14 Simple Skin Care Tips for Your Best Complexion

14 Simple Skin Care Tips for Your Best Complexion

Our society is inundated with beauty products. A recent beauty industry analysis showed the beauty industry generates approximately $57 billion a year in the United States alone, and that’s not even including hair care. Everywhere we look it seems there’s a commercial, magazine ad, social media post, or video telling us how to have better skin. There are products for wrinkles, products for a dewy skin, and products to brighten our complexion. And the prices of these products can vary by hundreds of dollars.

When making an investment in your beauty regimen, it can be helpful to narrow down all the messaging we hear, and focus on what our skin needs to look its best. Here are 14 tips to help us achieve our best complexion.

Beauty: 101

  1. Consistency is Key: Whether you use a face wash you pick up at your grocery store, make a special trip to a cosmetic counter, or pay shipping costs for an up-and-coming line…the consistency in which you use these products is important. Most of the active compounds within skin care take time to do their best work. To truly get a feel for whether or not your skin will benefit from a product, use it regularly and if possible, finish the entire product. You may feel differently about it on day 30, than you do on day 3 of using your new product. 
  1. Simple Steps for Significant Results: These days consumers have access to at-home skin gadgets, beauty supplements, various forms of peels and masks, as well as a plethora of serums. And while these beauty offerings can enhance your complexion, pay the most amount of attention to basic skin care steps as these can greatly impact your skin’s health. Your cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing routine are often the most important steps. In fact, the right 3-step routine can greatly change and better your complexion, if you use the right products. After that, all those other treatments and serums can be used as extra enhancements to your complexion.
  1. Be Gentle: It’s tempting to want to use a face mask or spot treatment often to get fast results. However these products should be used as ‘bonus’ steps rather than essential skin care steps. In other words, be gentle with your complexion and use special treatments sparingly. It’s easy to go overboard by mixing products like topical creams and serums, without knowing how your skin will respond. Show your complexion some love by being gentle with it. Often less is more. Chose fewer products with quality ingredients, opposed to covering your skin with more and more products.
  1. Take a Step Back: Most people are a foot or more away from you when they’re talking to or looking at you. Take that into consideration while getting ready. We can get in the habit of looking at our face right next to the mirror, but really no one is looking at us that closely. Take a step back from the mirror and your perception and viewpoint about what you see may change. There’s no need to unnecessarily put your complexion under a microscope every day.
  1. Change your Pillowcase: Even if you are diligent with washing your face every night, your pillowcase can harbor bacteria, dirt, dust and oil. Changing your pillowcases regularly can drastically improve the appearance of your complexion. Not only will it help if you experience breakouts, but it can also keep your pores from getting clogged or your skin from looking dull.
  1. Hydrated Skin vs. Moisturized Skin: Did you know there’s a difference between skin that is hydrated and skin that is moisturized? Moisturized skin is just that. It’s skin that is receiving adequate moisture from the products you are using. Hydrated skin comes directly from what we’re ingesting. Caffeine, soda, and alcohol are known to dehydrate your skin, whereas drinking water hydrates you skin. Make sure to drink plenty of water (8 glasses a day) to keep your body and complexion balanced.
  1. Ingredients Matter: Looking at the ingredients in your skin care products can help you determine the effectiveness of a product. Make sure the active compounds (i.e. antioxidants, vitamins, minerals) are some of the very first ingredients. This ensures you are getting the most pure products without a lot of filler ingredients. It’s the same thing as eating fresh food vs. processed food. You want to use the healthiest, most pure beauty products you can find.
  1. Think Long Term: In addition to taking care of your complexion now, think about how you want your complexion to look a few years or more from now. For instance, you may not have lines around your eyes currently, so work to keep it that way. Don’t skimp of eye serum or cream because you don’t yet need it. Build up your collagen and keep your skin stay healthy by using products to keep your complexion strong. Your future self will thank you.
  1. Your Skin Absorbs What you Put on It: Of course there are different molecule sizes that absorb into your skin differently, and different skin textures that absorb products easier than others, but it’s safe to assume that everything you put on your skin will absorb into your skin. This is especially true after prolonged use. Make sure you are choosing healthy skin care products that have safe, non-toxic ingredients as well as effective ingredients.
  1. Beauty From the Inside Out: Nutrition plays a part in your skin’s health. Just like leafy greens, fruits, and other foods high in nutrients are good for your body, they are also good for your skin. Tomatoes, blueberries, green tea, kale, and walnuts are just some of the nutrient-rich, and complexion-enhancing foods you can eat to help keep your skin’s health a priority.
  1. The Smell isn’t Important: The first thing most people do when sampling skin care, is to smell it. Although the smell may be nice, it often has nothing to do with how effective that product is. Often the smell is a synthetic or added fragrance just for the benefit of smelling good. And usually after a few uses, you won’t even notice the smell anymore (both good and not so good smells). With this being said, the smell shouldn’t be a main factor when choosing quality skin care.
  1. Exfoliate: Exfoliation is a game changer when done correctly. For best results, exfoliate twice a week. Proper exfoliation will remove dead skin cells, help brighten spots or marks, and give your skin a healthy glow. Too much exfoliation can irritate skin and cause skin to breakout or look dull because you can remove healthy oils. If you find your exfoliator too harsh, try mixing it with your face wash for more of a buffer when applying it to your skin.
  1. Stress Less: Stress is very hard on your skin. From frown lines to a dull complexion, it can wreak havoc on your skin’s health. Try to help eliminate stress before it shows up. Taking a thoughtful approach to unwanted situations through exercise, meditation, affirmations, or taking a walk outside, can help you eliminate the negative effects that stress can have on your skin and overall wellbeing.
  1. Weather Matters: Pay attention to differences in your skin when the seasons change. It’s possible you may need to add an extra product or change your moisturizer depending on the weather. Customize your products so your skin gets the best results each season.

  Conclusion

Creating your best complexion doesn’t have to be complicated. Often it’s the easiest and simplest steps that can help you achieve your ideal skin. Remembering that less is often more, start incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine and you should see a noticeable difference in your skin’s health and appearance.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: Website, Instagram, Facebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

 

 

Growing Through Grief

Growing Through Grief


It was 3 years ago today. I called my Mom and she didn’t answer the phone. That in itself wasn’t too unusual since I just spoke to her the night before, but when I tried to reach her later in the day and she didn’t answer again, I knew something was wrong.

Before the end of the day her body will be taken to a funeral home, I will have talked to a dozen people whose names and faces I’ll never remember or recognize, I will have googled cardiac arrest repeatedly, and be crying so hard while begging God to bring her back, that I actually think I’ll hyperventilate.

When you lose someone incredibly close to you, it’s as if a screen that’s been shielding you from the world – a protective screen you didn’t even know was there – is suddenly gone, along with the person you love. You see things more clearly, feel things more deeply, hurt harder, but also love stronger. You’re forced to grow, forced to reflect – the death of one person can create a domino effect in your life.

And that certainly was the case for me. I’m not an expert on grief and I’m not someone who is even fully healed from my Mom’s death, but I have learned the value and power of living deliberately.

Because the former screen that shielded me, also allowed me to believe in illusions. The Illusion that time isn’t limited. That ‘now’ will never come to an end. That negative emotions like insecurity and jealousy are acceptable, and that fitting in is more important than being your authentic self. Those illusions are gone.

I’ve learned we have choice for a reason. We get to choose who and what we give our attention to. Choice is powerful. When we choose, we focus, and what we focus on determines our satisfaction in life. Half-lived lives happen when we focus on things that make us feel unsatisfied.

Learning this lesson changed my focus – personally and professionally. I rebranded and relaunched my own beauty company after taking time away to process grief. And I learned the value of mental health and wellbeing. Genuine Glow now makes a nutrient-rich exfoliator, and promotes the benefits of inner wellbeing. We highlight and discuss the importance of inner beauty while making an outer beauty skin care product. I don’t believe those 2 things have to cancel each other out.

Genuine Glow represents a 360-degree Glow. An equal combination of inside and outside beauty. To do that, we recognize that feeling good on the inside is just as important as looking good on the outside. We won’t compromise one for the other. We are working to reimagine beauty.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care


We tend to think of self-care as an act of doing or something to schedule. Taking a bubble bath, attending a yoga class, getting a massage, having a glass of wine at home to relax, or an evening out with friends. Although these certainly are components of self-care, they only make up a fraction of what self-care actually is.

We can buy all the wellness products, enroll in the most popular workout classes, travel to fabulous destinations, and take a hundred bubble baths, but if we can’t find balance, satisfaction, and peace inside of us, the “me time” that we often refer to as self-care won’t cause us to feel better for very long.

Regular self-care has to do with what we are saying, thinking and feeling, not what we’re buying or doing. Taking care of our headspace and loving ourselves needs to be at the heart of our self-care routine. There isn’t anything else that will replace the positive benefits that come from prioritizing our wellbeing and showing ourselves kindness.

This starts with taking an inventory of the words we’re thinking and saying out loud, as well as paying attention to what we’re watching, what we’re reading, and what we’re having conversations about. Have we set up our day to care about ourselves or are we responding to the situations that are happening around us? Are we going into our day with a purpose or are we allowing other people and their intentions to take center stage?

It starts with taking an honest account of what our days look like and making adjustments when appropriate. We often don’t see the role we play in our own drama until we do this. And although there isn’t a one size fits all approach to how we should start our day or what we should be giving our attention to, we can tell by how we’re feeling if we’re on the track to satisfaction or not.

Taking score of our feelings helps us to understand where our set point is. Because sometimes we can become so accustomed to a negative set point that it doesn’t even feel negative anymore.

An example: I had a good friend for a number of years that lived out of state. We became closer at a certain point in life when we were both facing tough situations. She was going through a divorce and I was having a challenging time in a new job in a brand new city. At first it was nice to have someone to complain with, and someone who agreed with me. I had an ally in unhappiness and ironically that made me feel better. We could laugh and carry on about all the shitty things we felt were happening to us. But eventually I needed to make changes to get my set point back to satisfaction, and once I did, I didn’t have as much to complain about.

The topics of conversations I wanted to have were different than before. I didn’t want to complain about what was – I left that behind, I now wanted to enjoy feeling good. Even though she too made changes, her complaints didn’t stop. And I noticed her set point didn’t move to where mine was. I kept this friendship going for a while because we had known each other for so long, but every time I talked to her it was easy for me to fall back into that pattern where we looked for and spoke about things we didn’t like. Eventually I realized I was tolerating a lot of lows for a few highs and our friendship ran its course.

Although this doesn’t always have to happen – we don’t necessarily need to cut people or things from our life, in this case, it was for the best. So often the strongest emotion wins and the loudest voice takes over the conversation even if it’s unpleasant or wrong. And if we’re around someone who is complaining, we often complain.

So I had to take account of my role in my own drama and recognize who and what I was giving my attention to. One of the greatest gifts I’ve learned is that we get to decide where our focus goes. We can decide what we give our energy to. This is living deliberately.

Once I realized this friend wasn’t a shoulder to lean on, but rather it was someone who made it easy for me to stay stationary, I became much more aware of the conversations I was having. I recognized the words I was saying would trigger feelings within me, and I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of focusing on the negative.

Our future is being put together by our daily routine. What we give our time and attention to dictates our emotional responses. And in life there are times when bad, unfair, unfortunate, and sad things happen that we don’t have control over, so why would we want to spend our time looking for unhappiness or feeling dissatisfied? Our behavior – our conversations – our thoughts – become habits. And those habits become our life.

Life isn’t black and white. It’s full of colors and options to pick from, and we owe it to ourselves to identify and focus on the things that bring us the most satisfaction.

Each today is creating our tomorrow. We have choice in every moment.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn & Instagram

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

Redefining Beauty

Redefining Beauty

Redefining Beauty

Redefining Beauty & Finding Balance – Considering what matters when discussing beauty and recognizing how the images we see and the words we hear impact our wellbeing.


In late 2018 I was in Los Angeles attending a conference. At one of the evening events I was introduced to a man on the board of a popular direct-to-consumer beauty company. He asked me about Genuine Glow and when I described how we take a positive approach to beauty and what that means, he said, “I don’t understand how you can sell a beauty product to women without making them feel bad about themselves?” I was taken aback, and we had another few minutes of conversation where I tried to explain further. It resulted in him stating, “Yeah, I just don’t get it.”

To exacerbate the situation, the man saying this was under 40 years old. This wasn’t an industry veteran who was outdated in his thinking; this was someone who I thought should know better because he’s on the board of a millennial geared brand.

Part of the challenge that comes with explaining what a ‘positive approach to beauty’ means is getting someone to recognize that it’s not telling people to stop caring about their appearance. Simply stated, it’s proclaiming no one should be made to feel bad about their appearance.

Beauty should be viewed as a tool to show your best self. With the emphasis on your best self, not someone else’s version of beauty. Certainly no one should hold back sharing their gifts and talents with the world because of insecurity surrounding how they look.

Yet in commercials, advertising, on social media, and even in the conversations we have with one another, we have an image of what beauty is and how women in particular are meant to look. And this has had a detrimental effect on our psyche. We’ve been conditioned to put so much emphasis on outer beauty.

According to a recent Time magazine article, Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years. But you wouldn’t guess it by viewing traditional advertising. There are a plethora of ads showing us that dewy and wrinkle free skin will be enough to put a smile on our faces. A January 2020 article in the Harvard Business Review showed how a team at the University of Warwick compared ‘life satisfaction’ data for almost 1 million people across 27 European countries. They compared this data with the annual advertising spend within those countries at the same time. The findings showed that there was a negative relationship between feelings of satisfaction and advertising. The higher the advertising spend, the less satisfied the people became.

Advertising, when it comes to our mental health is remarkably unregulated. With a society so focused on wellness and much more open about mental health than ever before, you would assume we would pay closer attention to the words we hear and the images we see. As well as being better informed about how they can tap into our insecurities.

We need to challenge our own beliefs when it comes to beauty standards and reprioritize what we consider to be beautiful, because low self-esteem is an epidemic. Wanting to look your best and taking steps to change your appearance shouldn’t cost you your confidence. We can still buy products and get services to help us look younger, like we sleep 8 hours a night, have a bright complexion, amazing eyelashes, shiny hair, whatever we want… but we can’t pretend that these things provide us with long-lasting happiness, they give us a temporary boost at best. Happiness based on appearance alone is fleeting.

While we all know that someone’s outside doesn’t equal their inside, the images we’re inundated with seem to prioritize visual beauty above most things.

I’m not making an argument for ignoring how you look or to stop paying attention to someone’s outside appearance, but I am asking that we question if these beauty beliefs are serving us, or holding us back? When you look in the mirror, do you see someone worthy of good things or do you look at what you want to cover up or change? Do you spend more time critique or complimenting yourself?

Isn’t it time we put the spotlight on inner beauty and appreciating whole, balanced people – or at least the people who are working to get there? I’d love to see and hear about people on their journey to peace and wellbeing and watch how their confidence shifts. To see how their day-to-day life has benefitted from their inner beauty discovery. But right now a lot of us are still operating with an incorrect “Once I have” philosophy. I’ve been a victim of it myself.

Once I have clear skin…

Once I lose weight…

Once I have (fill in the blank)… I will be better than I am now.

And while it’s true that any of these outside changes can be the catalyst for self-improvement, it’s only because we have tied our happiness to it, so we think we need this outside change first to feel good. People who believe a woman needs to feel bad to care about how she looks have conditioned us. When really all that feeling bad about our appearance does, is continue this “once I have” loop. It prevents us from possibility and opportunity because we’re so caught up in not being enough as we are.

So consider what matters when discussing beauty. Recognize and vocalize that it’s much more than outer beauty. Most likely you’ll find that people thriving in life, also take pride in their appearance because that’s what a positive approach to beauty is. It is showing a healthy respect you yourself.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn 

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

♦ Note: Genuine Glow is a brand meant to complement your lifestyle. Our company and employees views do not necessarily reflect or agree with every article we publish. We do however believe that open communication and honest expression is a beneficial tool that can be used for healing, growth, and connection.

My Brand Story

My Brand Story

Nicki Carrea - My Brand Story

My Brand Story – The evolution of Genuine Glow


As an avid traveler who has been everywhere from Ethiopia to Beverly Hills, I’ve been able to see a plethora of beauty routines first-hand.

But it was the amazing skin of people who primarily used natural and organic ingredients that always stood out to me. After 10 years of working a fast-paced and stressful job for a Fortune 500 company, I started having my own skin issues like cystic acne, hyperpigmentation, a dull complexion, and scaly stress patches. So I decided to turn to natural and healthy ingredients to improve my complexion, but had trouble locating products that were both an easy and clean solution. It’s not that they didn’t exist, but it was tricky to narrow down all the messaging and isolate 1 product that offered results instead of just being ‘natural.”

Talking to holistic practitioners, dermatologists, and through my own independent study, I identified the core nutrients the skin needs to become its healthiest version. After partnering with an organic farm on the West Coast, the first Genuine Glow exfoliator (Brio) was born out of the knowledge that healthy food and healthy eating are the foundation for overall physical health; therefore healthy skin care ingredients are the foundation for overall skin health

After success running Genuine Glow as a small, local business, I was able to turn Genuine Glow into my full time job and expand the company. In the first few years Genuine Glow received some notable mentions in magazines and blogs and was nominated for 3 CEW Beauty Awards (Best New Indie Skin Care, Best New Cleanser/Scrub (Brio), and Best New Indie Beauty Brand) as well as being mentioned as a Top 50 breakthrough beauty brand.

Just as it felt like Genuine Glow was taking off by landing a contract with Ipsy, my Mom suddenly passed away and I had to step away from what I built. If you’ve ever lost someone incredibly close to you, you know it shakes you at your core. You aren’t the same person anymore. Your priorities shift – and mine did, so I needed to take time to heal and really evaluate what my priorities now were, and what would be the next step for me.

In May 2019 I started to become deliberate about what I wanted to do next and what was important to me, and I decided to rebrand Genuine Glow as an inside-outside beauty company. While we still manufacture our hero product (Brio Exfoliator) because it’s an incredibly effective product that delivers results, it’s paired with an equal focus on inner wellbeing. I’ve learned it’s impossible to discuss true beauty without acknowledging the importance of our mental health and wellbeing.

On the outside my Mom was beautiful and successful, but she suffered from depression for years. And after she passed away, I experienced my own struggle with depression. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people over the age of 12 take anti-depressants, and it’s been reported that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years.

Because of my years in the beauty industry as a customer and brand owner, I’ve witnessed how the images we see and the words we hear effect our psyche; and it’s my mission to promote the importance of recognizing inner beauty when it relates to what we as a society consider to be beautiful. We can’t operate as if a lipstick shade, rosy cheeks, an ideal weight, or a great selfie are enough for us to achieve happiness and satisfaction.

Rebuilding Genuine Glow from the ground up, Brio’s packaging colors were chosen because they promote confidence. The light citrus scent of the exfoliator has been proven to make people feel happy, and exfoliating is one of the easiest things we can do to improve our complexion. On top of that we take a positive approach to explaining our skin care and refrain from using words traditionally seen in beauty advertising that can promote self-doubt and insecurity. No one should hold back from sharing their gifts and talents with the world because of insecurity. Lastly I launched a blog that highlights stories of connection so there’s a dedicated focus on the things that matter – the things that connect us. It’s a place for people to read personal essays, contribute their own stories, and feel a sense of community.

Now in our 5th year, Genuine Glow is ready to expand our message, audience and reach!

Nicki Carrea - Fortune 500 recording sessionNicki Carrea - Corporate World Nicki Carrea - adventures around the worldNicki Carrea travelingBrio's early days Nicki Carrea - Genuine Glow 2015 event Start of Genuine GlowGenuine Glow Beauty Awards      Brio Face Polish Genuine Glow icon  Brio Face Polish


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn 

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

The Second Wave of Grief

The Second Wave of Grief

First you lose your loved one, then you lose yourself. A personal essay about grief.


My Mom died two and a half years ago. It was sudden. Without warning she went into cardiac arrest in her home early on a Monday morning. Although I remember everything from that day, it took me several hours to actually understand what was happening – that she was dead. That this was permanent.

Once your brain is able to process that you have lost someone extremely close to you, like a parent, the world turns gray. Just like that, in an instant. Everything loses its color and vibrancy. I have had very close family members die, like my grandparents, and I have mourned and missed them. But something different happens when you lose someone who was a part of you, your foundation breaks.

The pieces that made you who you are, are shattered. It is as if a bomb exploded inside of you and your soul, your spirit, your heart, your brain – everything about you is in too many pieces to put back together.

I remember thinking that I would never be able to feel happiness. I could not imagine ever being able to laugh, enjoy, or feel excitement again. And it does stay like that for a while. But slowly emotions begin to return. You find yourself enjoying a TV show, or laughing on a phone call with a friend. You experience the necessary firsts. The first birthdays, holidays, and everything in between without your loved one. You are told the first year is always the hardest, and you believe it.

As more time passes your new routine becomes habit, and you manage better every day. The tears lessen, you can speak about your loved one without as much sadness, and you begin to notice there are parts of you healing. You have made it through your first year.

But a new form of grief arises. One that no one warns you about and it was not mentioned in the bereavement books you read. This time you have to grieve yourself, or rather the person you used to be.

The pieces of you that were shattered have been stitched back together, but not all of them back in the same place as before. You realize you are fundamentally different. You probably look the same, you may even seem the same to friends and family, but on the inside you are a new person.

Your reactions to situations are different. Priorities have been rearranged. There are some things you no longer care about, and new things that cause your emotions to stir. Relationships with people you have known for years may now seem hollow, and you crave a deeper connection than that relationship can provide. You talk to some close friends less than before. An extreme sensitivity to certain topics is awakened in you, but there is also dismissiveness to things you once tolerated. Preferences and interests change. You are essentially relearning life – relearning who you are – all over again.

I was not prepared for this side effect after my Mom’s death, this second wave of grief. I did not know I would have to figure out my emotional responses to everyday situations all over again, and I mourned who I used to be. I mourned the carefree version of myself who never seemed to have a worry. The person who assumed everything would work out. The person who enjoyed adventure more than companionship, and who seemingly had more friendship options because depth of character was not as important as it is now. The person who was not as sensitive to death, illness, suffering, or inequality in the world. The person who infrequently cried. The person who did not know how temporary life actually is.

In many ways this relearning can be positive once you are able to regain your footing. Ultimately our choices become more precious and our priorities become clearer.

When your life has been hit with loss, you understand there is pain that comes with it and you can share what you are feeling with others. Once the established ‘appropriate amount of time’ has passed and people stop asking how you are, that is when you realize you are not the same. Experiences and once common happenings feel different. Your reaction, your feelings, and your emotional responses are new and unknown to you. You cannot trust that the life you had built for yourself will provide you with what you need. You cannot expect your old life to bring you new forms of satisfaction. And you cannot predict how you will feel about anything until you are feeling it. You have to mourn the old you and accept this new version. Accept that at your center of being, at your core, you are changed forever.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn 

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: Website, Instagram, Facebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

♦ Note: Genuine Glow is a brand meant to complement your lifestyle. Our company and employees views do not necessarily reflect or agree with every article we publish. We do however believe that open communication and honest expression is a beneficial tool that can be used for healing, growth, and connection.

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