90 Day Challenge: Jumping in and Making Mistakes

Posted by: Rhonda Shrum

For a tactile learner like myself, staring a new project is always exciting. Instead of reading directions or asking for help, I just like to jump in and get going. I’ve never read through a manual for a computer or a phone, I don’t properly lay down cloth and edge tape when I paint, and shelf diagrams just confuse me so I toss them in the trash before I set out to build them on my own. I’ve always found that if I can just get my hands on the material, I’ll figure it out significantly faster than if I go through someone else’s steps.

While this works fairly well with an iPhone, it doesn’t work too well with skin care.

Once I signed up for the 90 Day Challenge and got my photos taken, I was utterly mortified at the condition of my skin and vowed to fix it immediately. Armed with an arsenal of products that I had never even seen before, I set out to get fixed overnight. Before bed, I washed my face with some $5 drug store cleanser and then promptly slathered on thick layers of everything in my SkinMedica bag. The next morning, I did the same. I felt GOOD. I felt EMPOWERED. I felt PROUD of myself for taking steps to get healthier.

Upon entering the office later that day, I found an esthetician and excitedly went on and on about my night and morning experiences. Just like my five year old son when he writes his name perfectly and wants praise, I preened for Wendy and waited for her to pat me on the back like a good pupil when I told her what I had done. Imagine my surprise, however, when she told me I had done it all wrong.

Wrong? How could I have messed this up already, I asked? It’s cream! You rub it in, boom, done, right?

Not right…and if you ever want to see a skin care expert freak out, say to her “I’m not sure how many times I applied the Tri-Retinol formula to my face.” Frankly, I’m lucky she caught me when she did: Because skin care is a science, there’s a method to the madness, and left to my own devices, I might end up looking worse, and not better.

Number one, I was using an exfoliating scrub to wash my face instead of the gentle cleanser I should have been using as part of the program. Number two, I put everything on in the wrong order. A product like SkinMedica TNS Serum, for example, needs to go right on clean skin, and I was putting it on last. Number three, I was using WAY too much product. I rubbed so much TNS Eye Repair cream in that the concentrated ingredients were aggravating my contact lens-wearing eyes; apparently very small amounts rubbed gently in around the eye works just fine. Number four, the Tri-Retinol Complex is powerful stuff and only goes on at night….not numerous times during the day.

So this continual learning process carries on. Lesson learned this week? Sometimes, I can’t just dive in. Sometimes, I need to consult the instruction manual, read the diagram, and actually TALK to the experts…after all, that’s what they’re there for.

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