BY S. Smith | DECEMBER 2016
Our largest organ – our skin, keeps us protected from external factors but it also reveals our health condition and our overall wellbeing. Just think of a time when you were sleep deprived or extremely stressed at work: it surely resulted in eye circles, paleness, or ashy looking skin. The obvious connection between the mind and the body is what spawned a completely new interdisciplinary field called psychodermatology. Here are some ideas to to care for yourself both on the inside and outside while minding your mental balance during the busy holiday season.
Detoxifying your habits
If your regular day includes a hectic schedule and you seem to live your life on the go, it could be that the lack of time you devote to self-care results in piled up toxins. Just think about how many times you’ve decided to eat a burger or some other type of fast food because you don’t have the time for a decent meal. If you’re having problems with continuous fatigue, some gained pounds, or you’ve noticed sudden skin changes (e.g. acne or breakouts) during the winter months – it could indicate your body’s struggling with toxins.
There’s a number of detoxes that can help you purify your body, feel better, and improve your skin condition. Healthy nutrition doesn’t have to be tasteless, on the contrary. It just takes a bit more effort, but you have to listen to your body in order to provide it with what it needs – and it will reward you with both energy and beautiful skin. Water intake is also very important, so you need to keep it at optimal levels.
Choosing the right products
Picking the right kind of nourishing skincare formulas can be hard. Turn to natural ones that don’t contain chemicals that harm your skin: avoid sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and parabens. An increasing number of women turn to organic skincare to de-stress their skin and this choice has obvious reasons. In addition to this, try make sure you’re a responsible consumer: don’t buy animal tested products and do turn to brands known for their eco-conscious policies and support they show to the fair-trade system.
Choose reputable cruelty-free brands such as the natural skincare products that don’t contain preservatives and alcohol. There have been green campaigns organized to ban the usage of plastic microbeads in face exfoliators since they contain polyethylene and polypropylene which are harmful both for the environment and your health. Furthermore, chemicals such as triclocan, dioxane or preservatives BHA and BHT affect the marine ecosystems: what you wash down the drain matters if it reaches the aqua life. Even the Harvard Health pointed out these dangers, although the awareness is not fully present yet.
Exercise to manage stress
Stress affects your entire body, your skin included: increased levels of cortisol signal your skin to produce more oil, which makes it more prone to breakouts. It can make your current skin problems worse or disrupt your beauty routine. When we’re stressed, we get anxious so taking care of the skin and pampering isn’t at the top of the priority list.
The most effective way to get rid of stress is to exercise: in addition to many health benefits (e.g. weight control, heart strengthening, positive psychological effect, better overall health), it helps to bring brain chemistry in balance. When you start breaking a sweat, your body begins producing endorphins which are natural painkillers. We all know that an 8-hour shut-eye is necessary for healthy functioning and it reflects your whole body and the way your skin looks too.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, good news: regular physical activity ensures a better night sleep! Commit to a workout regime and you’ll see it’s a form of mental fitness, too. It all reflects on your skin which is the window to our health.
Devote time to yourself
In the fast-paced world, we all get the feeling we need more than 24h in our day. This is why we tend to push self-care out of our to-do lists, even though it is extremely important for our well-being. Appoint a spa day just and spoil yourself. Indulge in massages: human touch has healing properties when it comes to stress. Start practicing mindfulness and meditation: science-backed data showed their incredible benefits when it comes to levels of productivity, feeling more energized, calmer, and more prepared to seize the day.
These were some of the tips you can consider, but the mind-beauty connection goes beyond just focusing on the appearance. Commit to becoming a responsible eco-conscious consumer: you hold the key - taking care of your skin the right way means taking care of the planet, too.