Sunday, May 1, 2016

Depression and Asian Beauty aka Take A Step Back and Start Slow

I know I rant about my depression on this blog a lot - and I'm sure some of you are tired of hearing about it, but I feel like now is a good time to sit down and talk about how depression affects me, and the 10-step skincare routine many people think you need to have when jumping into Asian beauty. The truth is, you don't need to push yourself to use so many steps if you don't want to, or can't. But on the flip side, there may be an added benefit to taking your time with all those steps and really engulfing yourself into your routine.

I'll start with a little background about me...
I've suffered from depression since my teenage years, and was finally diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety (and fibromyalgia, but that's a story for another day...) at the age of 18, after I had left home. After years of medication and feeling like a failure, I met my husband. He helped me out of the dark place I had been sinking into all my life. I was able to stop taking my medication and start actually feeling better about myself. When I gave birth to our son, my anxiety basically stopped - like I no longer cared about what was happening around me, just that I needed to keep this new life safe and healthy. My anxiety and depression were seemingly under control for a few years with small "flares" now and then, but things happen in life that aren't always great, and the past year I started struggling again.
The worry of - everything really - just beat me down to the point where I struggled to eat, and felt like I couldn't make it through each day. But this time I knew I had a family who needed me to power through. It's taken a lot of support from friends online, and reminding myself that I have a young child, but I've made it this far!

So what does this have to do with Asian Beauty?
Well, I was introduced to AB about two years ago, when I was starting to play around with makeup more, and wanting to start taking care of my skin. My anxiety and depression were on their way back and I was looking for a distraction before they got me beat down to the point were I couldn't function. Everything about AB brightened my spirits; the packages in the mail, the new products to play around with, and the improvements I started seeing in my skin.

When I'm feeling like myself, and ready to face life, or even take things one day at a time... I'm able to follow a good routine.
  • Cosrx Low pH Gel Cleanser
  • Cosrx Centella Alcohol Free Toner
  • Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence
  • Goodal Camellia Firming Water Oil
  • Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Snail Mucin Essence or Guerisson 9 Complex Essence
  • Cosrx Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion or Advanced 92 Snail AIO Cream
  • Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sunblock
  • Elizavecca Natural 90% Olive Cleansing Oil
  • Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash or Papa Recipe Enzyme Powder Cleanser
  • Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
  • Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid or AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
  • Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence
  • Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence
  • Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule
  • Curology
  • *sheet mask*
  • Cosrx Advanced 92 Snail AIO Cream or Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream
  • Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask or Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream
I sometimes get comments about these routines because some people wonder if they're all really necessary, and the answer is no. But the fact is, when I'm feeling up to the task of going through all these steps, it gives me time to unwind. It helps my mind relax, and it helps me release my anxiety and get a good nights' sleep, and handle the following day better. Of course I'm not always able to stick to this routine. Times like the past week, or a few months ago, I'm too depressed to do laundry, buy groceries, or even sometimes to even get up off the couch.
Sometimes I don't care for my skin at all, but when I get the ambition to stand by the sink for a few minutes, I follow this routine that I recently posted on Instagram:
A photo posted by Samantha (@samantha_blogs) on
Keeping my routine simple still makes me feel a bit better about myself, and gives me something to help distract myself from my depression and helps calm me down a bit - but a simple routine when my depression is bad is easy for me to tackle without making me want to give up.
I've been known to take a cleansing wipe and moisturizer in the morning, and just a cleanser and Curology in the evening too  - and it feels like a great accomplishment to be able to do something to my skin to feel like I'm human again...

Asian beauty has not only improved my complexion, but it's been a great outlet for me, and has given me a way to allow my depression and anxiety to melt away through self-care, facial massage, masking, and just taking my time caring for my skin.

What are some acts of self-care that make you feel better about yourself?

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  1. I've mentioned before that the rituals and downtime connected to most skincare routines are as beneficial as the products themselves. I know when I remove my makeup after a long day at work, I take my time rubbing the oil in to my skin. It feels soothing, like taking the day off and preparing to disconnect.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I'm glad to hear you're in a good place these days!

  2. I sometimes feel that the time taken for ourselves from our responsibilities and stressors is the most important part of these long routines we all do. It sends a message to ourselves that we're important, that we matter more than all he "shoulds" and other negative thoughts we get mired in. It's as much for the mind as the body. Also, eating, eating is important! Get lots of protein, take time for you, know that you can't do everything, nor control everything. If you're not taking care of you, which some days means just simply is accepting that you are where you are, and not judging that, then you can't take care of anyone else either. Take care Sam.

  3. Good timing on this post for me. I also look at the if the opposite way. I know things are going badly with my mental health when skincare doesn't matter at all. Of course my skin not being in good shape feels worse and its creates a cycle.

    I'll personally never get tired of hearing about struggles with depression. While I would prefer that others had no stories to share because I wouldn't wish if on anyone I still think it's nice to not feel alone.