Today I turn 25, and this is the first birthday of all of my birthdays where I actually became aware of the meaning of getting a bit older than I was before. Now don't laugh at me too hard when I use the term "older", because, well, I know I'm not exactly "old" yet. But, as I've learned in my 25 years on planet earth, time flies. Just yesterday I was celebrating my 16th birthday, and quite literally just a few months ago, I got my first tube of SPF because I became aware that sun damage is a terrible thing to experience in older age (or at any age for that matter). Now I spend good money on things like fancy probiotics and fitness classes, when in my younger years I'd far prefer to use that money in very different ways. When you start to grow a bit wiser in your years, you learn something of great value- your actions affect your life. For me, It became a necessity to take care of myself inside and out in my twenties because, In my thirties and forties and onward, It will hopefully be an easier, healthier aging process. Beauty starts on the inside, and shows on the outside, in more ways than one. Inner health, both physical and mental, are key. To not be afraid of the cliches of "aging", but to accept what It will one day become, and to supplement your life with healthy things so aging isn't some bad and scary thing.

At 25, I am happy to say that I feel internally beautiful- because the meaning of beauty isn't just about pimples and stretch marks you don't like on any given day. We all have those things, and those days.

It's about what and who you surround yourself with, what you put in your body, and how you educate yourself in the world of skincare, health, and overall wellness. It's about always striving to better yourself in this crazy world.

I am confident in my skin,  comfortable with what it means to be 25, comfortable to know that one day I will look back on my 25th birthday and feel like I was just a baby then and how much I've learned and grown since.

Photos by Jonathan Bar. They remain unaltered.