Feeling self-conscious about your skin or appearance can, over time, result in anxiety or depression – two mental health disorders known to affect millions of people across the globe.
And, when these periods of self-doubt arise, it can be all too easy to fall into a self-deprecating spiral of frustration, sadness and worry where you are constantly thinking the worst of yourself and wondering what people think about you.
So, if you have ever suffered these feelings, we’re here to tell you that it’s perfectly natural to feel this way – in fact, many of us often do.
Especially now, following the aftermath of the pandemic and the seemingly endless periods of lockdown, mental health is more of a concern than ever. Therefore, don’t beat yourself up over something that you can change with a little time, effort and dedication.
If your anxious or depressive thoughts come from a skin or appearance-related issue, the ideas listed below are designed to help you overcome these thoughts, encouraging you to feel a lot better and more confident in your own, well, skin.
Understand your triggers
The first thing you need to do when overcoming skin-based anxiety is to understand what exactly it is that sets you off. That way, you’ll be able to address the issue head-on and deal with it.
If, for example, you have a particularly obsessive habit of picking your skin, try to figure out why you do it. Whether it be through boredom, a seemingly never-ending itch, a negative emotion or simply to feel your own skin, identifying your triggers could help significantly when trying to stop and allowing it to heal.
This is because, psychologically speaking, once you establish a link between two areas (i.e. a bad habit and the reasoning behind it), you become more self-aware and better subconsciously to control it.
Consult a professional
While you may feel a little uncomfortable speaking to medical professionals about your skin-based anxiety at first, they are expertly trained to provide you with the assistance you need.
Whether it be a therapist who can help you understand your anxious thoughts, a dermatologist who can perform laser resurfacing surgery to remove scarring, or a GP who can point you in the right direction for support, talking to someone is often the best thing you do – you won’t meet many fellow sufferers who regret reaching out to a professional.
Try out natural home-based therapies
If you don’t have the budget to afford expensive skin surgeries, don’t worry – there are a number of simple skincare solutions you can try instead.
Depending on the severity of your skin-related issue, and whether or not it is a pre-existing condition or one solely brought on via external factors, natural therapies have helped a number of people recover from a wide range of issues, such as sensitive skin, rosacea, acne, eczema, psoriasis and psoriasis.
Listed below are a few to think about trying, if you haven’t done so already:
- Daily sun cream
- Vitamin D, E, magnesium & melatonin supplements
- Avocado skin mask
- Olive oil & sugar scrub
- Oatmeal & honey face mask
- Coconut oil
As well as these home-based therapies, here are another few helpful hints and tips:
- Have a good diet. Your diet has a direct impact on the quality of your skin. Therefore, the healthier you can live, eat and drink, the better you will look for it as well. So, to get your skin back to looking its best, make sure your diet includes lots of protein, carbohydrates, good fats and natural sugars, as well as antioxidant-rich leafy greens.
- Drink plenty of water. Along a similar theme, dehydration can also have a significant impact on your skin. As such, it’s important to drink plenty of water – ideally at least two litres per day – to keep it as hydrated and healthy as possible.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising on a regular basis is vital for a number of reasons but, perhaps most notably, is the undeniable effect it can have on reducing stress. This is because getting your heart going helps kickstart your parasympathetic nervous system, lower your cortisol levels and – ultimately – helps calm you down.
Feeling anxious because of your skin can feel like a horrible catch-22. But, as the advice listed above should now prove, with a little time, patience, motivation and effort, it is something that can be overcome.
The key thing to do is address why it is you feel the way you do. Then, powered with this information, you can make the required changes to other areas of your life to better understand and deal with your thoughts – only then will your skin-related issues start to subside as a result.