2020 gifted us all with more time (perhaps a bit too much?) to prioritize self-care. With nowhere to be, I flirted with the possibility of make-up free days – an event which would have previously incited crippling anxiety and last-minute sprints to the bathroom to apply layers of product just to walk the dog.
I envy other women who are comfortable in their skin and bask in its natural glory. That kind of confidence and self-acceptance seems out of reach when there are hurdles – both real and imagined – preventing me from going ‘au naturel’ more often.
Scarring, uneven pigment and enlarged pores prompted me to conceal, rather than embrace, my complexion.
At last check, the youthful, plump and fresh face I was hoping to have in my mid-thirties could be declared ‘missing in action’.
As a Mum of two young girls and a teacher of teenage boys, stress and fatigue is quite literally written all over my face. New creases have appeared in the past few months and hormonal breakouts are a constant dilemma.
Needless to say, a little extra attention and care is well overdue.
Just like terrible regrowth or grey hairs, once I recognized that my skin wasn’t reflecting how I wanted to feel about my face at this age, I couldn’t stop noticing it.
Surely, 35 was too young for fine lines and a permanent furrow between my brows?
And also, what’s the deal with adult pimples –isn’t acne a teenage affliction?
Leaving the cheap supermarket cleansers, full coverage foundation and insecurity behind me, I made my first appointment with CRC Geelong – a one-stop clinic offering an array of treatments and services under the expert and professional care of Dr Niamh Corduff and Hayley Stoop. If I was going to make some changes, I wanted to do it right.
Taking the guesswork out of this situation was the first step towards getting a handle on my particular gripes and objectives.
Amongst the unregulated sea of salons with questionable ‘qualifications’ offering b*_tox, it made sense to place my skin, and safety, in the hands of a certified and highly regarded clinic. I didn’t want to be the cautionary tale girlfriends shared over coffee about poorly administered injections or end up looking like Samantha from Sex and the City after her infamous skin peel.
Until recently the notion of getting ‘work’ done seemed like an indulgent and risky choice, reserved only for older women trying to defy the ageing process or the cast of MAFs. Once I moved beyond that misconception, it became apparent that injectables need not be synonymous with fakery, or that image we all have of a hard, shiny forehead devoid of expression.
Niamh, Hayley, and the rest of the team at CRC answered all of my questions in the initial consults and their expertise was clear and reassuring. Concerns alleviated, I was free to just enjoy and relish my self-care journey.
Let’s be upfront here – like a good friendship, achieving great skin requires ongoing nurturing and a bit of effort.
There are no fabulous short cuts or cover ups when your skin is symptomatic of what’s going on beneath the surface.
For me, the wake-up call was understanding that the problems we might encounter typically exist below the exterior. Hayley explained that the current potions, lotions and creams I possessed lacked the ability to deeply penetrate the dermal layers, hence my efforts to hydrate and brighten were about as effective as filling a bathtub with a thimble.
Hayley’s keen eye also noted that dehydration and impotent serums and moisturizers were the likely cause of my dullness. She recommended a range of Synergy products, like B3 and Retinol, that could not only replace my pre-existing products but also cut down my morning and night routines whilst generating actual results.
The pearls of wisdom that she imparted where scientifically proven and based on precise and credible knowledge. (Unlike the YouTube influencers and advertising gimmicks I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve trusted in the past).
She devised a manageable action plan, with progressive steps and options that were voluntary and in no way pushed upon me. That’s the degree of care and planning that comes with working with the clinicians at CRC – they promote good practices and regimes rather than a quick fix. They are as invested in the improvements as you are.
The process is personalised and tailored to address an individual’s specific desires and concerns.
And so, here I am on the precipice of an expedition towards better skin and I’m taking you with me as I document the experience. 2021 is looking brighter and more promising than ever – a time to reinvest in myself.