Our mind and our skin are one….
Today angels, we want to delve a little deeper into the relationship between what goes on in the intricacies of our heads and how this can show up in our beautiful bodies. You see our mind and our skin have been inextricably linked and intimately connected since before we even took our first breath. We’ve all felt the sensation of our skin getting hot and flushed when we feel a sense of embarrassment, but the link between how we feel and how our skin reacts goes far deeper than this!
Amazingly, this deep rooted connection actually formed before we were even born. When we were a mere ball of cells, we split into three primary layers - the ectoderm, the endoderm and the mesoderm. One of these layers then becomes both the mind and the skin. What?! Incredible! The ectoderm forms the skin and the nervous system, including the brain. So the fact that the skin and the nervous system is actually derived from the same cell layer in the embryo, allows us to understand how visible skin conditions can be so closely linked to our minds and our overall wellbeing.
Stress is more than skin deep….
One of the biggest and most common culprits for skin flare ups is down to good ol’ stress. Stress equates to inflammation, and this can cause havoc on our skin. From acne breakouts, to rosacea flushes to eczema flare-ups, stress is the fuel to the fire of inflammation lurking in these conditions. When your body is stressed, you release stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol may thicken the hair follicles cells and increase oil production creating perfect conditions for acne. Stress can also activate neuropeptides (chemicals released from nerve endings in the skin) that can lead to redness and itchy, dry patches. This in turn produces excess T cells, whose job it is to fight skin infections causing the skin to turn over too quickly resulting in the flaky or scaly skin. Nooooooo!! What’s more, stress not only triggers or exacerbates particular skin diseases, it can also lead to dehydration, lines, blotchiness, hair loss and brittle nails. Not what we need in our busy lives that’s for sure!
Our skin - our protector and our barrier!
The skin is the body's largest organ and conveys so much more than what we can see. It's a protective wrapper that defends the body against not only stress, but injury and infection and modulates environmental influences such as ultraviolet light, heat and cold, and air pollution. It's also involved in a range of complex biological processes. The skin contains sweat glands and blood vessels (which help regulate body temperature), cells that use the sun to manufacture vitamin D, nerve endings that are in constant contact with the brain, and an incredible array of immune system cells that act as a barrier to help ward off harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Mind blowing! Our skin truly is INCREDIBLE. So what can we do to help keep our mind and our skin in tip top condition? Read on we implore!
Frii [s] mith has 10 top tips for how to foster a calm mind and in doing so, achieve calm skin:
- Focus on trying to maintain a healthy, positive mindset
We can’t always remove stress from our lives, but we can certainly learn how to manage stress better to help ease our mind, and in turn our skin. A restorative mindful practice such as meditation is one of the most effective ways to ease anxiety and stress and improve mental and spiritual health. By relaxing your body, being quiet, being still, dropping your shoulders and breathing deeply into your belly, with every breath you can start to let go of any stress you are holding on to. Meditation takes practice, but has so many excellent health benefits. Similarly, visualisations, listening to relaxing music, writing a gratitude journal everyday or simply focusing on your breathing can have wonders on your mental health.
As a gift from us to you, you can download a beautiful, guided meditation designed and created by one of our incredible frii[s]mith customers and yoga teacher, Georgia Hicks here
Georgia Hicks is a qualified and experienced yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga for over 13 years. Georgia is hugely passionate about sharing this empowering and transformative practice, teaching creative and dynamic classes with a deep focus on philosophy and meditation - https://www.yogawithgeorgia.com.au/
- Hydration hydration hydration!
We need to be drinking at least 1-2 litres of water EVERY SINGLE DAY. When the skin does not get enough water, it becomes dehydrated and will appear to have fine lines, dead cell build-up and closed comedones (blackheads). Skin can also feel rough or have small visible bumps. We also need to ensure that our skin's barrier (the outermost layer of the epidermis) is intact, otherwise drinking all that water is futile as it simply escapes from the skin. If your skin is struggling to retain moisture no matter what you do, try stopping any kind of exfoliation for at least two weeks. Ensure you wear sunscreen, use a gentle, calming cleanser (such as our i am [power] active cleanser), and use the right products with the right ingredients to mimic the natural lipids (oils) found in your skin to help heal your barrier! Our i am [radiant] active booster is perfect for healing, repairing, nourishing and strengthening your skin barrier and overall health.
Many of the best foods for healthy skin also promote good health overall. Eating a Mediterranean style diet that is low in red meat, high in fibre (found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans), healthy fats (fatty fish, olive oil) and antioxidant rich foods (yellow / orange fruit and vegetables, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries) has been proven to have positive effects on not only our skin, but our mental and physical health too. The antioxidants help repair skin damage, and the healthy fats help keep skin elastic and supple.
- An effective skincare routine
Now this is obviously our bread and butter. If there’s anything frii[s]mith knows about, it’s the importance of an uncomplicated, authentic and easy peasy skincare routine. But a good skincare routine isn’t just about having luminous, radiant skin. Sorry, what?! Research has shown that the actual ritual of a regular and effective skin care regime can work wonders for our mental health too. We’re increasingly understanding that beauty routines can act as a powerful tool against mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Even if it’s just a few minutes applying a moisturiser and a serum, sufferers are actively taking the time to look after themselves, something they may not have thought to do otherwise. Keep your routine as simple as 1, 2, 3 with our ultimate skin health kit here
Physical activity releases endorphins which reduce our pain receptors and also trigger positive feelings in our body, making us feel happy. Exercise is also an invaluable way of getting rid of pent-up frustration and aggression caused by stress. Only 20 minutes of brisk walking daily is necessary for healthy bodily responses as well as toxin elimination through effective lymphatic drainage. So get moving angels!
Sleep is when some of the most important internal - and epidermal - recovery takes place. Just one poor night sleep can lead some of us to have dark circles, drooping lids, paler skin, more wrinkles and fine lines - noooooo! But when we get our recommended 7-9 hours a night, your skin’s blood flow increases, and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots. Hoorah! You can also help your skin at night by using products specifically designed to work over the 7-9 hour slumber period, leaving your skin brighter, more hydrated and restored. Try our i am [vitality] active night serum for exactly that!
- Embrace self-care
Make self-care your number one priority. We all lead such busy lives with a million different demands coming from every angle, but if you don’t focus on you, everyone around you will suffer. Stay in and treat yourself to a spa night. We’re talking moisturizers, face masks, treatments, the whole sha-bang. By taking the time to treat yourself right, you’ll start feeling better and in turn your skin will love you for it!
- The power of touch
Human touch induces hormonal signals carried via the skin to our brain’s cognitive and emotional centers, resulting in positive behavioral changes. Massage therapy in all different forms can ease muscle tension and stimulate nerve endings within the skin to send mental 'relax' messages to the brain. A facial that includes a facial massage has the most profound effects on the skin. So make sure you treat yourself to a much needed massage every now and then. Trust us, you’ll feel the benefits both mentally and physically!
- Meet friends and laugh!
Friends can help us see things in a different light and make us laugh about a situation that previously felt stressful. Just voicing your anxieties can be therapy in itself. What better way to de-stress than a good chin wag with the girls and possibly a cheeky vino too?! YES!!
- Be kind to yourself
When we take care of ourselves in general, skin included, we feel better. Having healthy, happy skin, keeps you feeling confident, healthy and happy. It’s impossible to get through life without sometimes getting stressed, anxious, sad or angry, and this will never change as it’s part of our everyday life. What’s important is to be kind to yourself when you’re feeling these things, so you, and your skin, can cope with it. And if frii[s]mith can help you and your skin look better and feel more radiant, then we are achieving what we set out to!