The Love Remains
I keep a journal. There’s just something incredibly therapeutic about penning your innermost thoughts, especially when times are tough and seemingly hang over you like an albatross around your neck. Granted my feelings aren’t as eloquently documented in a writing style similar to the likes of Virginia Woolf or Anaïs Nin, but aside from the immediate gratification that may come with releasing these thoughts I’ve come to find that in time my journal entries possess an extraordinary ability to provide hindsight and a new found compassion and self-respect. Writer Franz Kafka notes that “in the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today, when we may be wiser because we are able to look back upon our former condition”.
Completely unaware of it at the time, but at the height of my acne in 2010 I also kept another journal of sorts, only it was a series of photos I took in order to keep track of my skin for a dermatologist. After recently finding my old digital camera and flicking through its photographs, I was in shock. I immediately think of Kafka‘s reference to living through unbearable situations, because I look back at the photos and wonder how my confidence wasn’t as shattered as I’d assume it to be had I gone through the same today. I choose not to share these photos, but I’ll leave you to your imagination when I say that my skin was inflamed as can be, to the extent I didn’t even want to step foot outside the safety of my home and make myself vulnerable to the judging eyes of strangers. While one’s physical appearance is truly superficial and can never be a measure of one’s humanity, in a society that bestows undeserving value upon beauty can we really be surprised when such is a reaction to falling short of this narrow standard? It also doesn’t help when some people belittle or make small of issues such as acne – the power it has to completely destroy someone’s confidence and self-worth is real.
Hindsight is bittersweet in that it’s frustrating you’re unable to apply today’s knowledge to a certain situation in the past, but it’s this frustration that makes said knowledge profound and meaningful. Applying this to the photo diary I took, now that I’ve pretty much regained control over my skin I realise that all it took was a holistic approach to managing my diet, stress and skincare, but one thing that has remained consistent across both stages of my ‘skin journey’ – if you will – has been my affinity for the Antipodes Aura Manuka Mask. It was personally recommended to me by the brand’s founder, Elizabeth Barbalich, after speaking to her about my skin at an event she hosted almost three years ago. I particularly remember Elizabeth likening application of the mask to icing a cake, so I’ve always been rather generous with each use. I also remember the utter hopelessness I would feel after yet another product failed to work, completely walking all over what little excitement I had. However Elizabeth‘s advice and getting acquainted with Antipodes ensured I left the event with a spring in my step, and I couldn’t wait to try the products that she had recommended, but I still couldn’t shake the scepticism. Despite this, my writing of this post is testament to how wonderful the Aura Manuka Mask is – waking up that next morning to calmer skin with significantly less irritation around the cystic bumps that had long caused much pain is why I keep the mask in my bathroom cabinet to this day. Packed with antibacterial and moisture-rich Manuka honey, antioxidant ruby red pohutukawa bloom, avocado oil, vanilla pod and mandarin, this mask has helped me through long-haul flights, exam-season induced breakouts and it even manages to keep skin hydrated through the winter months proving that it’s a product that I’m certain I’ll use throughout time. Tell me, which product do you feel the same about?