your neighbor” but they neglect “as yourself.” How can you love anyone if you can’t love yourself? They coexist. So, if you want to give your loved ones the best version of you and the greatest quality of love that you can give, you must first start within.

It’s time to think about ways to make yourself a priority, and skin care is a wonderful place to start. You can begin with small steps, such as washing your face morning and night. Find a cleanser that isn’t full of fillers and is right for your skin, whether it’s oily, dry, or a combination of both. Then, you can slowly add to the skin care routine with items such as toner, eye cream, moisturizer, exfoliators, etc. Vitamin C and retinol are other ingredients in skin care that can help rejuvenate what years of stress have done. It will not only boost your self esteem, but it will lead to a habit that is healthy for you.

Trauma recovery is sometimes a deep journey, and sometimes, it’s lighter. Today, we are happy to talk about skin in a world that is full of craziness. Love yourself and the skin that you are in.

Interested in visiting Kellee in person at Faith and Glow? Visit her website by clicking below!

This article was originally posted at The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Life Abundantly. To see more, visit traumasurvivorsguide.com.

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