Understanding The Correlation Between Mental Health & Beauty Routines

Understand how your mind and skin are connected

By Nicole McCray

January 6 2022

Have you ever noticed that your skin has a sneaky habit of showing how you’re feeling on the inside? If you’ve ever gone pale with fear or turned red from embarrassment, you know exactly what we’re talking about. 

But our skin doesn’t just change color according to our emotions, it also reflects our mental health. Most of us have experienced stress, anxiety, or depression at some point in our lives. And when you’re feeling down, even simple tasks can become a struggle.

Today, we’re explaining the connection between the skin and our mental health. We’re also going to explore the various ways your beauty routine can support your mental health and how to establish routines that work for you.

Let’s dive in.

The Mind and Your Skin: How Are They Connected?

We all have moods and skin, so it is important to understand how they’re connected. The mind-skin connection runs deep… all the way back to skin-to-skin contact between a parent and newborn baby. All it takes is a glance in the mirror to see how our skin health suffers in times of stress and trauma.

The human body is an amazing machine, and just like any machine, when one part isn’t functioning efficiently, the entire body suffers. From the immune system to the digestive system, when our mental health is struggling, all other major systems of the body struggle as well.

This downward spiral in overall health can dramatically impact the skin’s ability to remain healthy. According to anti-ageing gurus at Peachy in NYC, stress can also contribute to premature ageing and poor skin health by raising cortisol levels in the body. 

Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes a breakdown of elastin and collagen in the skin. This can accelerate the signs of ageing and the formation of wrinkles. Elevated cortisol also triggers inflammation, so issues like acne, dark circles, and psoriasis are often made worse by emotional stress.

So, to keep our skin looking healthy, our minds need to be healthy too!

Five Ways Your Beauty Routine Supports Your Mental Health

Struggling with skin issues is enough to make anyone depressed, let alone when you are already coping with mental health issues. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when your skin looks unhealthy. But, when your skin looks good, it can help you start feeling good.

Here’s how your beauty routine can support your mental health:

Beauty Routines Can Help Manage Stress and Anxiety

The simple act of slowing down and doing something methodical and calming can help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious, sit down and do your makeup, cleanse your face, close your eyes while a mask does its thing, or apply a luxurious moisturizer to your body. You may be surprised to find out how much these simple self-care routines can help you shed stress and anxiety.

Beauty Routines Boost Self-Confidence

One of the most magical things about skincare and beauty routines is that they can help you look pulled together even when you’re not feeling pulled together. Restoring radiance to your skin, brightening your eyes, and hiding your blemishes can increase your self-confidence just by looking in the mirror.

In fact, research shows that wearing makeup not only boosts a woman’s confidence it also helps her feel smarter and perform better.

Skincare Routines Provide a Sense of Control and Stability

When everything else in your life seems out of control, performing your skincare routine is like a sanctuary where you have total control over what happens and how. This sense of control helps ease stress and provides a sense of stability to your day.

In times of extreme stress or trauma, your skincare routine is one thing you can count on. Every step provides comfort, almost like a security blanket. In essence, your skincare routine can be an effective and healthy coping mechanism when everything around you is chaos.

Beauty Routines Can Ease the Symptoms of Depression

Of course, if you’re struggling with depression, you should talk to your doctor right away. But you may also benefit from mindful, focused beauty routines. Here’s why.

Whether you’re going through a major trauma, a rough patch, or just feeling the blues, your beauty routine can provide comfort. According to mental health experts, doing something that feels good and is productive can help you pull yourself out of a negative loop.

Our brains can sometimes dwell on negative thoughts and emotions, but focusing on something you enjoy can pull you out of that negative space. It can also stop the worry spiral that triggers anxiety and help you get back in a positive and productive mindset.

Self-Care Boosts Your Mood

Whether it’s the simple act of massaging your face or taking the time to apply a luxurious mask, caring for yourself is a great way to boost your mood. Relaxation reduces stress and tells the brain it’s ok to feel calm and mellow.

But planning and anticipating a facial or some other act of self-care is even more impactful. Studies show that anticipation of happy events triggers the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain.

Creating a Beauty Routine That Benefits Your Mental Health

So, how do you create a skincare and beauty routine that benefits your mental health? Well, the answer will be a little different for everyone. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

What’s most important is that you enjoy it, and you see positive results. Choose products that make you feel good and work for your skin. For most, that will mean choosing clean, plant-based products that are formulated for your skin type.

Remembering that taking care of your skin is also a win for your mental health will help you stick to it. But if you find it challenging to stick to a routine, incorporate one step at a time until it becomes a habit you look forward to every day.

 Yes, it’s really that simple.

Wrapping Up: Caring for Yourself is an Act of Kindness

The world is such a stressful place. While it’s tempting to lay in front of the TV every night and get up at the last minute in the morning, taking just a few minutes for skincare and makeup sends a powerful message. It says, “I’m worth it!” and nothing is more important for your mental health than that.

So, the next time you find yourself rushing through your skincare routine, take a pause. Take the time to slow down and enjoy the process. You may find it does so much more than simply improving the way your skin looks.