There is a complex interplay between how you look and how you feel about yourself. When you look good, you carry yourself with confidence and you’re more likely to rock that curve-hugging dress you’ve had in your closet since last year. But when you’re feeling low, the whole world can see it in your slumped shoulders, down-turned eyes and frumpy sweats. Your skin also reflects this bidirectional relationship between looks and self-appreciation.
Whoever said “Looks don’t matter” was delusional. While we do choose our friends and significant others based on their sense of humor, mutual interests, intellectual compatibility, emotional availability, etc., we start forming opinions of people based on what they look like…it’s human nature. And we know that the same applies to us.
We have one face to wear in front of the entire world; when that face is marred by blemishes, scars or other less-than-perfect features, our confidence is damaged, too. So it’s no surprise that studies are showing that adult acne sufferers often experience depression and anxiety and that despite the slowly recovering economy, the number of people investing in plastic surgery (particularly outpatient procedures like Botox and dermal fillers) continues to increase.
When you don’t feel good about the face you present to the world, the self-consciousness you feel can diminish your sense of self-worth, possibly even snowballing into more severe and/or longer-lasting negative emotions (like clinical depression). In short, your complexion has the potential to encourage or discourage self-love…and lack of self-love can lead to a host of other unhealthy behaviors and patterns that keep you feeling miserable.
When you withhold love from yourself, you tend to punish yourself, even in ways that are not completely conscious. For instance, people with poor body image may feel that exercising and eating healthily are lost causes, so they give up going to the gym, meeting a friend for a brisk walk around the block or staying away from the fast food drive-thrus. Even if people do stick to an exercise regimen, they may be “motivating” themselves to get to the gym by mentally and emotionally beating themselves up, and that usually ends up compromising results in other ways—losing sleep, eating or drinking calories they “earned” in addition to normal dietary intake, etc.
Poor sleep quantity and quality, lack of exercise and poor diet all take their toll on healthy skin. When not nourished from the inside out, skin more noticeably sags, puckers, darkens, etc. Lack of self-love, no matter how it’s expressed in behaviors, will be written clearly on your face…and so begins a downward spiral.
Whether your ultimate goal is better skin or a genuine sense of self-love, it doesn’t matter where you start. Because your skin health impacts your emotional health and vice versa, you can start on the inside or outside.
Tending to your physical health will produce visible results, and when you see a clearer complexion and slimmer figure in the mirror, you will feel more confident about facing the world. You will begin to see the beautiful person who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity (who was, in reality, always there).
Conversely, when you nurture your emotional and spiritual health and give yourself positive messages, you will want to treat yourself as the precious being you are by feeding yourself wholesome, nutritious foods and being active for the sheer joy of experiencing movement…and your healthy lifestyle will shine through a more radiant complexion.
Hale Cosmeceuticals offers a full line of skin care products to help you improve your skin tone, texture and resilience any time. But since January is Self-Love Month, we’d like to encourage you to explore taking care of your skin health from the inside out, too. As the Buddha has said, “You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”