beauty

"I remember the first time I looked in the mirror and decided I hated my face."

Ultraceuticals
Thanks to our brand partner, Ultraceuticals

I remember the first time I looked in the mirror and decided I hated my face.

I was 12-years-old, and the house was filled with the crazy mixture of chaos, excitement and despair that engulfed our home every morning as soon as my mum attempted to get the four of us out the door and off to school.

But hidden away in the bathroom, I was dealing with much bigger issues than grabbing my lunch box off the table or making sure my little sister had her school hat. Instead, I was staring into the mirror with such intensity that to the untrained eye it must have looked like I was about to start chanting for Bloody Mary.

My skin was blotchy, with patches of red standing out spectacularly against the pasty backdrop that was my face. Unfortunately, most of the scarlet hues had decided to gather around my nose region (must have had premo parking) and I was sporting a look only Rudolf could pull off.

So, in desperation, I snuck into my mum’s room and rifled through her dressing table until I came across some pressed powder that was three shades darker than my face, but even back then I knew beggars can’t be choosers.

how to stop wearing makeup
“I snuck into my mum’s room and riffled through her dressing table until I came across some pressed powder that was three shades darker than my face.” Image: iStock.

I quickly pounded the powder puff across my face and was instantly impressed with how the redness suddenly vanished, it was like I’d used up my one wish and my face was instantly hidden from the world.

Of course now, at the ripe old age of 29, I just want to go back in time, hug that little girl and tell her, her skin is completely fine, but in that moment I was hooked.

From then on, make-up became my armour and I never left home without it.

Which is why I found myself flooded with just a hint of anxiety recently, when I sat down with a friendly lady named Amy from Ultraceuticals in a bid to fix my skin from the inside out, instead of just layering it with foundation. Actually taking the trash out instead of sweeping it under the rug, if you will.

Now, Ultraceuticals, is a certified cruelty free skincare brand, which is how I knew Amy wasn’t trying to be vindictive when she gently explained that she needed to wipe my make-up off and take some photos of my skin that would feed into a fancy-looking machine and show all my flaws up close and personal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yes, I’d actually worn a full face of make-up to a facial appointment, simply because I couldn’t stand the thought of walking to the appointment without my shield up.

how to stop wearing makeup
“From then on, make-up became my armour and I never left home without it.” Image: supplied.

Soon, my uncovered face was up on a large screen in all its glory, completely bare for the world (well, just Amy and I, but still) to see.

I’m not going to lie, it was uncomfortable to look at.

There was redness, discolouration and a bit of a stray hair issue that I’m going to have a conversation with my eyebrow lady about, but all in all I slowly began to realise that my uncovered face didn’t quite resemble the swamp monster I had always assumed was staring back at me.

In fact, the redness and discolouration turned out not to be so much of a problem at all, as Amy explained to me that years of scouring my face with exfoliates and scrubs had in fact contributed to my skin problems, rather than solving them.

“I just felt like I could scrub it all away,” I told her. “I always scrub my face as hard as I can every time I step into the shower, I thought it was helping.”

“You’ve scrubbed all the dead skin off your nose and cheeks,” she explained. “And you really need to leave some on. Let’s stop with the scrubs and go for a gentler, long lasting approach.”

how to stop wearing makeup
“I slowly began to realise that my uncovered face didn’t quite resemble the swamp monster I had always assumed was staring back at me.” Image: supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

In order to give my make-up and scrub damaged skin a ‘mental health day’ I was treated to a Vita-repair facial that works to repair stressed and dehydrated skin. It even contained this funky essential moisture boost treatment that began to balance and restores my skin’s natural hydration levels.

The hydration levels I’d blown to hell by scouring off the top layer of my skin each day and pounding six cups of coffee every few hours instead of water. Just little things like that.

Then came the exciting part, where Amy used UltraSonophoresis, a machine that utilises low frequency ultrasound, to increase transdermal penetration of various ingredients into my skin leaving it fresh, smooth and surprising looking less like a Christmas stocking.

Then came the moment of truth, it was time to leave and walk the gauntlet of David Jones with my face stripped bare of any kind of coverage. I had my trusty make-up kit tucked away safely in my bag for such emergencies, but for some reasons I just couldn’t bear to put it on.

So I didn’t.

how to stop wearing makeup
“I walked through the streets of Sydney and sat down at a café to order a coffee with a clean face for the first time in over a decade.” Image: iStock.

Instead, I walked through the streets of Sydney and sat down at a café to order a coffee with a clean face for the first time in over a decade, relishing the fact that maybe the rest of my life wasn’t going to revolve around concealer.

In truth, nobody was probably looking at my face on that day or back when I was 12. But it felt better to me and that’s all that matters.

How have your gained confidence in your skin?

00:00 / ???