5 Ways a Skin-Care Routine Benefits Mental Health

2. Focusing on Doing Something Nice for Yourself Helps Stop a Worry Spiral

You might find that certain times of the day can trigger intrusive thoughts, but you can break the negative thoughts with self-care. “Patients who experience anxiety and depression often report that their condition is exacerbated 30 minutes to one hour before bed. This is when they have more idle time, which increases worry for a lot of people,” says Traube. It’s when you’re engaged in an activity, including washing, toning, and moisturizing your face that you can get out of your head and focus on what you’re doing. (This goes for any activity that keeps you busy, like working on a new project, cooking dinner, or walking your dog around the neighborhood.)

The act of caring for your skin additionally provides an opportunity for mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you home in on sensations you’re experiencing in the present moment without passing judgment (the soothing feel of warm water, for instance). This practice has been shown to buffer depression and anxiety by stopping worry and rumination, according to a study on more than 1,100 adults published in March 2019 in Frontiers in Psychology. “By engaging in this activity for a few minutes, you can help your brain unhook from less healthy, spiraling thinking patterns,” says Traube.

3. Pampering Skin on a Regular Basis Triggers a Cascade of Chemicals in Your Brain to Boost Your Mood

Create a routine that feels good and includes products that you enjoy using. For example, don’t underestimate the impact of gently massaging skin with a warm washcloth to cleanse, taking extra time to smooth a silky moisturizer on your face, or applying a mask. You can even turn this into an evening event like Melanie Moreno, head of aesthetics at Mario Tricoci in Chicago, does: “Caring for my skin during quarantine has definitely given me something to look forward to. My significant other and I like to set the mood when we do at-home facials by lighting some candles, having a glass of wine, and playing some relaxing tunes while we let our mask sit,” she says.

Now that many people are experimenting with at-home facial treatments, like masks and peels, Joyce Davis, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, recommends sticking with a mask if you’d like a more concentrated skin treatment. “Masks are safer at this time. There is more of a risk of experiencing a skin reaction to a peel, and at this time, you can’t rely on going to a dermatologist to get you out of a problem,” she says. Generally, masks are gentler and can help temporarily plump the skin to give you a youthful, refreshed appearance.

The experience of an at-home facial or treatment is certainly comforting, but you also get a lot of fulfillment just planning for it. “Anticipation of happy events releases feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain,” says Traube. Expecting positive events has also been shown to activate a certain area of the prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with a sense of well-being, according to a study published in January 2018 in Frontiers in Psychology. It’s a natural little high for something so simple.

This is one reason why baths are so inherently calming. First, you expect to feel relaxed as you lower into one, and second, the warm water is naturally relaxing to muscles. “Physical relaxation sends your brain the message that it’s time to be calm and mellow, reducing the fight-or-flight stress response,” says Traube.

To make your bath an act of self-care that improves your skin health at the same time, add oatmeal to the water, suggests Dr. Davis. Look for packets of colloidal oatmeal, which eases irritated skin in eczema, psoriasis, and generally dry skin. Soak for 10 minutes, she suggests.

RELATED: 10 DIY Remedies for Dry Skin

4. Skin Care Provides a Chance to Bond With Loved Ones — and That’s a Boon to Mental Health

Moreno and her partner are onto something with their mask routine. In general, spending this concentrated time with loved ones pursuing hobbies and enjoyable activities is linked to greater levels of happiness, according to a study published in May 2018 in the journal Psychological Science. In a time when it may feel as if you’re too close for comfort with the other members of your household, you can carve out meaningful time together that will bolster your sense of personal satisfaction and family bond.

Dr. Ilyas has seen this play out in her life, too. “One key step to this process lately for me is sharing this routine with my teenage kids,” she says. “I find that at this time, with less direct social interaction, spending my self-care time with my kids is so much more effective in achieving the ultimate goal of self-care — a balance of physical and mental well-being,” she says.

You can make this a fun experience for everyone, too. There’s no need to purchase a case of new products. Instead, focus on those that you already have at home that you love. Or, you can hunt for some skin-friendly ingredients in your pantry for a DIY mask, like coconut oil, mashed avocado, or a milk compress and turn this into a fun, bonding event.

5. Caring for Your Skin Is an Act of Kindness That Sends a Powerful Message

Right now, the world is a stressful place. So it might feel tempting to watch TV late into the night and then roll into bed without so much as splashing your face with water — you’re just too tired. But what if, instead, you focused on taking care of yourself in this small way. By spending five extra minutes to treat your skin, you’re sending a message: “I’m worth it,” says Traube. This is akin to the perk you might get when you swipe on a coat of mascara in the morning, apply color on your cheeks to make them pop, or smooth on that tinted moisturizer that makes your skin glow.

What might be one of the more impactful steps is finding a moisturizer that you really love. (Some things to consider: Does it feel good going onto your skin? Does it smell pleasant? Does your skin feel good after?) “Moisturizing serves to improve the overall look and appearance of the skin, while also restoring and maintaining the skin’s function as a barrier to the environment. It also helps improve circulation to the skin, which can help better your general sense of well-being,” says Ilyas.

RELATED: How to Start a Self-Care Routine You’ll Follow

Why Self-Care, Including When It Comes to Your Skin, Is So Important Now

There are numerous ways to practice self-care, but focusing your efforts on improving skin health pays off for your mental and emotional health, too — and that’s critical in the time of COVID-19. “I find that there is a direct correlation between my skin-care routine and my mood,” says Moreno. “Taking the time to nurture my skin affects my mind and body. It boosts my confidence and gives me a sense of control over how my day will go.”

[The effectiveness of beauty care on self-rated health among community-dwelling older people]

Aim: The maintenance and improvement of self-rated health is important for prolonging healthy life expectancy in a well-aged society. In the present study, we examined the effectiveness of beauty care on self-rated health among community-dwelling older people through a quasi- randomized controlled trial by propensity score matching (PSM).

Method: One hundred twelve community-dwelling older people who were recruited from the local community, participated in a beauty care program that consisted of two training sessions per month for 3 months and daily enforcement of facial skin care (intervention group). Seven hundred fifty-nine participants who received a comprehensive geriatric assessment were treated as a control group. Sex, age, BMI, lifestyle habits, hand grip strength, walking speed, skeletal muscle mass, bone density, medical history and life function (Kihon Checklist) were matched by the PSM method. We compared the subjects' self-rated health, depressive mood status (self-rating depression scale: SDS), and the frequency of going outdoors in the intervention and control groups before and after intervention.

Results: The improvements of SDS were significantly greater in the intervention group than in the control group. The self-rated health and the frequency of going outdoors were maintained in the intervention group but were significantly decreased in the control group.

Conclusion: We conclude that beauty care is effective for maintaining and improving the self-rated health and depression status of community-dwelling older people and that it may help prolong healthy life expectancy.

The Importance of Having a Skin Care Routine

The skin is the largest organ your body has, yet many people neglect its care. Not only is healthy skin a big part of looking your best, but it also makes you look and feel healthier. The skin is exposed to the sun and environmental pollutants all of the time. Once damage is done, it can be difficult to reverse it. That is why a good skin care routine is important. The younger you are when you start it, the better, but it is never too late to establish healthy habits.

How to Start a Skin Care Routine

There are two basic steps that should go into every skin care routine, no matter how old you are. They are to cleanse and to moisturize. You will want to find a cleanser that is gentle for your skin while still helping to remove oil, dirt, makeup, etc. A good moisturizer acts as a barrier between your skin and the environmental things that can harm it.

Many people find it beneficial to add a third step to their basic routine, called “toning.” There are many toners out there, all with different goals. This step generally goes between cleansing and moisturizing.

To suit your specific needs, there are many products on the market that can be incorporated into your skin care routine. There are products out there aimed at oily, dry, or combination skin. Rather than just blindly pick and choose, it is a good idea to consult a professional to help you determine the products that will benefit your skin the most. You do not want to start too many things at one time, as this can damage the skin and make it difficult to tell what is working and what is not.

Benefits of a Skin Care Routine

Finding a good skin care routine has many benefits. Some of the top ones include:

It can slow down the signs of aging

Once it is established, it is easier to maintain

It boosts confidence – when you look good, you feel good

It keeps the skin healthy, which in turn keeps you healthier

Results can be dramatic if you stick with it

Taking care of your skin now can save you money down the road

It can encourage you to adopt other healthy routines and an overall healthy lifestyle

If you would like to learn more about what a good skin care routine for you looks like, the educated staff at Gold Skin Care Center would be more than happy to work with you. We offer ilissa by Gold, MD and Ben for Men skin care products at our office located in Nashville. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

Leave a Comment