Labels don’t only apply to the products we use. Over the last two weeks the SFT journal has offered up some advice on what to stay aware of while choosing your food and skincare. But labels can go beyond a list of ingredients, and many of us, whether we realize it or not, may also see ourselves through a lens of labels.
Similar to the way that companies use labels and claims to sell us on all the things we need from a certain product, our culture has sold us on some labels that we may use to classify ourselves. The beauty industry is a billion dollar market that thrives on the belief that we are flawed: that we have “bad skin” and using these products or following certain tips will give us “good skin.” Or that we need an arsenal of heavy duty anti-aging products so we never look “old.”
At Skin Food Talk, we don’t take labels at face value. With our food and our skincare products, we value digging a little deeper to look beyond claims and get to the root of the matter so we can find nourishing and non-toxic products. We also believe in digging deeper into the beliefs and labels we hold for ourselves, transforming the ones that limit us into nourishing, non-toxic beliefs that serve and support us.
Categorizing and classifying is an important part of the human brain, it keeps us safe and allows us to make sense of the world. But often these classifications and labels are a result of conditioning or societal pressures. What if you could choose some of the classifications you use, instead of relying on your conditioning? What if the classification you chose for yourself was “loved?” Every time you looked in the mirror, you would see that you are “loved”, instead of seeing “bad skin.”
Changing the label lens may not be easy. It can stir up some long-held and deep rooted beliefs we have about ourselves. The labels we put on ourselves like “bad skin” or “ugly” are often linked to our sense of self-worth. The belief that you have “bad skin” could be linked to a belief that you deserve it and that you don’t deserve “good skin,” or could be rooted in a fear of what may happen if your skin improves. Shifting these beliefs and working on releasing old, toxic labels can take some work and practice. Honoring yourself through self-care, meditation and/or journaling, and perhaps working with a therapist or counselor can support you in dropping labels that don’t serve you and adopting beliefs that support you.
When you can honor the value that is inherent in your unique self, it is much easier to accept the blemishes, fine lines, and imperfections that are bound to appear at some time or another (we’re all human after all!). In our signature workshop we teach that when we drop the old labels, we can see those imperfections for what they are: valuable messages from our body about something that may need attention like digestion or hormones. If you can receive those messages with a loving curiosity you may even find that as your belief in those old labels fades away, you’ll begin to see the results you had once hoped for. You may also find that you don’t care as much as you thought you would about having fewer blemishes or a more “youthful” glow, because when you begin to drop those old labels, you begin to understand that you are not defined by your skin. You are more than a simple label. And you are loved.