⟨ Misc ⟩

What spurred my epiphany?

Less

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Courtesy of Less
Translation / Nicole Go

天然的更好,但天然的又不一定都好。身體比心反應要快,或者不是快慢,是坦誠很多。
擦損了能用衣服遮蓋,然後努力不被發現,但洗澡時還是會痛到流淚。那是小時候一個下午了。身體都知道的。

如果皮膚就是堡壘,「你現在就像是,一個城堡外本來每一格都要有一個士兵,但你只有幾個圍著整座城堡。」也就是某種具象化。

所以最近是哪點讓我打開了門呢?大概是一直以為只是為了更好才會需要的額外,卻原來是最基本。世界觀便狠狠地扭轉了。他們只有face oil和潔淨泥兩款保養品,非常簡。創辦人Dr. David Scherf說,皮膚其實不需要cream類型的東西,用這一瓶油就夠了。

Natural is better. But then again, natural isn’t necessarily better. The body responds faster than the heart, or rather not faster, but more honest.

Cuts and grazes are easily concealed by clothing. Once you’re in the shower, though, you’d still weep in pain. That was one afternoon from my childhood memories. My body already knew.

If the skin is like a castle, to put it metaphorically, “Battlements must be defended. Your skin, as it is now, is a bare fortification.”

What spurred my epiphany? Perhaps the understanding that what we deem superfluous in our pursuit of the better is, in fact, the very basics. That completely changed the way I saw the world. A maximal minimalist, Less boats a skincare line of just two products – cleansing clay and face oil. According to founder Dr. David Scherf, our skin does not benefit from the excessive use of creams and lotions. All we need is a bottle of oil.

洗澡後臉也濕潤了,輕輕印走水份,拿掌心當勺子,盛幾滴水,下幾滴油,雙手搓勻,看到水油很快和成半透明很薄一層乳白,再慢慢按摩臉上。然而剛開始不是這樣的,油沒先下在手心,而是落在濕潤臉上,畫面有點滑稽,好幾天都在一種「這樣做對了嗎」的狐疑裡。每天起來看看身體變化,她變我也跟著調整一點點,再一點點,每次都,像舞步,帶我走回什麼都不懂的時候。就在用掉一瓶後的某天才發現,因為用的很少,就這一個,卻照顧自己多了。

是多一滴油、還是少一滴水,可能只是很小的不同,每人也有每人最好的用法,像料理啊。
有時候身體未準備好,即使只一兩天之差,也是太早。等待是不斷的練習。偶爾會對空氣問,為什麼為了痊癒就必要先再割破受傷?

「你要聰明一點、要找到訣竅嘛。」

那訣竅是不是,
像同樣是咖啡,放到不同人肚子裡,反應也就不同,我的必需也可能是你的不合。
我嗅到了濃厚的雲呢拿雪糕混和著甜酒,而你皺著眉說你嗅到了苦茶味道啊。然後我笑了。
曾經對我來說也是苦茶呢。

Rumi — “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

曾經覺得那是世界撒下的訊號,但那也可能是我嗎。在更早更早之前。
這,就是那訣竅嗎。

After shower, the skin is still moist. Gently dab the face to remove excessive moisture. Add a half to a full pipette of Less face oil to the palms and gently massage it into the wet face. The face oil mixes with the water and both are quickly absorbed by the skin. Though, it wasn’t like that for me at first; I made the rookie mistake of applying the oil straight to my wet face. It’s funny to live in a constant state of self-doubt: “Am I doing this right?” Every morning when I woke up, I looked for signs of change in my body and adjusted my Less ritual accordingly, tangoing my way back to childlike ignorance. The day I finished a bottle of oil, I realised: it’s so little that I use, but what a difference it makes to my virtually non-existent self-care.

A pipette of oil more, or a drop of water less – these are minuscule adjustments that define everyone’s favourite recipes. Indeed, skincare is very much like cooking.

The body ebbs and flows. When our body doesn’t feel ready, even a day or two is still too early and too much to ask. To wait, then, is to practice. Sometimes I wonder: why must we get hurt in order to heal?

“You have to wise up – find the trick.”

Is the trick:
Like coffee as an acquired taste; what I need, you may detest.
I can smell a hint of baileys in my vanilla ice cream. You frown at the bitterness. I laugh.
I used to find it bitter, too.

Rumi: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

I used to think that’s a sign from the universe for me. But, maybe, it was also a sign from myself – a long time ago.
So, is this the trick?