Beauty rituals are a part of the life of most women. We love to experiment with different cosmetics on our skin to delay signs of aging and to possibly heal any skin problems we have.
Anthropologists have noticed that people across multiple cultures tend to conduct more rituals in times of uncertainty. Hectic events such as environmental threats, material insecurity and warfare are often linked with increases in ritual pursuit.
Recent findings hint that under conditions of stress, people tend to become more repetitive and rigid – that is to say, more ritualized.
The reason behind this repetitive tendency lies in the way our brain is designed. Our brain is “smart” enough to make a prediction about the state of the world, and it uses past knowledge to make sense of current situations. However, when our reality is changing, the ability to make predictions is reduced, causing us to experience anxiety.
That’s where beauty rituals come into play.
Regardless of their nature, rituals are carefully structured and require rigidity to perform them the right way. They’re as predictable as a beauty advent calendar, a feeling that’s often soothing because of the sense of control it provides.
Rituals offer a sense of control by enacting order in the chaos of daily life. It doesn’t matter whether this sense of control is imaginary. What matters is that it’s an effective way to relieve stress and to keep us active.
Beauty rituals can ground you in times of stress
In the past two years, we’ve come to learn that some days are good, and some are simply more “interesting” than others. Stressful times, the unruly swing of hormones or a combination of both can often lead to burnouts. A neatly arranged 6 pack of Aromatherapy oils and a luxuriously pre-wrapped Christmas advent calendar may not serve as a cure-all for anxiety, but the familiarity of following the steps of a routine offers comfort and a sense of grounding at a time when life feels uncertain.
However, beauty rituals aren’t just skin deep. A great example can be found in the role that our diets play in promoting mindfulness and helping us ground in the present moment. Hectic times call for more stability and control, so it makes perfect sense to seek situations of routine.
Beauty rituals are incredibly comforting and bring us in a state of present-moment awareness when we take our time to mindfully follow a routine.
Following a familiar beauty routine is important in times of stress and provides the structure which, in turn, relieves our brain out of the astounding emotions that are causing panic and stress.
If you’re looking for ways to ground your mind in uncertain times, certain beauty routines and rituals might offer support. Practicing mindfulness techniques while indulging in your routines is a must.
Aromatherapy has long been an effective tool to relieve stress. Studies have shown that inhaling a cocktail of bergamot, lavender, and ylang-ylang can reduce stress and anxiety levels while also adjusting heart rate and blood pressure. The blend can be applied on the skin in a diluted form or inhaled directly.
Oftentimes, there are moments when we become highly aware of how we speak to ourselves. But other times, we forget to tame our inner critic. We also forget that self-compassion is critical when we need to relate to ourselves kindly and fairly. And it’s especially helpful during times of stress and suffering.
The practice of self-compassion improves your well-being and resilience to trauma and stress. It’s linked to healthier behaviors such as less substance use, confidence, greater motivation, and a sense of personal responsibility.
While it may be rewarding or even challenging for some to accept pain and to offer yourself support, it’s important to remember that it takes practice to feel comfortable with everything new in your life.
Indulge in Face Yoga
The practice of yoga sends signals of relaxation to the brain and removes facial tension from the muscle memory, according to facial yoga specialists.
When we see ourselves tense and worried, we become even more tense. However, when we relieve our facial tension, we see a happy, relaxed expression. Face yoga teaches you how to maintain a good face posture, including tongue posture and how to remove bad facial expression habits. A 2018 study found that 20 weeks of daily facial exercise did indeed generate significantly firmer skin and fuller lower and upper checks. The process involved 30 minutes a day for the first eight weeks of the experiment, and progressed to every day afterwards. The result?
Women aged 40 and 65 – found themselves looking up to three years younger at the study’s conclusion, while dermatologists estimated a slight but considerable improvement in cheek fullness.
Everyone Needs a Spa Day
If you’re looking to relieve the tension of a rough day, indulge in a gentle bubble bath instead of a hot shower – Just 20-minutes is enough to help you relieve muscle tension and to put the unsettled mind into a relaxed state. If you’re looking to bring this ritual to your own home, you can prepare by organizing shelves and the vanity top to turn your bathroom into a zen oasis.
Don’t forget to add your chosen bath salts and pour a few drops of lavender and ylang-ylang to your bathwater or opt for a special oil diffuser to create your personal heaven.