Myth: Cosmetic procedures are necessary
to look your best.

Truth: You need to have the basics in place first.

I’m one of those people who actually believes in the idea of unique beauty. I don’t see anything ugly or unattractive about faces or bodies that don’t conform to a certain standard. I don’t like the idea of changing one’s face or body to conform to that standard. To me it’s unhealthy.

There was a time when this kind of thing was all or nothing. Either you looked your best or you had plastic surgery to do that. That only made me dislike the idea of cosmetic procedures even more because I couldn’t stand the idea of going through all that risk. I know there are lot of people who do get cosmetic surgery and I won’t say they’re wrong to do it, but I just don’t like the concept.

However, nowadays there are a lot of non-surgical procedures that won’t change your facial features but that will make you appear younger and healthier. I admit that I’m still skeptical about some of them, but I’ve also discovered a few of them for myself and I think they can work.

From me, you get the truth.

I’ve often written that everyone must do basic grooming. This means that every morning you must brush your teeth, wash your face, and apply lip balm, light moisturizer, and sunscreen. Every night you must remove any makeup, brush your teeth, wash your face, and apply lip balm and eye cream. If your particular skin type needs any other lotions or potions, use them. If your skin is not oily, then you may not need cleanser in the morning, but you must at least rinse your face with water before you apply sunscreen and any other lotions and potions you need.

I also firmly believe that no girl should pass bat mitzvah without getting a skin-care regimen in place. I agree with many other parents out there that girls shouldn’t wear makeup until a certain age, but skin care is part of your health and girls are not exempt from taking care of themselves. And remember that as you get older your skin will change and so will your skincare needs. Adapt and adjust as necessary.

One good thing about basic grooming is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are excellent products out there at every price point. I love the generic drugstore-brand products that I use.

It’s a good idea to visit a dermatologist and get a good idea of what your skin needs. Remember to do your research. The best dermatologists are well-educated and trained, but they also have a good chairside manner and will work with you to address any concerns you may have.

Skin care is one more reason to eat a healthful diet. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and it responds to what you give it. For your diet, make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Vegetables, fruits, good carbohydrates, proteins, and healthful fats are all good to have. And a little treat now and then won’t hurt. I had read about “clear skin diets,” but most of their instructions are nothing new. I still remember the old myth that chocolate and French fries cause acne, but they only do that if you’re smearing them directly on your face. Some say that you need to cut certain healthful foods out of your diet. I say that before you cut anything, talk to your doctor or nutritionist.

Exercise gets the blood flowing and gives you a wonderful glow. It also helps flush out toxins via perspiration. Find different exercises that you like and do them. And take advantage of unplanned exercise such as walking instead of driving or climbing stairs instead of the elevator.

Aside from the health issues generated by smoking, it’s also bad for your skin. It leaves you with extra lines, particularly around your mouth, and it leaves your skin with a gray cast known as the “smoker’s cast.” If you don’t smoke, then don’t start. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting and take advantage of all the resources available. There was an actress who said that the best beauty decision she made was to never start smoking because it kept her skin looking great. There was another actress who said that the best beauty decision she ever made was to quit smoking because a month after she quit, people were telling her that her skin was looking great.

Side note: When it comes to diet, exercise, and not smoking, there are purists out there who don’t like the idea of vanity as a motivator and who say that you should be doing these things for your health. I say that if great skin or any other vanity concern motivates you, then yeah vanity!

Once you have your basic skincare regimen in place, then (and only then) may you consider anything extra. There are a lot of different creams and lotions and potions that promise to do this and that. There are also a lot of different procedures that can be done by professional estheticians. And there are those procedures that must only be done by a medical professional. This is why you need a good dermatologist. The good ones will ask you about your concerns and will advise you on what will work best. Different procedures are more appropriate for certain skin types than others and you need to know what will work best for you.

I also firmly believe that every woman deserves to have at least one professional beauty treatment in her life. Why? Because it’s fun to get a little pampering. I read about a rebbetzin who said that when she has stress in her life she goes for a manicure. She said that there’s only so much Tehillim she can say and that sometimes she just needs some gashmiyus time. I can’t afford to get a professional facial done regularly, but I once received a gift certificate for a facial as a birthday gift, so I had it done and it was amazing.

Yes, extra cosmetic procedures are options, but first get the basics into place and be healthy.

To be continued…

Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer/blogger and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tznius guidelines, and she’ll add to that with custom-designed jewelry. Read more about her ideas on her blog- She also has a YouTube channel, “Look Your Best in Mitpachot,” where she does head-wrapping tutorials, and she is also available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most Read