Cosmetics

When Skincare Meets Mental Health: The Two are Interconnected

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Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body?

The skin is affected by both internal and external factors, which is why it’s often linked to the outward portrayal of beauty and good health. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, women put an average of 168 chemicals on their body every day and men use about 85 chemicals each day. Pursuant to this study, Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s Vice President of Government Affairs said that

 

“Cosmetics are sort of the last unregulated area of consumer products law.”

In other words, the self-care products that we use daily are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The scariest part about this reality, is that 60% of what’s applied to the skin can be absorbed directly. These harmful chemicals affect our immune systems, moods, nervous systems and reproductive systems. The stress hormone, cortisol bridges the gap between skincare and mental health. High levels of stress and anxiety are what create an overproduction of cortisol. This causes severe dryness, fine lines, acne, eczema, rosacea and many other skin flare-ups just to name a few. It has been proven that hypoallergenic skincare products with low PH levels (they are less drying) and with little to no chemicals are the best options to use on the skin.

Side note: Creams that contain retinol and antioxidants are great for facilitating collagen production and keeping your skin soft and smooth!

Our skin renews itself every 28 days so it is important to nourish it inside and out. Our current state of mental health reads on our skin, and the lack of confidence that could result from damaged skin can affect our mental health as well. We cannot ignore the psychological impact of skin conditions. Too often, skin conditions are trivialized by others who do not have to deal with them. However, anyone who has dealt with serious acne or chronic eczema for example, truly understands how it feels to deal with these issues. A survey of over 2,000 women conducted by Garnier PureActive, found that 51% of women feel their skin problems are holding them back from living a fuller life. No one should have to feel this way. There is beauty to be found in the use of natural skincare products.

Kaci Gregory is a recent graduate from Muhlenberg College with a double major in Media & Communications and French & Francophone studies. Because of her interest in women's studies, diversity and her passion for cosmetics and fashion, she founded the blog "She's Debonnaire." Her objective is to facilitate dialogue among women on issues related to gender, race, culture, and sexuality and how they impact perceptions of beauty.

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