This week I want to draw attention to the connection between how you feel about your skin and your mental health. The beauty industry is often seen as an area of frivolity, one that lacks real importance or the weight of others. However, the way that we feel about ourselves has a huge impact on our overall wellbeing and how we live our lives. Having what we consider as a ‘bad’ skin day can be all-encompassing. Not only can it impact your entire day, but long-term anxiety or negative feelings about your appearance can also lower your self-esteem and chip away at your confidence.
When I created The Skin Nerd, one of my main aims was to empower hoomans to feel good in their skin. Here are some practical tips on how to give your confidence a boost that will radiate from your skin.
Learning how to manage stress will benefit your mental and skin health. Have you ever noticed how just before a date or job interview you wake up with a fresh new spot? This is due to our brain-to-skin connection and the fact that stress can have an impact on the body and mind. When we are stressed, our body responds by producing cortisol (the stress hormone), which is useful in low doses for stress management but can cause the skin to misbehave when levels rise too much over a prolonged period. This can produce an overproduction of oil, leading to blemishes (precisely at the time you don’t want them). It is also well documented that anxiety can worsen inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea, with a study by The National Rosacea Society finding that 79% of rosacea patients cited emotional stress as a common trigger for flare-ups.* Learning how to cope with stress and keeping it to a minimum can make a difference to how you feel and the impact it has on your skin. Practising reading whilst doing skincare, reading and meditation works for me, but you need to find what allows you to quieten your mind and make sure you do this regularly.
I have discovered that maintaining a positive headspace and thinking about your skin’s health, and not just the way it looks, can help when it comes to how you feel about your appearance. Your skin is an organ, with an important job to do and by taking a moment to respect the amazing function it serves, you can approach it with a healthier mindset. I also take a pro-ageing approach to getting older. Rethinking outdated beauty concepts of endless youthfulness is easier said than done when we live in an appearance fueled world but looking for solutions to accelerated ageing is more realistic than attempting to stop the clock.
The structure of a daily routine has been recognised by mental health professionals as having the ability to alleviate anxiety and subsequently, a good skincare routine is thought to be beneficial as a stress-relieving strategy. Taking time to invest in practices and products that benefit your skin will help to promote your skin health and allows you to make a habit out of the soothing, repetitive motions of applying your skincare products. Night-time is the ideal time to indulge in more sophisticated routine and may help to aid emotional relaxation before bed.
Self-care has become a primary focus this year, with social media highlighting the rise of dedicated ‘self-care weekends,’ which have no doubt been amplified by the pandemic.** Running parallel to this, skincare tools and devices such as facial steamers and massagers have seen a surge in popularity as has the home spa. Creating a comforting sanctuary in which to cleanse and treat your skin helps you work towards your skincare goals in an enjoyable way and allows you respite from the demands of a busy day. I recommend arming yourself with a face mask, a luxurious facial oil and a facial roller for multi-sensory indulgence.
The right products and regime can lift your confidence but if you have a skin issue that is getting you down, it is important to seek expert advice rather than trying to diagnose and treat your own skin. I created my online consultancy, The Skin Nerd, to provide one-to-one, personalised advice, which allows clients to build trust and ask questions, before investing time and money into a skincare regime that may not work for them. Our team of Skin Nerds are always on hand to provide consultations, nerdie advice and help you find products that work for your skin.
Depuff and de-stress your skin with Afterspa Jade Facial Roller, which boosts blood circulation, reduces swelling and helps your skincare products to penetrate the skin more deeply. Featuring two stones of different sizes, this tool can be used on the delicate area under the eyes too. For an extra cooling treat, store this in the fridge overnight and use it with your eye product in the morning.
Afterspa Jade Facial Roller, €16.95, theskinnerd.com