It may have taken decades (if not centuries) but finally the mind-skin connection is getting the air time it deserves.
For way too long, we would look at skincare issues in a vacuum, chastising our faces for appearing spotty, red or dry, or simply blaming these shifts solely on external forces. Very rarely did we take the time to join up the dots linking our mood and emotions to our complexions.
“It was about putting a bandaid on things, prescribing steroid creams or medications, rather than looking at what was going on at a deeper level; the root cause,” says co-founder Megan. But now, thanks to a raft of new mind-centric skincare brands and a growing interest in the discipline of psychodermatology, we have a newfound appreciation for the role of mental health when it comes to our skin.
So, what’s behind the mind-skin connection? “The skin and our central nervous system are linked; what’s going on with our mental health and our emotions is certainly going to impact the entire body and that includes the skin,” Megan explains. If you find it hard to get your head around, use Wild Source founder Kate Roath’s clarifier: “When you’re embarrassed, you might blush; when you’re frightened, you get goosebumps, when you’re stressed, you might break out,” she explains. “Stress affects every organ in our body, it's just that our skin is the one we can see.”
It’s all down to hormones. “When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol and that’s our fight-or-flight hormone. An increase in cortisol throws our skin off balance by weakening the skin barrier, over-producing oil or causing breakouts,” Kate adds. It’s not just breakouts, however, as a weakened skin barrier can also trigger dehydration, dryness, flakiness, eczema, rosacea and a whole host of other skin concerns.
Sometimes stress is unavoidable – and a good skincare routine will help remedy the fallout – but the key is finding manageable ways to get a hold on your emotional load before it has a chance to flare up anywhere in the body.
Here at Lion/ne, we developed our signature consultations (aka our Holistic Skin Sessions) to really take a 360° look at skin. We don’t just recommend products and routines to help soothe the external symptoms, but we also work with you to figure out if there could be something else at play, offering holistic recommendations for every aspect of your lifestyle. Sound good? Book your Holistic Skin Session today.