The magic of mindfulness
One of the most talked about benefits of practicing mindfulness is stress management. Those who take time to focus on the here and now on a regular basis report that they cope with stress better. This in turn can lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system and improve the health of our skin.
The skin and brain connection
We know that the skin contains a plethora of nerve endings that are in constant contact with the brain. This is why fear can lead to goose bumps, excitement can lead to sweat and embarrassment can lead to hot, flushed cheeks. Chronic stress can take a toll on skin health, causing signs of fatigue, dehydration and promoting acne, redness or discomfort. While it's not possible to think your way to healthy skin, it can help to channel stress in healthier ways.
Here are some practical tips on how to easily incorporate mindfulness into your daily life:
- Be aware of what you can and can't control. If you are feeling "stressed out," take a quick moment to shift focus to what you can control. Your skin may thank you.
- Read a book! Getting lost in a great plot provides an escape from your on loop to do list and creates space in our mind for creativity to blossom. Even better, pick up a book in the evening to help wind down before bed. It will help you fall sleep more easily and is proven to be more relaxing than binge watching your favourite Netflix shows.
- Breathe deeply. Chronically stressed people often take frequent shallow breaths without realising it. This can make anxiety worse. Remind yourself to breathe deeply and slowly. Incorporate scent to further soothe you – essential oils such as lavender are proven to slow down the nervous system. Apply Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon at night to help your skin get its much needed sleep and follow with some inhalations. The blend of French Lavender, Patchouli and Sandalwood will soon have you ready for the land of nod.
- Putting some time aside to experience an aromatherapy body massage or personalised, touch oriented skin treatment will take you out of your mind and into your body, along with the added skin benefits.
- A bathing ritual is a great way to take personal refugee, as well as nourish and restore the skin. Dermalogica’s bathing collection connects you with both touch and aroma. The Conditioning Body Wash features aromatic oils of French Rosemary and Chinese Eucalyptus, alongside fresh Tea Tree and Lemon oils to awaken the senses. And the new Phyto Replenish Body Oil contains Calming Fermented Red Ginseng, inspired by Korean skin care rituals, which calms and nourishes the skin, along with Bergamot, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli and Sandalwood to stimulate the senses. It doesn’t matter how much time you have, a quick shower or a longer bath both can help destress and bring a sense of calm and balance.
- Consider listening to meditation apps, or taking a meditation, yoga or Thai Chi class, all are excellent for calming the mind.
You may not have put the two together, but mindfulness has a positive impact on our skin. As you can see, practicing mindfulness really is about the small things that can make a big difference. Even doing your daily skincare routine is a form of mindfulness. So next time your layering on your serums or massaging in your moisturiser, pay attention to how it feels, how your products smell, and enjoy the process rather than rushing to get through it.