Have you ever noticed that your skin breaks out more when you’re feeling stressed? This isn’t a coincidence. Thanks to an emerging specialty field called psycho-dermatology, we’re discovering that the mind and skin are intimately connected. What’s happening within our minds can impact our skin. Likewise, our skin conditions can impact our mental health.
In this article, we’ll explore this fascinating connection and share a holistic mind-body approach for better skin.
How Are the Mind and Skin Connected?
When you’re stressed, two systems in the body are activated: the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When this happens, a slew of stress hormones (namely cortisol) is released, which can cause inflammation in the skin.
This inflammation can lead to a breakdown of collagen (causing wrinkles), pimple eruptions, damage to the skin’s barrier, and rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis flares.
The mind-skin connection is supported by extensive research. In one study, stress and anxiety were reported in 44% of patients before their initial flare of psoriasis—and recurrent flares were attributed to stress in up to 80% of individuals.
On the flip side, skin conditions have been shown to cause self-esteem issues, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and psychological stress. In turn, this stress can further stimulate skin conditions, which creates more stress, causing a vicious cycle.
A Mind-Body Approach to Skincare
The good news is that taking a holistic approach to skincare can be positively reciprocal: treating your skincare issues can improve your mental health, and improving your mental health can improve the health of your skin.
Here are our top tips for a mind-body approach to skincare:
FOCUS ON SELF CARE
Our lives are busier, faster, and more demanding than ever, which can result in the release of stress hormones and, ultimately, skin inflammation. Here are some tips to keep stress at bay:
- Prioritize sleep: Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night has been shown to improve mood and support healthier skin.
- Spend time in nature: Research suggests that spending just 20 minutes in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost happiness.
- Unplug: Constantly scanning social media, answering emails, or reading the news can spike your stress level. Take time daily to unplug from technology, especially before bedtime.
CREATE A SOOTHING SKINCARE RITUAL
Taking care of your skin shouldn’t be something you hastily rush through. Carve out some time in the morning and/or evening to give your skin the attention, love, and care it deserves.
While tending to your skin, practice mindfulness by tuning into the scents of the products and how they feel on your skin. If any stressful thoughts arise, simply bring your attention back to the present moment.
USE ONLY HIGH QUALITY SKINCARE PRODUCTS
It’s important to choose high-quality, clean products free from harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin and impact your overall health. Some of the top ingredients to avoid include parabens, paraffins, sodium lauryl sulfate, DEA, TEA, DTA, dimethicone, and urea.
Fleurissent offers all-natural skincare products that exclude over 1,500 harsh ingredients. Fleurissent harnesses the power and scent of flowers and botanicals to rejuvenate skin and soothe overactive minds. Each jar has more than 10,000 flower petals, including rose, lavender, peony, immortelle, and yarrow—all picked at their peak of freshness in the fields of Grasse, France.
Peruse Fleurissent’s certified organic skincare offerings and treat yourself to a skincare ritual that nourishes you inside and out.