Zen and the Art of Skincare

If the eyes are the window to the soul, skin is the mirror of your overall health – both physical and mental. When you’re happy and healthy, your skin shows it, but if there is some imbalance in your body or your mind, your complexion often offers the first sign of trouble.

Of course you’ve heard of meditation’s many benefits, from clearer cognitive function and the ability to deal with stress to better sleep and even enhanced relationships. But here’s one payback you might not have thought of: improved skin.

The Mind-Body Connection

Anyone who has ever been to a yoga class has heard of the importance of linking mind and body. They live in the same house, after all, so they should be on talking terms! Now, an emerging field of research called psychodermatology is studying the connection between the mind and skin and how certain skin conditions such as acne, eczema and allergies can be exacerbated by an imbalanced state of mind (from stress, lack of sleep, repeated negative thoughts, etc.). Treatments include relaxation, hypnosis and, yes, meditation.

Mind Over Matter

A regular meditation practice helps to bring to light and deal with underlying issues that may be affecting our skin. Those 5, 10 or 30 minutes (good for you!) you spend clearing your mind of negativity, stress, fear and worry helps reduce the triggers in your life that could be sabotaging your skin.

By regularly decreasing these stressors, your skin is better able to access innate healing responses. In short: Less stress = better skin.

The Fountain of Youth?

We’re all chasing the mythical potion or treatment that turns back time, but that formula might just lie inside of us all. The practice of meditation, which focuses on mindful breathing, increases oxygen flow to the skin, boosting cellular health. This process slows down the aging process from the inside out, not only brightening your complexion, but also your body’s cells and tissues, making you look and feel younger.

Train Your Brain

Mediation also benefits your brain. Research shows that meditating helps the brain grow new neural connections that get stronger with a regular practice. It also increases serotonin levels – the feel-good neurotransmitter that elicits a sense of calm and happiness. That overall sense of wellbeing can translate to a glow that looks lit from within – quite a desirable side effect!

Meditation Leads to Mindfulness

By taking the time for yourself every day, a regular meditation practice makes you more present. You may become more mindful in your lifestyle choices, such as your diet, your reactions and your relationships. When truly living in the moment, you are better able to but your best face forward each and every day.