How Does a Beauty Routine Help Ease Anxiety and Depression?

Hearing women who would say that putting on makeup makes them a little more powerful at their lowest point is not an uncommon thing. Being able to enhance your physical features in order to prove that there is no singular definition of beauty is perhaps a guarantee that makeup and skincare companies will never run out of business.

This notion takes an elevated meaning though when linked with anxiety and depression. Of course, it is always best to consult professional help with these illnesses. So we’re not here to downplay mental illnesses by saying it can be cured with just a simple swipe of a lipstick.

What we are here to tell you is how makeup application and creating a beauty regimen can aid the feelings that come with anxiety and depression. Byrdie affixes it to how having a beauty ritual promotes positive behavior. In their interview with Vivian Diller, Ph.D., she said that it is because “habitual behaviors help us clear our minds.” She then explained, “Like rhythmic breathing during meditation, morning beauty routines induce feelings of calmness and control.” The routine also teaches the mind to think logically as it oversees a step-by-step process.

Other publications and testimonies have given witness to this power of makeup and skincare rituals. And by doing so, they reveal how the relatively mundane act is more than a hobby. It’s also not just vanity but also might just be a necessity when it comes to facing life for a few of us.

#1 It is an empowering act of self-care

Nylon writes how makeup and beauty regimens can transcend a little bit more than the everyday function, especially for those with anxiety or depression. “Be it taking a bath or grooming your eyebrows, simply taking the time to acknowledge your body is a powerful act when depression weighs down on your every move.” It is then also not about how much money you spend on the beauty products, it’s about going through the motions. A simple, soothing bath where you let the water enclose your body can ease the feeling of loneliness.

Furthermore, the physical contact required for makeup and skincare is a self-soothing act. Touch, even just from yourself, releases the hormone oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, helps one relax.

#2 It disrupts looping thoughts of anxiety

Teen Vogue cites how anxiety and depression are characterized by defeatist thought patterns that repeat in one’s head. “To change them, we have to interrupt the loop somehow,” said Mike Dow, PsyD. Keeping preoccupied with something that is productive and pleasurable is a surefire way to do just that. “For many, skincare and makeup just handily tick both of those boxes,” the magazine writes.

#3 The products themselves can be therapeutic

According to the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, lavender and lavender-scented products can help cut down on anxiety and depression significantly. Associated with aromatherapy, lavender helps with restlessness and can also help improve your quality of sleep, two problems which people with anxiety and depression suffer from.

#4 It’s a healthy and productive activity

Fashionista helps document how a Korean skincare routine helped Jude Chao get over “being unable to give a sh*t.” The discovery of new products and the results that it gave were satisfying and it gave some highlight to her day. “My lengthy Korean skincare ritual gives the present back to me twice a day, everyday. Putting things on my face doesn’t just soothe and smooth my skin but my thoughts as well, letting me feel myself in a pleasant, positive way.”

#5 It serves as a source of confidence and inspiration

Jonnah Dayuta, who’s been diagnosed with anxiety, says that makeup gives her a sense of confidence. “I have a lot of scars from skin picking and acne so whenever I had my best face on, I didn’t feel the need to put my head down and hide,” she tells us. “I became a lot more proactive and friendly, even on bad days, whenever I knew that I looked my best too.”

For her watching makeup tutorials to feed her beauty habit is not just about learning how to do the latest look or trend. “The process is fascinating and inspiring.” Watching makeup transformations and get ready with me videos helps her relax also.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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