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The Link Between Mental and Emotional Health and Skin Care

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Feb 13th 2024

The Link Between Mental and Emotional Health and Skin Care

Many people start taking care of their skin (or motivate themselves to keep up with their skin care) for cosmetic reasons. Sure, we all want to look our best with youthful, smooth, glowing skin, and that’s a great reason to make skin health a priority, but skin care is so much more than a way to look good. It’s intricately tied to your health throughout your body, and that includes your brain. In fact, your mental and emotional wellbeing is richly connected to your skin care.

How do your mental and emotional health affect your skin care (and vice versa)? Let’s explore the connection and how you can better your skin health and mental health at the same time.

How Mental Health Affects Skin Care

For most people, mental health ebbs and flows at different times in our lives, whether you have a mental illness or you’re just coping with the ups and downs of life. All those shifts can have an impact on your skin health.

The Motivation to Maintain Your Routine

When your mental or emotional health isn’t in a good place, it can be a struggle to just do the basics of self-care like showering, eating, and drinking water. Following a religious skin care routine twice a day in times like this feels out of the question. As a result, your skin health starts to suffer.

Keeping Skin Conditions Under Control

If you have chronic skin conditions, especially conditions linked to inflammation like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, you may have already noticed that your symptoms align with your mental health. When you’re struggling with anxiety or other negative emotional challenges, this stress can affect your immune system in a way that triggers inflammation and makes your skin symptoms worse.

How Skin Care Affects Mental Health

As much as your mental and emotional health will impact your skin health, the opposite is true too. You might be surprised at the positive impact that a little skin care can have on your mental health.

Taking Time for Yourself

The simple act of setting aside a little time to do something for yourself can be incredibly healing and rewarding. Whether you’re spending all your time caring for others or you’re struggling with feelings of low self-worth, that little bit of time you spend making life a little better for yourself can be a restorative way to feel more in control and more positive. As an added bonus, skin care is soothing and peaceful for many people, and the mindfulness and relaxation that comes from this time to yourself is a great way to ease stress and anxiety.

Enhancing Your Sleep

Sleep is one of the most foundational essentials for better mental health (and physical health too, for that matter), and skin care could actually help you sleep better. Following a relaxing skin care routine before bed every night can soothe you and set you up for a better night’s sleep. As this becomes a habit, your nighttime skin care ritual will also cue your brain that it’s time for sleep, helping you to get to sleep faster.

Growing Your Confidence

There’s nothing superficial about wanting to look good. We all want to feel confident in our appearance! Your skin care habits can improve the way your skin looks, growing your confidence and giving you a more positive outlook day to day. But here’s something even better: you don’t have to wait for those skin care results to start appearing before you get a confidence boost. When you’re keeping up with your skin care, you’ll feel better about yourself just knowing that you’re developing healthy habits and are doing something good for yourself.

What You Can Do to Benefit Your Emotional Wellbeing and Skin Health at the Same Time

Because skin care and mental health have so many links, it means that working on one of these is likely to help the other one too. My recommendation? Establish a low-pressure skin care routine for yourself.

This can be very simple: just using cleanser and a moisturizing sunscreen in the morning, then cleanser and moisturizer at night. You can even start with only mornings and work your way up. Create a reminder or some other way to encourage yourself to do it every day, but don’t beat yourself up when you miss a session or two.

It’s all about waterfalls – you start with a little healthy habit here or there, and when you start seeing and enjoying the results, you can build on one more healthy habit and then another and another. Something as simple as using two skin care products twice a day can help you make time for yourself and your emotional health, hopefully paving the way for more and more self-care.

Give it a try today. You won’t regret giving yourself the gift of a little time, peace, health, and confidence.