Is Skincare the Key to Better Mental Health?

Whether or not you are familiar with the origins of the practice of self-care and it’s an initial call to arms for black women by Audre Lorde; the symbiotic relationship between self-care and skincare in the beauty zeitgeist is now undeniable.

Serums, Sheet Masks and Skincare have all become staples of everyday life over the past decade. Multi-step Skincare routines spurred on by the rise of K-beauty and an increasing amount of social media content devoted to dewy complexions (#sheetmaskselfies #skincaregoals #selfcaresundays) have made skincare the belle of the beauty industry ball. The routines are complex, ordered and bursting at the seams with new acids, retinoids and powders.

At-Home Skincare may not be akin to guided therapy, but with self -love, self-care and skincare constantly discussed as seemly interchangeable; it is clear that facial skincare is no longer simply basic hygiene practices, instead it is a £2.16 billion, must-have for women and men across the globe.

We may have never been able to predict or manage the future, however, 2020’s added uncertainties have drastically altered our grasp of what’s to come. Any constants, rituals — beauty or otherwise — have been disrupted leaving many without the coping mechanism needed in order to work towards good mental health. According to a new UK survey The impact of 2020’s range of newfound challenges that have had a significant detrimental impact on our mental health. The number of adults diagnosed with depression doubled over
lockdown and 69% of the participants in the study stated that for them it was the uncertainty of the future that reinforced their lockdown induced depression. Despite the need for structure to help us manage stress and anxiety, in times of stress and even decline in mental stability, personal beauty and hygiene rituals are normally the first to suffer.

According to Dr Amy Wechsler, a leading expert in Dermatology and Psychiatry, even though one of the first things to suffer due to poor mental health are beauty routines, ‘Something as simple as a three-minute skincare routine twice a day can be huge.” Dr Wechsler goes on to state that, even the shortest of skincare routines can be “great for helping lower stress and anxiety, and that “it keeps your skin healthy, which feedback positively.” The predictably of skincare process, whether it be in the morning or the evening,
can help us to regain control of one area, and subsequently regain control in other areas.

Research also shows that people who take good care of themselves are generally more grounded and are able to regulate themselves emotionally. This ability to self-regulate can help them positively and compassionately and prevents emotional meltdowns. Self-care through routine can provide us with some of the stability we need now more than ever, however — it’s important not overdo it.

15 minutes of skincare as self-care versus hour obsessing over how your face is far from not equally beneficial and the latter can actually be more detrimental to your mental health, than neglect. Skincare as self-care should lead to some form of satisfaction. This allows it to become a healthy coping mechanism, perfect for grounding and inward reflection.

Skincare Rituals can also be a great way to check-in with your skin’s health. Like all parts of our body, your familiarity with your skin can help you to better spot when something isn’t as it should be. Physical skin issues can oftentimes lead to poor mental health, so daily check in’s not only ground you but also help you to assess new or unfamiliar skin changes.

So although routines and rituals can feel frivolous and out of place in chaos, this doesn’t outweigh its importance. Skincare in partnership with self-care is re-focus away from the stress of daily life allowing us to create new healthy habits for our overall wellbeing.

Written By Ata-Owaji Victor

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The Ibudo

Celebrating and providing visibility for Black People in beauty, skincare and hair | Instagram: @TheIbudo.