First impressions are important: the first three seconds of an encounter with someone can influence the relationship in the long run. The bias this minute creates may only be recorded by the subconscious, but it’s still there working in our favour or against us. Whether it’s an appointment with a doctor, an interview for a job or a business meeting with a client, it’s worth being aware of the first impression we’re making.

First impressions include the look on our face, the posture and gestures of our body, the clothes we wear, our chosen make-up and hairstyle, even the distance we keep with our partner. All of our appearance creates an impression.

In many cases, the encounter with a stranger starts with looking at each other’s faces. Our facial expressions, particularly our eyes, are powerful creators of messages. Besides the pressure to preserve our face’s youth and beauty, as today’s mainstream communication is all about, I choose to take care of my face because I’d like it to be in integrity with the message I would like to convey in my encounters. My body, my face, the tone of my voice and the words I communicate—I strive for all to align with my message, and in the end, with my life. And the words most describing this life are healthy, mindful and embracing change.

For a healthy face

The amount of sleep I get is the number one influencer of how I look in the morning. I remember the years of breastfeeding my kids—people unaware of the situation turned to me worried, thinking I was sick: my face was pale with dark circles around my eyes. Nowadays I steal some hours from sleep to get some work done or to watch a movie, but I can make up for it the next day. I found that for me seven hours of uninterrupted sleep is optimal.

I do yoga to keep my body healthy and I pay special attention to my face. I use all opportunities I find in my day to tone the muscles of my face. When I lay down for relaxation, I stretch all my muscles before settling, opening my mouth wide open, frowning and making faces to tense all the tiny muscles of my face. In the evening, when I floss, I repeat these movements as I have to have my mouth wide open anyways. As a mother I have great laughs with children, mutual tickling sessions and showing funny faces at each other all of which have the side effect of providing great exercise for my facial muscles. I know, laughing also brings wrinkles, but I welcome the laughing wrinkles because they remind me of the jolly good times I had.

From the inside my face is well nourished as I eat healthy, vegetarian food with lots of veggies and fruit. I drink 3-4 L (0.8–1 gal.) every day; this level of hydration proves optimal as my skin is soft and filled.

I use biodynamic products on my face from a brand I trust: Dr. Hauschka. I alternate between summer and winter creams to heed the different needs of the change in temperature. As for make-up, I use regular (not organic) products (mascara, lip gloss and eye shadow), but my foundation also comes from Dr. Hauschka.

On mindfulness

In my teenage years I’d critically observe my face every day, close up, finding all imperfections as reasons to feel awful. I didn’t pay much attention later in my twenties, then the aging process that started in my thirties put me back in front of the mirror, with two differences. I don’t use a magnifying mirror: who is looking at me through a magnifying glass, anyways? I notice the wrinkles by my eyes and on my forehead, but instead of looking at the separate parts, I watch my face in its wholeness: the smile, the glow in my eyes, the health of my skin. Is my face a reflection of my life? Yes, I believe it is.

Embracing the change of my face

And with this contentment I created with my face, I also acknowledge that it’s bound to change. More wrinkles will be coming, the tone of my skin will loosen up, a shade of tiredness will veil my eyes. So it will be, I accept this change and don’t fight to be young again. Later, when the years of experience will have enriched my life my face will reflect that.

image: Happy face via Shutterstock