Live your best life & take care
Mood-boosting skin care can be defined as a skin care routine that includes products and/or tools and techniques which (may be specifically designed) enhance our mood and mental well-being in addition to improving the overall health and appearance of the skin.
Research has shown that skin care is becoming more than just a physical experience, but also a therapeutic and emotional one. The role of mood-boosting skin care in providing self-care and supporting mental well-being has become increasingly important and has profound benefits.
These mood boosting routines typically incorporate products that have essential oils that help to relax, uplift, and calm the mind, which in turn, affects an individual's mood positively. However, I am not a big fan of incorporating essential oils in a skin care routine as they can be irritating, cause skin sensitivity, redness and breakouts. Irritation and redness can be signs of sub-clinical inflammation and speed up the biological degenerative process called skin ageing or skin inflammageing. It is not a surprise that dermatologists warn against the use of most essential oils on the skin. When it comes to essential oils, it is best to use them in a diffuser and not skin care. Facial oils can be beneficial however in a skin care routine. Click here to read more about the use of facial oils.
A SPA "ME" MOMENT
The ancient Greeks were the first to suggest that spas and bathing could be used for therapeutic purposes and not just for hygiene and cleanliness (which are basic requirements for good skin health). A warm relaxing bath isn't always good for skin health however (1). On the other side a 20-30 second cold shower after a workout or sauna encourages the release of cold shock proteins. Cold shock proteins may help you maintain your muscle mass when you're too busy to make it to the gym or when you're taking some planned time off your training routine. Some cold shock proteins are known to decrease inflammation and support faster wound healing. Cold water immersion also activates brown fat, tissue that helps keep the body warm and helps it control blood sugar and insulin levels. It helps the body to burn calories, hence to lose weight. Click here to read more.
A SPA BONDING MOMENT
As time is precious, meaningful time together with friends, your partner or your kids, can boost your sense of satisfaction and strengthen bonds. Funny anecdote was that I was "masking" with my son, who was at the time 12 years old. While relaxing he asked me what his mask was actually doing and I told him that it makes you look younger. He immediately asked me to remove it, scared he would look afterwards like 7 years old.
JADE ROLLERS & GUA SHA
I love using (refrigerated) jade rollers and gua sha, especially in the under eye area in the morning to reduce puffiness, increase the circulation and lymph drainage. It is important that the tools glide over the skin, don't tug and thus I apply a nourishing care product first. Moreover, applying skin care products using mindful techniques such as massaging in gentle circular motions can be therapeutic, providing a sense of calm and relaxation.
SKIN CARE ROUTINES
Mindful evening skin care routines have been shown to be particularly beneficial in unwinding after an overwhelming day, helping to reduce stress and induce better sleep. As it turns out, consistent routines provide more stability in your day, which is beneficial for your mental health and stress level regulation. Therewith every morning- and evening skin care routine is mood-boosting.
DO GOOD, FEEL BETTER
If you treat your self and your skin good, it will make your skin look better and even improve your quality of life. Self-care enhances feelings of self-worth, boost self-esteem and can even give a sense of accomplishment, is thus mood boosting, even without the use of aroma therapy or essential oils.
Lately I was trying out several skin care products with a very similar smell, which I actually started to appreciate during my evening skin care routine.
Usually, an overpowering fragrance in a product puts me off, however I consider this one soothing. The (in my opinion) pleasant odour comes from an ingredient called Tanacetum Annuum or Blue Tansy (Moroccan Blue Chamomile - not to be confused with Tanacetum Vulgare) and is found as the signature ingredient in some more luxury "Blue" products like May Lindrom's beauty balm concentrate called "The Blue Cocoon", Sunday Riley's tranquility cleansing balm called "Blue Moon" (Blue Tansy Leaf oil) and her sleeping night oil called "Luna". All products are relatively "oily" and you only need the littlest amount.
Blue Tansy is "calming", as it supposed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic, anti-histaminic and anti-fungal properties. Tanacetum Annuum is an essential oil with a very dark blue collar due to chamazulene. The aromatic description is sweet, warm fruity, with subtle floral, camphorous and herbaceous undertones. It's most often mixed in with other oils or ingredients to dilute it, as the recommendation is not to use concentrations above 5%. Although it has anti-inflammatory properties, some might have intolerance for it as it contains camphor, which can cause sensitivity. Therefore, I would not recommend to use multiple products containing Blue Tansy in conjunction.
Pure Blue Tansy oil is not easy to get hold of, thus an expensive ingredient. If I was asked choose one product, I would pick Sunday Riley Luna sleeping night oil which also contains Retinol. Luna is easy to use and incorporate in a night time regimen, is less expensive when compared to May Lindrom's "The Blue Cocoon", very popular amongst "beauty guru's" and receives many positive reviews. Alternatively, there are other evidence based skin care ingredients with proven anti-inflammatory properties, for example Arctiin (anti-inflammageing, stimulates hyaluronic acid and collagen production) and Licochalcone (also powerful anti-oxidant). They don't have the blue colour or "calming" odour, which some may find offensive.
Hope you enjoy healthy skin & take care.
Facial oils are a trending skin care product at the moment, loved and recommended by many "beauty guru's" and skin care experts. This is why I found it very interesting to read a comment written by a well respected dermatologist claiming that face oils would stifle skin renewal and exfoliation and would make skin dull over time. She must have a reason why she is saying this, and that's why I looked into this a little bit deeper.
To start with, I've done own research (not just me) with a facial oil, included many testers and found many benefits and no draw backs during the duration of the study. Moreover, I jumped out of my chair (literally) when I saw the visible results from the clinical photography, no joke! We've found that the oil (a combination of Argan oil and Lady's Thistle oil) improves moisture, elasticity and firmness, supports skin resilience, making the skin feel smooth and look more radiant. There was even a reduction of comedones detected. The results were published in a poster, accepted by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2016.
If you are an impatient person, and demand a fast answer, I can spill the tea right now: I've found no data to support that facial oils would stifle skin renewal and exfoliation, but the opposite.
Moisturisers absolutely influence the skin barrier function and TEWL (transepidermal water loss - which is used to measure the skin barrier function). A good barrier function (confirmed by low TEWL), positively contributes to the skin cell renewal process, which includes skin exfoliation process. Very dry skin has an increased TEWL, and so does very well hydrated skin. There is simply more water on the skin surface to evaporate. A high TEWL with very well hydrated skin can therefore give the impression of an impaired barrier function and thus give a "false positive". This phenomenon is nicely explained in a publication by Marie Loden "Effect of moisturizers on epidermal barrier function".
Looking at non fragrance plant oils also called fixed oils, there are many and they are all different, so it's impossible to generalise. Many plant oils, like almond, jojoba, soybean and avocado oils mostly remain on the skin surface. Even without penetrating deeper into the outer layer of the skin (called epidermis), the occlusive effect of plant oils will reduce water evaporation from the skin and help the growth of the cells of the top layer called keratinocytes. They actually support the skin barrier and therewith skin cell renewal. Part of the skin cell renewal is a process called desquamation, which is skin's natural exfoliation of dead skin cells. Helping this process will make skin appear more radiant and smooth, not duller.
The benefits of plant oils are supported in many publications, one of which is found in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences anti inflammatory skin barrier repair effects by Tzu-Kai Lin 2017.
One of the most popular and well researched fixed oils is organ oil. It contains oleic and linoleic fatty acids. Both are part of our skin's natural intercellular lipid-enriched matrix or skin barrier. Linoleic acid (an omega 6 fatty acid) is in fact the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid. Our skin barrier is protecting our skin from water loss and penetration of external agressors. Thus the skin barrier keeps the good stuff in and bad stuff out.
Linoleic acid plays a direct role in maintaining the integrity of this skin barrier. Some research shows that oleic acid may indeed disrupt the skin barrier and act as an permeability enhancer, helping other ingredients to penetrate deeper. When oleic acid is continuously applied, it could lead to barrier problems. Another ingredient in argan oil is tocopherol or vitamin E. Tocopherol is well known for it's antioxidative effect (neutralising damaging free radicals from pollution or sun which cause premature ageing) and lesser known for supporting the skin barrier. Daily topical application of argan oil (the finished product which contains multiple ingredients) has shown to improve skin elasticity (firmness), improve the skin hydration by restoring the barrier function and maintaining water-holding capacity. Furthermore it has a softening and relaxing effect on skin.
Lady's Thistle oil
The oil of the Milk Thistle plant (also known as Silybum Marianium) is a common ingredient in anti-aging skincare. It contains skin barrier supporting Linoleic acid and is known to nourish skin and improve radiance.
Facial oils are certainly not for everybody, but in general skin will benefit from a cold pressed fixed plant oil or a mixture. Don't smother skin with oils, just apply a few drops by itself on the skin prior or after your moisturiser, or mix a few drops with your moisturiser of foundation.
Hope you enjoy radiant skin & take care.
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