We all know the benefits of mindfulness – studies have shown that it can help reduce stress, improve our focus and concentration, and promote overall well-being. But if you're wondering what exactly mindfulness is, here's a definition by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California in Berkeley: "Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens."
So, mindfulness is about being present in the moment and paying attention to the body and mind!
Now for the truly interesting bit. Did you know that mindfulness can also be beneficial for your skin? Studies have demonstrated that it can quicken the wound healing process and boost the immune system.
Here are some ways you can include mindfulness in your skincare routine:
1. Make time for a relaxing cleansing routine.
Take your time when cleansing your face – don’t rush it!
Use slow, gentle, circular motions and focus on how the cleanser feels on your skin. Take deep breaths as you gently wash your face. This is a great opportunity to really pay attention to your skin and notice any changes or concerns. It will also enable you to accept facets of your skin that you cannot change and pay more attention to those that need love and care. The point is to be non-judgemental yet still aware.
On a busy day, turn the time for skincare and cleansing into a quiet, calming, and slow experience that refreshes you. Following such a routine every day will enable you to have a few moments of peace, clarity, consistency, and conscious skincare!
2. Exfoliate with intention.
Exfoliation is important for keeping your skin looking its best, but it’s also a great opportunity to be mindful. Pay attention to the feel of the exfoliant on your skin and how your skin responds. See how your fingers feel against the exfoliant and against your skin. This can help you better understand your skin and what it needs.
Don't go through the motions blindly — be relaxed, unhurried, and pay attention to what you are doing. This will also prevent you from over-exfoliating and drying out your skin. Plus, you'll learn to be patient!
3. Mindfully apply your skincare products.
When applying your skincare products, take the time to massage them into your skin. This helps improve circulation and allows the product to work properly. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to relax and be mindful of the sensations on your skin.
It's also a good idea to practice deep breathing while you pamper your skin. For example, when you apply your moisturizer at night, focus only on the moment, your breathwork, and spending loving time with your skin.
4. Meditate for better skin.
Meditation has many benefits, and one of them is better skin! Meditation can help reduce stress and cortisol levels, which can in turn help improve your skin's health and also prevent premature aging.
If you’re not sure how to meditate, there are many resources available online. Don't worry, take your time and find your own way as you get in touch with your mind and body.
5. Get a relaxing facial.
A facial is a great way to relax and take care of your skin. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to stop multitasking and just be in the moment. During a facial, pay attention to the different steps and how your skin feels.
Don't use your phone or laptop — just spend the time with your skin and your thoughts. Be patient and purposely focus on how you are feeling when it comes to all the five senses.
Don't dwell on what you have to do after your facial or what you have planned for work later. If you pay attention to the moment, you will notice and better understand your skin and its needs.
6. Choose natural skincare products.
To be kind to both yourself and the planet, choose skincare products that are made with natural ingredients. Inhale their natural (and not artificial!) scent, take time to read the label, and think about how the ingredients are nourishing your skin.
Of course, the added advantage is that natural skincare products tend to be more gentle on the skin when compared to those made with harsh chemicals. You can also try going for vegan and cruelty-free products to ensure that your skincare isn't harming any living being out there!
For example, INDICA Skincare — vegan, made in Europe, and free from parabens, GMOs, silicones, and fragrances — has natural skincare products containing CBD and other herbal ingredients that are good for promoting skin health and combating pollution and age-related issues.
7. Make time for yourself.
Skincare is an important part of taking care of yourself, but it’s also important to make time for other things that make you happy. This can be anything from reading, going for walks, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, doing yoga, or anything else that brings you joy.
Even small moments like applying sunscreen to your partner's back or braiding your friend's hair can be mindful and peaceful moments. When you make time for things that make you happy, you’re more likely to have a positive outlook on life, which can help improve your skin.
By incorporating mindfulness into your skincare routine, you can not only improve your skin but also your overall well-being. You can turn every act of skincare into an act of mindfulness so that your day has many moments of "being in the now."
So, take the time to pamper yourself and be present in the moment. In this fast-paced world, slow down a bit and be more aware. Your skin — and your mind — will thank you for it!