Though many do not realize the importance of skin care, our skin is inexorably linked to our mental and emotional state.
Many understand the importance of skin care when it comes to maintaining beauty. However, many do not realize the skin’s connection to our physical and mental health. The skin is not only what the world sees when they look at you, it is also the first line of defense against germs and other micro-organisms, which otherwise may enter the body and harm our internal organs.
But our skin is more than that. There is a direct connection between our mental and emotional state, and our skin.
The Relationship Between the Skin and Emotions
According to Dr. Grossbart, author of “Skin Deep”, “The mind and body function as a unit in both health and disease. Since they cannot be separated into distinct entities, to treat one and not the other is often fraught with failure.” By his assertion, the mind and body are inexorably linked. This includes the skin, the largest organ of the human body.
Our skin supports the life and integrity of all of our other body parts. It has a hand in maintaining and strengthening our immune system. It also assists in body temperature regulation, and works with our central nervous system in order to alert us to potential danger. It accomplishes this by detecting pressure, pain, heat, and/or cold. In this manner, to is easy to see how we can begin to characterize the skin’s relationship with our emotions.
Our skin reacts to external stimuli. For example, when we become frightened, our skin becomes cold and pale. When we are embarrassed, our skin blushes. When we are at peace, our skin feels warm, and relaxed. If our skin reacts and responds to our emotional state, then the same would be true in reverse. Some facts are apparent, as when we step out of a warm shower, we feel revitalized, refreshed, and reinvigorated through and through. This is an emotional response based on our skin’s ability to feel. Further, when we are embraced by someone we love, through this sense of touch, we feel love and warmth. According to Harvard Medical School, “…communication through the skin is thought by many to be central to the development of feelings about the self and the world.”
The Relationship Between the Skin and Mental Health
The relationship between the skin and mental health would then be normalized by the same factors. According to Mental Healthy, the skin actually breathes in oxygen, and exhales CO2. This would help to identify the life giving properties of the skin, and the importance of maintaining its health. The same is true of its relationship with mental health.
This living, breathing entity which surrounds or body protects us from so many potentially harmful things. As the relationship between emotions and the skin has been established, then a connection can then be made between our mental health and the skin. If the skin can elicit emotion, and vice versa, then maintaining proper skin health would unequivocally account for mental wellbeing, as well.
Eating and supplementing your diet with Vitamin A, B1, B3, C, and D will help the skin reach its daily needs in terms of nutrient absorption. Quitting smoking will assist by restoring blood vessels to their normal size, thus, allowing oxygen-rich blood to saturate skin cells. Washing your face and hands morning and night will help to cleanse the skin of germs, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that could weaken the immune system. Using a moisturizing body wash during showering will further aid in skin nourishment. Washing your hair every 2-3 days, and keeping your nails trimmed will also help to expel any particles which could be harboring contaminants.
Be sure to use sunscreen whenever you are traveling or exposed to the sun. Harmful UVA and UVB rays can cause defects and skin abnormalities. Remember to talk to your doctor before beginning any new lifestyle or health regimens to ensure supplements do not interfere with you medications you may be taking.