Have you ever felt like you’re in a place where you don’t feel good, so you don’t take good care of your skin, then it starts to get dry or you breakout? One of the most common issues I found with my routine was that, after developing a keen interest in skincare, to the point where I had a different 10-step routine for my face and body for each day of the week; something needed to change. I needed simplicity while not skimping to get positives from the products I used. This is one of the reasons I decided to start Oyoma Beauty Co.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it’s no surprise that what you put on it can have an effect on your overall health – including your mental health. In fact, studies have shown that there is a strong connection between skincare and mental health .
For example, a study concluded in 2021 showed a 50% decrease in self-satisfaction and increased irritability due to decreased ability to maintain cosmetic routines ; an eight-week study conducted in 2020 examined the importance of skin care and how mental health was impacted when people with adult breakouts followed a simple three-step skincare routine. Participants experienced significantly reduced stress levels by the end of the study. Specifically, cortisol (the stress hormone) levels decreased by 83%, and participants reported feeling 76% more confident taking a selfie . Even the FDA is asking pharmaceutical companies to include improvement in QoL scores in dermatology trials .
So, what is it about skincare that can have such a profound effect on our mental health? Let’s take a closer look at the connection, and how we can use simple routines to improve our well-being.
The connection between skincare and mental health
5 ways skincare and skincare routines improve mental health
- Taking time to complete any routine provides an interruption to any spiralling thoughts; a skincare routine is ideal in that it also offers a calming experience and meditative or "quieting" tasks have been shown to decrease anxious or depressive thoughts .
- Skincare routines provide stability or an anchor to your day; mini rituals can be self-soothing in themselves, provide motivation to complete or start the day well as well as boost your skin and give you a healthy glow
- You can trigger a pleasure response just from doing something kind to yourself, showing yourself some love
- Skincare routines provide bonding opportunities with loved ones and even (in this influencer-led age of social sharing) with wider communities over the internet and in real life
- Finally and most obviously, when you’re consistently using the right products for your delicate skin, the effects of your routine can boost self-esteem and confidence
It’s not just the physical act of taking care of your skin that can have an impact on your mental health – it’s also the ingredients in the products you use. For example, many skincare products contain antioxidants, which have been shown to protect against some of the negative effects of stress. It may seem tenuous, but stress can cause inflammation in the body, and antioxidants help to reduce this inflammation - many skincare products contain compounds that interfere with the body’s metabolism and general function which can disrupt ‘normal’ response in the neural and physical networks of the body. So, next time you’re feeling stressed, take a moment, reach for your favourite skin products (ours are here of course) and give yourself a mini massage. The physical and mental benefits will be worth it!
Still not convinced?
Here are a few benefits of incorporating a skincare routine into your life:
- You’ll sleep better: Caring for your skin before bed can help you to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep. This is because it gives you a chance to relax and unplug from the day’s stressors.
- You’ll have more energy: A good skincare routine can help to wake you up in the morning and give you a boost of energy. This is because it helps to stimulate blood flow and increase oxygenation to the skin.
- You’ll protect your skin from the environmental factors: A regular skincare routine can help to protect your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and pollution. This can help to keep your skin looking young and radiant.
- You’ll feel more relaxed: Caring for your skin can be a form of self-care, and this can help you to feel more relaxed and at ease. This is because it gives you a chance to focus on your own well-being and take a break from the day-to-day stressors.
The importance of self-care
Self-care is any activity that you do intentionally to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s important to make time for self-care, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. So, if you’re looking for a way to relax and unwind, consider adding a skincare routine to your self-care repertoire. You may be surprised by the positive effects it has on your mental health.
To wrap things up
Skincare is more than just a way to take care of your physical appearance – the ingredients in skincare products, the act of taking care of your skin, and the benefits of a good skincare routine can all contribute to a better sense of well-being. If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental health, consider adding a skincare routine to your self-care repertoire. You may be surprised by the positive effects it has on your mood and stress levels. And if you do feel your skin is having a negative effect on your mental health, it’s important to seek guidance from your primary healthcare provider.
Megan Sander MD et al, 2020 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759112)
Suchana Marahatta et al, 2021 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8446951)
Cezary Skobowiat et al, 2020 (https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(20)31533-5/fulltext)
Dr. Woolery-Lloyd via Kayla Greaves, 2019 (https://www.instyle.com/beauty/skin-conditions-skincare-mental-health)
Dr. Sanam Hafeez via Kate Dilen, 2021 (https://www.byrdie.com/skincare-self-care-5092789)