When embarrassed, we blush; when we’re happy, our face glows; in times of fear, our skin turns pale. Whether we like it or not, our feelings inevitably show in the face – and in more ways than one. According to ancient Chinese practice of face mapping and recent interdisciplinary medical approaches such as psychodermatology, emotions have a hand in various skin problems ranging from acne breakouts and eczema to psoriasis and shingles. The reason? It’s simple: what goes on the inside has to surface sooner or later, because our nervous system is closely connected to our body’s largest organ, so if you have a habit of holding onto stress, anger, or guilt, don’t be surprised if you find yourself staring at a pimply reflection in the mirror one of these days. So, what are your mind and heart trying to tell you through the state of your skin, and how can you prevent your emotions from turning into persistent acne flare-ups and other skin conditions?
Emotions Munching on Skin Health
When stress hits the fan, most people reach for comfort foods without thinking – and by doing so, they only fan the flames of a dire skin problem in the making. Emotional tempests lead to overeating, food binges lead to hormonal havoc, and hormonal misbalance in turn results in – you guessed right – skin problems. Sugar, takeout, and high-glycemic foods with low nutritious value are the worst enemy of your health, figure, and complexion, which is why you should try to keep tabs on your diet if you’re looking to banish pimples from your skin. Still, there’s an easy way to cheat your sweet tooth when emotions get out of hand: instead of stocking up on fatty and sugary foods, opt for fish, flaxseed, oysters, green tea, and lightly boiled or raw veggies, and hack both lasting health and glowing skin at the same time by a single – yet generous – serving.
Don’t Let Stress Feast on Your Skin
According to psychodermatology, skin issues can be traced back to negative emotional buildup. Negative emotions are usually a result of negative thoughts, so the next time your face blossoms out in pimples, you should check the type of fuel you’re feeding not only to your body, but also to your mind. Psychodermatology distinguishes between skin problems that have a physiological basis but can aggravate further through stress and other emotional factors (such as eczema, rosacea, herpes, and acne) and skin issues directly caused by psychological triggers (such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and self-inflicted skin damage). In both cases, holistic stress relief techniques such as relaxation, meditation, deep breathing, and self-hypnosis are recommended as a way to restore the mind-body equilibrium and clear up the skin once and for all.
Map the Zits to Hack Your Health
Psychodermatology isn’t the only branch of medicine which holds that skin problems have roots below deck. According to the Ayurvedic practice of face mapping, recurrent breakouts targeting specific zones of the face can be traced back to emotional buildup inside the body. For instance, persistent acne on the right side of the eyebrow line are interpreted as a symptom of repressed anxiety in the liver, whereas persistent zits on the left side of the eyebrow arch are linked to repressed emotions in the spleen. To prevent acne from turning into scars that will ruin your lovely complexion, you should turn to healthy stress management techniques such as yoga, pilates, walks in nature, gardening, massage, and conscious breathing exercises.
Brush Up Your Skin Care Regimen
Healthy lifestyle and stress management techniques will produce visible results, but if you want to nudge the pursuit of a radiant complexion onto the speedier and more efficient lane, you may want to adjust your skin care regimen, too. To banish pesky pimples for good, you should scrub your skin with a gentle face exfoliator and apply a soothing mask at least once a week to keep your complexion well-nourished. If your skin reacts to even the lightest of exfoliants and scrubs, you can follow up on the regimen with a serum that will prevent redness and irritation. Also, if your complexion is extremely sensitive and prone to flare-ups, it would be a wise idea to avoid heavy makeup or use organic cosmetics instead, just to stay on the safe side of the mirror. For bonus beauty points, you should have a pack of face cleansing towelettes in your bag at all times so that you would be able to wipe off sweat and freshen up your skin on the go.
Both ancient medicine and 21st-century dermatological approaches are unanimous: mind-body equilibrium is crucial to both lasting health and radiant complexion. If you want to drive out zits and other imperfections from your countenance, it’s high time you paused to reflect on the emotional and psychological factors that may be lurking below skin level. Stress may not be skin deep, but if you have the habit of suppressing anxiety and anger, they will show up in your face sooner or later. Don’t let negative thoughts get the better of you: preventing acne is easier than fixing skin damage once it occurs, so detox your mind today to ensure a glowing countenance in the years to come.