Beauty comes from within.
That's our mantra here at Sole Toscana. If you follow our posts, you've come across this message frequently: our outward look is affected by our internal state.
However, it can be challenging to understand how the two are connected. Scientific studies have proven that feeling good within and having beautiful skin is directly connected.
Psychodermatology is a field that explores the relationship between the mind and the skin. It looks scientifically at how our skin manifests what's going on inside the body. This field offers solutions on how to heal and beautify the skin by practicing a happier inner life.
According to a meta-study published by the British Journal of Dermatology, altering negative thought processes and taking up meditation helped heal inflammation and skin diseases. The research was done across 22 studies and covered more than 900 patients.
Meditation reduces stress, contributing to healthier skin.
Stress triggers your body's automatic responses to fight it. The nervous system stimulates the other systems in the body to shield us from that stress. This natural response is beneficial. However, if it happens too often, whenever we encounter small, daily stresses, our systems get worn down. The systems that nourish your skin are no exception.
Meditation helps our brains distinguish between the small daily stresses and real threats that we need to respond to.
To counter the overreaction to daily stress, try meditation. When done often, meditation stops our bodies from overreacting to everyday stresses in the long run. This enables your system to direct its energy towards healing and repairing worn-out cells.
In one study, psoriasis patients listened to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments. They healed four times as fast as the non-meditators.
Reduce the cortisol-inflammation reaction.
One of the body's automatic responses to stress is a surge of hormones, including cortisol (also known as the stress hormone).
Cortisol triggers inflammation of the skin, which breaks down collagen. Collagen is the protein that keeps the skin firm and plump. The higher the cortisol levels in your system, the more collagen is broken down and lost.
One study took participants through four months of regular meditation and reported a 20% decrease in cortisol levels after this time.
Start with "mini-meditations."
To avoid viewing meditation as one more thing you're "supposed" to do, start small. Pay no mind to the thousands of 'rules' about how to meditate such as: Five days a week! First thing in the morning! At least 20 minutes!
Try out little things first. For instance, paying attention to your breath for one or two minutes, being mindful as you walk down the street, or taking a quiet thirty-second breather before taking your breakfast.
Practicing these mini-meditations over time will help you feel more relaxed and happier. Gradually build up your meditation until you reach those twenty minutes, five days a week (or whatever works best for you). Go easy on yourself, don't expect perfection the first time you try.
Remember, any amount of meditative awareness you can include into your day reduces the cortisol and inflammation levels. You will soon experience more radiant skin.
In no time at all, your neural pathways will relax, calming down your body's stress responses, thus nurturing your skin's innate ability to heal and repair itself.
The Sole Toscana Skincare Team.