TIME TO TAKE CONTROL
How you feel about your appearance, especially your skin, can have a huge impact on how you present yourself to the world. And research has shown that developing a skincare routine—training your skin—can actually improve your life. Taking control of your skin can boost feelings of confidence, self-esteem and even happiness, which can lead to better results at work, at the gym, and in your life.
“When my skin feels good, I feel happy,” Jia Tolentino, New Yorker in 2017.
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN?
The old cliche about the importance of being ‘comfortable in your own skin’ is surprisingly backed by strong science. Think about a time when you felt great about your skin, and compare it to a time when you were dealing with an acne flare-up or even a bad sunburn. How did you feel when your skin was looking great? And how did you feel when you were struggling with a bad skin day? Even the most naturally confident people may falter when their skincare routine isn’t working.
THE SOURCE OF SELF CONFIDENCE
In fact, a survey done in 2021 found that 60 percent of people surveyed believed that their skin had a huge impact on their self-confidence and mental health. 61 percent of people surveyed even admitted that they had skipped events because they were self-conscious about their skin.
And the survey isn’t the first time this has been documented. A 2016 study found that acne could have extreme impacts on daily activities, social and interpersonal relationships, and even work performance. In 2014, a survey from the National Rosacea Society found that 90 percent of people who experience the redness associated with rosacea reported lowered self-esteem and self-confidence. Nearly half reported feelings of anxiety and depression, and avoided face-to-face contact because of their skin issues.
STRESS IS MORE
The irony, of course, is that many common skin issues like acne, eczema, and rosacea are all made worse by stress, and all of those skin issues can actually cause stress. It’s a vicious cycle, psychodermatology expert Rick Fried told the American Psychological Association. "The common dermatological issues that have been documented to be made worse by stress include acne, rosacea, psoriasis, itching, eczema, pain and hives, just to name a few," he explained.
“33 percent of people would give up their smartphone or Netflix subscription for life if it meant clear skin…”
WOULD YOU GIVE UP SEX FOR CLEAR SKIN???
Avoiding face-to-face connections doesn’t just take an emotional toll, either. It can have professional implications as well as wreaking havoc on your social life. Obviously, in the last two years, many offices have shifted to a remote working model, or part-time remote, and have developed ways to maintain connection throughout the pandemic without face-to-face contact, while Zoom has allowed users to ‘touch up appearance’ and Instagram and apps like FaceTune offers plenty of filters that ‘fix’ skin.
But IRL connections are still vital: A budget presentation at work done with confidence—eye contact, open body language, strong posture and a smile—is more likely to be met with approval than one done feeling extremely self-conscious. And that some of that confidence can come from feeling good in your own skin. That 2021 survey found that 33 percent of people would give up their smartphone or Netflix subscription for life if it meant clear skin. (Another 22 percent said they’d even give up sex for a year.)
TRAIN YOUR SKIN™
The good news is that you can train your skin and make changes and improvements without giving up Netflix, smartphones or (seriously) sex. In fact, developing a skincare routine that you stick to will change your life even before it changes your skin.
FORCE OF HABIT
We know that a healthy lifestyle overall—eating well, hydrating properly, exercising regularly, sleeping enough—can be beneficial for mental health. And now, research has shown that skincare can be added to that list of healthy lifestyle habits. Research done in 2020 found that after four weeks of sticking to a skincare routine, people reported improved happiness, self-esteem and overall empowerment.
THREE MINUTES CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE…
There were two reasons the skincare routine may have boosted these feelings. First, of course, is the fact that a skincare routine done daily with quality products does typically lead to improvements in how skin looks and feels. But the improvements to self-esteem and happiness also come from the participants’ finally carving out time to take care of themselves in a meaningful way on a daily basis. Taking three minutes to cleanse, tone and moisturize can serve as a signal to your subconscious that you matter and that you deserve to feel comfortable in your skin.