As a teenager, I suffered from horrible acne and learned to use makeup as my armor. It became a shield to buffer what I was sure was disgust from other people.
When that type of thinking becomes a habit, it’s very difficult to un-learn. However, after stepping away from popular television shows, celebrity gossip, and “self-help” magazines for a few months, I began to appreciate the true me I never noticed because I so was busy covering her up. The even greater change, however, came when I decided to take a break from makeup. I stopped using the skin cream and eyeliner I'd so faithfully applied for years.
And what I found was an individual who, much like everyone else, had her own unique beauty, quirks, and yes, imperfections. Instead of disdaining my crooked nose (broken during soccer), a few red spots, or frizzy hair, I began to see what I had that no one else did. I even felt gratitude for my dark, piercing eyes, a beauty mark under my eye, and the shape of my eyebrows. I realized that everybody has his or her own unique qualities, which make them perfect in their own way.
Here are five great benefits of taking a break from using makeup:
1. Your skin gets cleaner and healthier.
Makeup is toxic, and anything you put on your skin is absorbed by your body! Mainstream makeup companies use chemicals that are thought to cause cancer and are treated as toxins by the body. After ditching the goo, it was much easier to maintain a glowing, clean-feeling complexion.
2. You have more time.
If you’re living a predominately plant-based diet, I’m sure you’ve noticed how much easier it is to grow long, healthy hair, strong nails, and a healthy complexion. When you stop adding toxins in the form of makeup, this means less time in front of the mirror, and more time enjoying your favorite activities. Think about it: most women spend at least 20 minutes preparing for the day. If you’re going au naturel, you can use that time to read a book, practice yoga, run, or sleep.
3. You have a greater sense of peace.
Learning to love ourself is a challenge for everyone. Taking a break from makeup is just another small step in making peace with your body image and your true soul. Don’t give up! It may be difficult to feel vulnerable, but most likely, you’ll realize that any judgment you perceived was actually coming from you.
4. You save animals.
Most companies have no qualms about testing on animals in order to improve their products. This can lead to permanent disfigurement, pain, and a lifetime of torture for creatures in animal testing facilities. If you choose to use beauty products, always check the labeling to ensure it's vegan. There are many wonderful, compassionate companies coming into the beauty industry. (Then again, going makeup-free can ensure you have fewer companies to consider.)
5. You will appreciate life on a deeper level.
Embracing your natural beauty is the foundation of a life rooted in simplicity and in harmony with nature. Consumerism, debt, and obesity, are all fueled in part by an unconscious desire to get more and more and more… Ditching the mindset that having more makes you successful will help you to realize that you have enough. In this sense, you may start to enjoy a simple, vibrant life that is in harmony because it works with nature.
Whatever you choose when it comes to how you face the world, it can only help to first and foremost keep the goal of accepting the beauty and perfection within you and who you are already at this moment in mind; ditching the makeup can help.