In this post, my plan is to talk about how to take care of your appearance, mainly in regards to what culture calls "health and beauty". Why is your appearance important? For one, God wants us to take care of ourselves. Two, we as Christians should take care that we present ourselves in an honorable way, remembering who we represent. Three, it's fun. And four, if we are passionate about something (including fashion/beauty/etc.), we can and should use that passion for Jesus!
I'm not saying you should spend more than ten minutes getting ready in the morning, and I'm not saying you shouldn't. That's best left up to you and God. My goal is for this post to give you...
- a comprehensive overview of how to simply keep yourself well-groomed (not including clothing-- that will be tomorrow's post)
- Healthy food and clean water.
- Space to run or work out.
- Body soap.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Something to tame your locks (brush/pick/comb), depending on hair type.
- Face cleanser and face lotion.
- Fingernail clippers and an emery board. Optional: plastic cuticle stick
- Bath sponge, body lotion
STEP ONE: Eat good-for-you foods. (80/20 is a good ratio to consider. You know, eat healthy eighty percent and eat treats for twenty percent of the time. My mom is a health educator by degree; you might find some great tips on her blog.)
STEP TWO: Drink enough water that your pee is always either light yellow or clear. (I'm not being gross; this is science.)
STEP THREE: Exercise regularly, even if for just fifteen minutes a day. They say that kids need one hour and adults need thirty minutes daily, but something is better than nothing. Remember, the goal is simply to be healthy, so once you get in your ideal shape, just try to maintain it. Some simple ideas include running, walking, doing exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, and buying a couple of workout videos. I have one dance video that I've done probably six times and I'm still not bored of it because it's a lot of fun.
STEP FOUR: Take regular showers/baths. Once every other day is probably sufficient, but figure out what works for you. Use a bath sponge on tough areas like your elbows and feet to get the dirt/calluses off. Apply body lotion or sunscreen (depending on if you bathe in the morning or at night) and whenever your skin feels dry.
STEP FIVE: Brush your teeth after you eat breakfast and before you go to bed. Use mouthwash if necessary, and floss once a day.
STEP SIX: Wash your face when you wake up and use a little lotion to moisturize. Apply sunscreen each morning. Before bed, wash your face again and put on a more lotion. (Tip: Don't use body products on your face-- use facial products, which are designed for the more delicate facial skin.)
STEP SEVEN: Keep your hair under control by brushing it in the morning before you leave the house and then again before bed.
STEP EIGHT: Clip and file your finger- and toenails regularly. You don't have to get professional mani-pedis to have nice hands and feet: just keep your nails even in length, your cuticles pushed back (either with a plastic cuticle-stick or with your fingers), and remove your polish when it starts to look ragged.
Okay, confession: I do not live up to this post. I only wash my face about half the time I should, I rarely ever floss, and my toenail polish is flaking off as we speak. But for the last week or so I have really been trying to do the majority of what I listed here. Want to join in on the challenge? Let me know by writing I'M IN somewhere in your comment.
Also, you might want to save this list and then alter it to fit you and your lifestyle. I used to have a list that I based off of Nancy Rue's The Skin You're In and I taped it to my bookcase, where I saw it on a regular basis. Just an idea!
Comment with any questions, ideas, and suggestions you have on health, beauty, and fitness in general.
Also, let me know what else you would like to see in the "Introduction to Style" series!
P.S. Part Two of the Basics post will be posted tomorrow, and it will focus on clothes. This post focused on hygiene/beauty stuff. Also, in case it was insinuated yesterday that this series was purely about fashion, please know that it is not! It is about how to take care of your appearance, from a Christian perspective, and some of the first things to know when it comes to style. I will probably focus on fashion the most, but we're starting from the ground up here, and that means starting with health.