skin elixir blog
NOURISH THE SKIN YOU'RE IN
We chat with Nottingham's fine & fantastic illustrator, Emily Catherine for her top tips to nourish the skin you're in.
1. What do you do as part of a regular routine to look yourself?
Being a bit of an impractical girl, I can honestly say that basic doesn’t even come close in regards to my daily routine. I used to be ashamed to say that I have never taken my make up off before bed, now, I’m not bothered! For me, a regular routine for self-care is about preventing much more serious factors like stress affecting my health, so I like to try and shoehorn in as much walking as possible. With a busy job, it’s very difficult to find the time to exercise and get a bit of headspace and walking to and from my meetings and around jobs affords me a bit of cardio, a chance to catch up on my favourite music and time to think. Additionally, I use no ‘poo’ in any of my skincare products. I’m allergic to Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate particularly, so I use natural organic products wherever possible which are free of chemicals. I also take time to combat stress with meditation, long baths and mini home spa sessions in my bathroom! I also try and have as much fun as possible. Laughter is a tonic in itself.
2. What are the key things you have found that nurture self-nourishment?
For me, my body holds and reacts to stress in quite a noticeable way, so I prioritise my mental health and stress levels above all else. I go to therapy once a week, I meditate every day, even if for just ten minutes, I exercise as much as I can and I try to get as much sleep as possible. I also drink copious amounts of tea which has literally seen me through the most stressful and tiresome of days. I try and treat myself in a holistic way once a month too. My self-worth and confidence is significantly boosted if I take time to make sure I’m looking after my body, so, it might be a wax, a pedicure, a deep conditioning hair treatment, anything which means I am paying attention to my body.
3. What could you do more of to nourish the skin you’re in?
I know I could be drinking gallons of water, I could be getting a lot more sleep, I know I should take more days off, I know I should eat better. But I also know that no matter how much of that I do, I will always feel as if I could do more, so I don’t beat myself up about not getting it perfect each time. Life is busy, can be stressful and particularly, our society has a structure geared towards constant self-criticism. As a woman, I already experience enough societal pressures without me adding to it, so if pizza is eaten every day for a whole week, so be it. If it made me happy for a week, I don’t sweat it. From a ’no-poo’ point of view, I really would love to find a shampoo and conditioner which have no chemicals but are nourishing enough for my hair and I am yet to find them. My skin is still a bit angry at me that I use a sulphate shampoo however briefly, so I must keep looking!
4. What top tips have you got to give others around your working life to stay on top?
I am tempted here to copy and paste the lyrics of Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 song ’ Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’!!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI) because there is no better self-care script I’ve found. However, instead I’ll just list them in his style:
· Steam your face
· Keep active
· Find your own stress-busting preference. You may hate yoga but love kick-boxing, so do that instead!
· If you can’t afford to pamper yourself, do it yourself! I have a wonderful group of pals and we meet up and give each other home treatments together. I cut hair, my friend can colour, we put hair masks on, we eat pizza.
· Ask for help or delegate. Carving out time to nourish your well-being will garner respect from others, give you a grounded view of yourself and empower you. For example, if you need someone to look after your kids whilst you have an extra-long bath, do it.
5. What are the things you couldn’t live without that are key to your happiness and nourishment?
I could not survive a day without tea. Tea is full of antioxidants, is comforting and has a culture of understanding attached to it like no other. Laughing and having fun is also a top priority, walking, meditation and music makes me feel like a complete person. Without those things, it wouldn’t matter how much water I drank, how many salads I ate, I’d be ill on the inside and the out. And not in a cool hip hop way.
Emily Catherine is an illustrator living and working in Nottingham. She specialises in hand-drawn and painted illustrations. Her style ranges wildly as she prides herself on getting exactly what her client envisages. In her own practice, Emily draws and paints things which might evoke an emotional response, taking inspiration from popular culture and the everyday lives of people. Emily is a published illustrator, award winning blog writer and has worked within the teaching sector, music industry and press. She loves plants, animals and Hip Hop music. You can find out more about Emily, read her blog, look at her work and shop her store at www.emilycatherineillustration.com FB https://en-gb.facebook.com/emilycatherineillustration/ IG https://www.instagram.com/emilycatherineillustration/ TW https://twitter.com/illustrationec?lang=en-gb