photos by kristen kilpatrick

So far, my thirties have been all about discovering balance, trying new things, and finding deeper levels of inner confidence — in other words, the best decade of my life so far. That said, my birthday next month marks the move from “early” to “mid,” and it’s officially not too early to be taking my skin care regimen more seriously. These past few weeks, I’ve been using SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence day and night as I embarked on my #OneBottleAwayFrom journey to prep for my upcoming birthday. A solid self-care routine is not only good for the skin and body, it’s emotionally restorative, and I truly believe that relieving stress is the most powerful self-care strategy around. Read on to see the results of my skin transformation by way of this so-called “Miracle Water”, plus a few other ways I’m upgrading my self-care habits as I gear up for my 34th birthday.


My self-care tips:

1 – Commit to a skin care regimen upgrade with SK-II’s “Miracle Water”

I’ve long been fascinated by SK-II’s famous Facial Treatment Essence and finally decided to give it a try. It’s a splurge, but one bottle lasts forever since you just use a few drops at a time. The fascinating story behind SK-II began at a sake brewery in Japan, where scientists noticed the elderly workers had wrinkled faces, but extraordinarily soft and youthful-looking hands. That’s how researchers discovered SK-II’s signature ingredient, Pitera.

Since I began using Facial Treatment Essence, I’ve noticed softer, smoother skin, minimized pores and wrinkles, a more even skin tone and enhanced radiance – just what I needed before I ring in another year.


I love to think of each birthday as a chance to take stock of what’s working in my life – both outwardly and inwardly – and reset by incorporating a few new habits. These milestones are the perfect opportunity to continue on my journey towards my best self, and I’m excited about incorporating a few wellness and beauty practices, including my #OneBottleAwayFrom journey towards my glowiest skin.

Application couldn’t be simpler: after cleansing, I saturate a cotton pad with the Facial Treatment Essence and tap onto my entire face. The tapping motion helps my skin absorb faster. Then, I apply my usual moisturizer. I’ve noticed that my skin is clearer and glowier – and I have been wearing way less makeup than I did even in my twenties.


2 – Sip anti-inflammation tea throughout the day.

I’ve been really interested in ayurvedic medicine after reading this book which shares some great ways to infuse healing ingredients into your daily diet. In the morning, I’ve been brewing a kettle of detoxifying tea and sipping on it throughout the day. Here’s how to do it:

In a tea strainer, add a tablespoon each of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds, then steep in a kettle of simmering water, along with a few pieces of peeled fresh ginger, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add a few lemon slices and honey or stevia, and sip away for better digestion, lower inflammation, and increased nutrient absorption.


3 – Try out a results-oriented facial.

In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of getting facials: if I’m going to splurge on a spa treatment, I’m likely to choose a massage every time. But I’ve changed my tune with the powerful results-oriented offerings that have become more widely available the last couple years. Recently I’ve tried out both laser treatments and microneedling at my dermatologist’s office with great results; they’ve been the perfect complement to my stepped-up skincare routine for radiant and more even skin.

image by molly culver

4 – Get friendly with your foam roller

If there’s one easy way to work some anti-aging into your workout, pickup a foam roller. I got this really intense one called a Rumble Roller with raised bumps that go deep into the tissue to stretch the muscle and fascia. It’s even supposed to tighten and tone skin, and is really the next best thing to an at-home massage therapist. I’ve been using it every night and feel so relaxed when I climb into bed.


5 – Upgrade your smoothie with collagen & adaptogens

My favorite breakfast to start the day is a smoothie that includes greens, fiber and a healthy fat source like almond butter or avocado. However, I recently realized that the lack of protein in my AM smoothie was sending my blood sugar crashing (and my snacking impulse soaring) around 11am, so I’ve been adding a couple more power ingredients to make my smoothie work even harder for me. This collagen powder promotes healthier skin and hair, and is a clean source of nutrient-rich protein. And you guys already know I’ve been experimenting with adaptogens — and my morning smoothie is the perfect easy way to get them in.


I love that as I get older, I feel more comfortable in my own skin. And with the right self-care routine, I’m able to enhance my natural beauty instead of concealing with a lot of makeup. Drinking water, getting enough sleep, and taking care of my skin (SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence was a serious gamer-changer!) is so key to loving what I see when I look in the mirror each morning. It empowers me to go out and live the rest of the day with confidence and encourages the kind of positivity that helps me be the best mother, friend, and woman I can be. Bring it on, 34!

5 comments
  1. 1
    Eva | April 30, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve heard such great things about SKII Essence – I’m sure I’d love it! And I’ve been using foam rollers for quite a while, but I just recently discovered Yoga Balls, which give you a more pinpointed fascia release. I get a lot of tension in my calves, so it’s perfect for the specific spots and for stretching.

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

    Reply
  2. 2
    Fortune Dushey | May 1, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I can definitely use the foam roller. I always see them a the gym but am always rushing out after my workout.
    Need to try it. Thanks for the inspiration:)

    Reply
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