￼￼When people compliment my skin, I always have to chuckle inside, as I struggled with my skin throughout my childhood. After all these years, I can now clearly see how my passion for beauty, homeopathy and science all merged. Frankly, I used to be a sitting duck when it came to skin problems.
My love affair with makeup began at an early age. I was keen on being perfect (big job for a 13-year-old). I can clearly remember the day I had to halt my daily beauty regimen when I woke up covered head to toe in little red dots! They would soon grow into a full-fledged case of psoriasis. This was a bittersweet disease as it took me on a journey that would shape my life forever.
After some very painful and embarrassing years of hiding my skin and using extremely toxic remedies such as harsh cortisones and tar (yes, tar), I found Eileen Poole. She was an inspiration for me; a famous "psychic nutritionist" who put me on a diet of very specific foods. Eileen told me that skin disease is "a cancer releasing outside the body and not inside." She told me I was lucky and that I should think of myself as blessed. Holy crap, really? I was only a child but her words resonated somewhere in my young mind.
I did not realize the gift Eileen had given me at the time, but her words have been a guidepost for me throughout the years. Now, whenever I get even the smallest outbreak I know I am not in balance, and instead of hitting the cortisone, I need to hit the yoga mat.
So here I am now in the business of beauty. I spend my days evaluating and conceptualizing products to put on the skin to make it look and smell younger, healthier and more vibrant. I also look to science and chemistry to understand the cellular system and how it plays into the dance of anti-aging. It is all so exciting to me that I have to actually make myself stop working most days.
After almost 25 years, I found Miss Eileen Poole again and there she was; still a very hard appointment to get and just about to retire. I explained to her assistant that I was writing a story and had been a patient of Eileen's as a child and what an inspiration she had been to me. I managed to get in to see her and as I walked into her office, I was stunned -- her age-defying beauty was staring me in the face. I was blown away as she was still absolutely gorgeous and I knew that I had met Miss Poole for a reason. We are both in the business of making people feel beautiful and my journey into natural health would have never begun if I hadn't had all those darn skin ailments! So, could our problems -- whatever they may be -- sometimes be signs of our true destiny or perhaps, a reminder to stop and take inventory of our lives? I think so ...
- What I eat matters. My skin tells me everything! One too many glasses of vino or a late night at Dan Tanas (my fave Italian joint in LA) leaves its mark. I can't simply wake up and jet out the door with just a whisper of lip gloss!
- I don't freak out when I get a breakout. I actually take it as sign that I need to get "out of the mirror" and get back to being in touch with my body
- Before reaching for a "magic pill" to fix what ails you, look inside and assess what else is going on in your life.
- Oh, and for all the women out there, please know that we are truly our own worst critics.
-Lastly, the secret to looking stunning and beautiful comes from within. I know that sounds like fluff, but it's true and we all know it!
As for my psoriasis, it never came back with the vengeance it had when I was a young teen -- and for that I feel so grateful. Mother Nature is able to lend a hand with many remedies that I have discovered through the years. But ultimately, there is no better remedy than self-love. When I see people suffer and feel shame about skin ailments, I say a quiet prayer in my mind that they too will find their passion, ask for help and -- most importantly -- begin to look within.
Follow Renata Helfman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LipstickAngels