Beauty Regimens Have Mental Health Benefits 


Who would have guessed that something as simple as taking two or three minutes to apply lipstick, mascara, or to brush your hair is a stress reliever. Researchers in the field of psychology agree that beauty routines or rituals have the same effect on the brain as meditation or mindfulness. 

Leonard Lauder of Estee Lauder reported that after the 9/11 attacks, the company sold more luxury lipstick than in happier times. “The Lipstick Effect” is recognized in psychology and business. When there is an economic downturn, like we have now, consumers forgo big-ticket luxury items. They substitute little luxury items like expensive lipstick. Makeup is a form of self-expression and is a creative mood booster. This is not just a female phenomenon. 

Men are spending more on grooming, too. Richard Kestenbaum of Forbes magazine noted “gender norms are changing…men are focused on skin care to look younger, and a lot of money is spent on these products. Many men get started by trying out their partner’s luxury skin products and look for male versions of them.”

 Treating ourselves the best we can within our means makes us feel better. It boosts confidence and this is what makes others think more highly of us, too. Looking younger can make a big difference in marketability in the workplace and all relationships. Taking time to self-care is a personal retreat from everyday stress. The act of applying makeup calms the brain and lifts the mood. Beauty really is way more than skin deep. When you or someone else touches your skin, it releases the trust hormone oxytocin, and this can result in an instant sense of well-being. 

“Good skin care is important at any age,” says Jennifer Brenner, owner of The Salt Room at 636 First Street South in Winter Haven. 

“The skin has strong collagen and elastin production in the first few decades of life, but it decreases. A good skincare routine helps regenerate skin cell production to keep the skin looking and feeling its best throughout your life. A facial massage causes serotonin and endorphins to be released into the bloodstream, which in turn elevate your mood. It stimulates pain blockers and reduces feelings associated with chronic pain. Facial massage has been shown to relieve feelings of depression in people with chronic illnesses. You will be glowing on the inside and outside.” Her company offers facials, massages, makeup, and salt rooms for health benefits with an array of products to help you look and feel your best. 

A pampered you is a happier you. Doing what you can, be it with a professional or at home, to increase luxury, even in tough times, changes the brain to believe better days are ahead. 

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