It's widely known that the less stress we have in our lives, the better our skin feels: inflammation decreases, and regeneration speeds up. However, it also works the other way around. The more we take care of ourselves and our skin, the lower our stress levels become. Even the simplest ritual, like a face mask, can replace meditation. The key is to do everything consciously and enjoy the process without turning it into a mindless routine.
Moreover, beauty procedures help us cultivate mindfulness. When we apply makeup, for example, and carefully draw eyeliner, all our attention is focused on creating precise lines. There's no room in our minds for anxious thoughts. This is precisely what we need in stressful moments – an activity that helps us concentrate on the present moment, drowning out all other thoughts. This is the essence of meditative practices.
Recently, Spanish psychologists conducted research and found a connection between developing mindfulness in the present moment and reducing the risk of depression and anxiety disorders. So, practicing a mindful ritual like gua sha massage or body scrubbing can reduce stress levels and enhance emotional resilience, alongside breathing exercises. The key is to focus on your sensations.
The aesthetics of the product we use also matter. If it feels pleasant to touch a facial massager or experience the scent of a serum, it provides enjoyable, relaxing bonuses. Our brains, overwhelmed by digital technologies, need new pleasant tactile and olfactory experiences. Beauty rituals allow us to expand our sensory experiences.
When self-care becomes an essential part of our evening routine, it gives us confidence that something pleasant awaits us at the end of the day: a warm bath with aromatherapy oils or a relaxing gua sha massage. This makes it easier to cope with stress throughout the day. Anticipating pleasant events triggers chemical reactions in the brain that contribute to a good mood.
Self-care is more than just taking care of our skin and hair. All those aromatic jars, beauty accessories, and small rituals make us a little bit happier and help us cope with the challenges we face in our lives.