A Holistic Connection Between Skin and Mind

Reader Contribution by Sophia Smith
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Photo via Unsplash

We have grown accustomed to the idea of choosing skin-care products based solely on our skin type, and taking care of our emotional and psychological well-being strictly through mental processes such as meditation. However, people with chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, know all too well that these two aspects of our being are deeply intertwined—hence the need to care for our largest organ primarily from within. Skin health is a reflection of our state of mind as well as our overall well-being, so it’s only natural that learning about how this link resulted in the birth of psychodermatology. This discipline is a relatively young one and it aims to give us a deeper insight into how our mind and our skin interact, and what we can do to minimize the effects of stress on our largest organ.


Photo via Unsplash

Nourish from Within

It’s common knowledge that our immune system can thrive only when we keep our menus filled with healthy bites, but the right choice of foods also affects our skin health. The nutrients from our daily meals have a profound effect on our hormones, which are responsible for regulating numerous processes in our body, and our moods and emotions are among them. Simply put, what you eat is what you feel, and research has shown that a lack in certain nutrients such as vitamin D can lead to, for example, Seasonal Affective Disorder, while fiber-rich diets are known to help your body produce serotonin, the “feel good” chemical. Our skin needs these same nutrients to maintain its lovely glow, collagen production for elasticity, and ample beauty sleep that comes naturally when your hormones are in balance.

Holistic Skincare

Your beauty kit should be filled with items that are created with these same principles in mind. We have come a long way from picking our products based only on how lovely their fragrance is, or if they will moisturize or exfoliate. Today, we can choose medicine-based skin-care essentials known as cosmeceutical skincare, which is designed to target the underlying cause, and not just take care of the aesthetic consequence. Pick items that will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful radiation, help boost its collagen production, circulation, and provide complete nourishment that complements your diet. Infused with vitamins, healthy acids, and enzymes, these medicinal beauty sets aim to restore and safeguard your skin’s natural balance.

Photo via Unsplash

Stress Detox

An irreplaceable step in understanding how your skin is affected by your mind is reducing the main culprit of many skin conditions, and that is stress. Chronic or otherwise, many issues stem from the way we handle our everyday challenges, at work, in our personal relationships, and dissatisfaction with ourselves. Self-care starts with restoring your emotional stability, and these long-term processes will eventually help you heal your skin as well. Anything from regular exposure to stress, various forms of depression, and anxiety all harm our health, and our skin only lets those effects rise to the surface. However, treating those conditions only superficially is not the solution, as you need to determine and tackle the cause. Try seeking out help from a certified psychologist and introduce methods such as meditation and writing to soothe your mind—the results may not be immediate, but they sure will outlast any topical cream.

Photo via Unsplash

Building Healthy Habits

As a life-long process, striving to lead a healthier life is primarily driven by our desire to feel better, improve our figure (hence the decision to ditch sugar), or boost our immune system. Have you ever heard anyone say something along the lines of: “I will definitely cut my sugar intake to help my skin clear” or “I will start working out to boost my skin health”? Unlikely, and yet, these habits are pivotal in maintaining your skin health. Soon, every dermatologist will incorporate “regular exercise” as the key prescription to improving skin tone and restoring youthful radiance, and cutting down on refined sugar for the sake of a plant-based diet that can be beneficial for your complexion.

The bottom line is that we are now shifting towards a more holistic approach in caring for our health and beauty, as we have only scratched the surface of this intricate connection that helps us understand the essence of our well-being. Keep an eye on your skin to understand your mind, and do your best to keep stress at bay for your mind to be at ease.

All information and resources provided are based on the opinions and experiences of the author, unless otherwise noted. Information is intended to encourage readers to do their own research and come to their own conclusions, and should never substitute or replace the recommendations of a qualified healthcare provider. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or general wellness plan, even when using holistic methods.

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