5 Ways Skincare Routines Boost Mental Health

Taking care of our skin has benefits far beyond skin health: keeping up with a self-care routine has positive effects on our mental health. Research shows that habits and rituals like skincare can make a measurable difference in how we feel about ourselves — here are five reasons why.

A woman experiencing the mood boosting benefits of skincare

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#1 Regular routines promote stability

While needs certainly vary from person to person, it’s widely known that some form of structure is necessary for mental health. Research shows that having consistent patterns of activity throughout the day reduces our risk of certain mood disorders like depression — and boosts our chances of feeling happier. 

Here are some of the ways having a routine can benefit feelings of well-being:

  • Reducing our stress levels
  • Equipping us to cope with change
  • Eliminating feelings of risk

#2 Habits regulate circadian rhythms

Performing a skincare ritual — both in the morning and at night — can benefit your body’s natural cycles. These circadian rhythms include things like:

  • Sleep
  • Hormone release
  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Eating and digestion

Maintaining consistent habits before bed help trigger your body to prepare itself for sleep — a critical time for skin regeneration and repair, as well as necessary for stress reduction. Having morning rituals sends signals to your body that it’s time to be alert and energized for the day.

#3 Self-care releases “feel good” chemicals

Most of us are familiar with the idea that treating ourselves to a bit of pampering is measurably mood-boosting. But research indicates that our brain releases neurotransmitters before the event even occurs: just planning and anticipating self-care starts the cascade that leads to feelings of well-being.

The endorphins released during ritual self-care help reduce stress, and focusing on your face can help you see where you’re holding tension during the day. When we perform something as simple as a 3-step skincare routine, shifting our mindset to the idea that we’re indulging in a comforting mini-facial can elevate our mood.

A few easy adjustments can add to the spa-like feel:

  • Light a scented candle
  • Play soothing music or an empowering podcast
  • Practice simple facial massage a few times weekly

#4 Skincare routines promote mindfulness

When you start a consistent skincare regimen, you can’t help but pay attention to the moment: the temperature of the water, the slippery feel of the product, the sensation of your skin afterwards. You’re focused on your face — which means you’re not focused on things that are stressing you out.

There’s also another factor at play: chances are, you’ve experienced what’s known as the novelty effect. That’s when you try something (like a new skincare product) and you get a little rush of excitement at first. That “rush” is actually physiological: it’s the release of dopamine (another feel-good neurotransmitter), caused solely by introducing something new (aka novel) into your routine.

Over time, however, the novelty wears off, and your skincare routine can become a mindless habit. But a simple adjustment in perspective can help reverse the trend — and encourage those feelings of well-being to return. Here are a few ways to promote skincare mindfulness:

  • Slow down (physically)
  • Become conscious of your inner dialogue
  • Focus intently on each step
  • Practice gratitude

SLMD Acne System

#5 Addressing skin concerns is empowering

There’s no denying it: taking care of yourself feels good. Managing a chronic skin condition like acne — or even just dabbing spot treatment on the occasional pimple — adds to a self-image of capability.

As with many worthwhile rewards, consistency in skincare is key. Results typically take time, but setting and accomplishing skin health goals has myriad benefits, beyond beautiful skin. This is the reason Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) created SLMD Skincare: to empower people to be able to manage some of the most common skin concerns without having to see a dermatologist. Here are some of her most requested recommendations:

Dr. Lee’s last word

As a dermatologist, I see everyday the value in having a consistent skincare routine. Not only does it encourage better skin health, it helps give people a sense of empowerment to know that they can take steps to manage their skin condition.

—Dr. Sandra Lee


Click here to learn more about our partnership with The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit providing mental health resources to anyone in need.


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