The idea of relaxation is not something that comes easy to everyone, in fact for many people the thought of doing nothing can actually make things feel worse.
A positive step towards scheduling and welcoming time to yourself can be done through carrying out ritualistic self-care activities, which don't require you to think about anything but the task at hand. Cue your anti-stress skincare routine.
Skincare is not going to completely eradicate a complex mental health condition like anxiety or chronic stress, but what it will do is provide you with another string to your bow in terms of daily coping strategies.
So how exactly can having a skincare routine help to reduce stress and anxiety?
It sends a powerful message of kindness to your brain, “I am worthy”.
Just like going for a run or having bath, carrying out an enjoyable skincare routine will subconsciously send a positive message to your brain that you are worth investing in. You will feel good afterwards knowing that you are taking care of yourself. This in turn will increase those feel-good endorphins and lift your mood.
It can be used as a mini form of meditation in the morning and the evening.
Meditation can be anything that we do with conscious intention. If sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by incense isn't your thing, why not incorporate it into your skincare routine? It can be as easy as losing yourself and finding stillness inside whilst you carry out something repetitive and simple. Skincare can remind you to slow down and be present, grounding yourself before bedtime and before greeting the day ahead.
Switching up your focus to doing something for yourself can relieve your mind of worry, even if it’s for a short time.
Massaging a nourishing face oil into your skin, or painting on your favourite face mask with a brush, will help take your mind off whatever's troubling you. It can be meditative and therapeutic, just like for those who say they enjoy the simpleness of washing up or hanging out the laundry (crazy I know!). It's ritualistic acts that are repeated and predictable that can encourage mindfulness.
Indulging in a sensorial experience will help to calm and relax your nervous system, moving your body from 'fight or flight' to 'rest and digest'.
Ongoing stress means our bodies are in a constant state of 'fight or flight' mode and our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) is at an all time high. This can trigger all sorts of reactions in the body, including inflammation (hello breakouts!), feeling tired but wired and struggles with our sleep. By engaging in a sensorial experience, such as with skincare, you are actively helping your body to relax by igniting the power of soothing touch, textures and smells. This will help your body to activate its parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) as you begin to truly unwind. Try adding in some relaxing music to your routine to enhance the experience!
It provides regularity and routine.
'Disconnection, uncertainty and worrying loss of control' were the three main causes of concern for the 2000 adults that were surveyed on how the pandemic has effected them (1a). We humans love a routine. Carrying our your skincare routine morning and night can give you a positive feeling of control in your day-to-day, helping you to de-stress and find a moment of calm.
Taking care of yourself with high-quality products can boost your confidence.
Just like cooking a nutrient-packed meal and feeling great afterwards, using nourishing ingredients on our skin can be extremely satisfying. Seeing the positive results reinforces that you're doing something kind to yourself and can truly boost your confidence. You're worth caring for!
Does your skincare routine help to boost your mental health? Let us know in the comments ❤️