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The influence of the mind on our skin

Written by: Mathilde Peyrigué

If external factors have a direct impact on the quality of our skin, what about internal factors such as stress or strong emotions? Focus on the interactions between mind and skin, and how they can be harmonized.
L'influence du mental sur notre peau


Our skin, which serves as both a protective envelope and an exchange barrier, covers a surface area of almost 2 m2. It is central to our appearance and physiology. A first-rate emunctory, it carries all types of toxins out of the body via the sweat glands (nitrogen waste: urea, uric acid) and the sebaceous glands (lipid waste: sebum). Richly innervated and vascularized, it houses the sense of touch, with arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels cohabiting on its surface. But did you know that, during embryonic development, it develops in tandem with the nervous system? Derived from the same sheet, the ectoderm, they both form at the same time, on the 21st day of life.


The influence of the mind on our skin is no myth! Understand at last what's at stake and how to harmonize the relationship between our head and our body.


Make the connection between emotions and skin problems


Nowadays, outbreaks of chronic skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, herpes, acne and skin allergies are widely attributed to stress and/or strong emotions. The medical profession is increasingly making this link - and we intuitively feel it too - without, however, providing any pedagogical explanation or concrete solution. To put it simply, a period of stress, an emotional shock or an upset triggers the release of neurotransmitters in the nervous system, propagating the signal from one neuron to another.

However, these neurotransmitters have an impact on the skin: modification of tissue thickness, production of collagen and sebum, immune response, etc. Under their influence, the skin is expressed, more or less violently. This natural mechanism is rather virtuous: it makes it possible in a way to regulate a non-verbalized emotion, to exteriorize it.


The fact remains that we are bothered by these involuntary manifestations in our daily life, often more marked at the extremities, where the nerve endings are numerous but also where our skin is most visible (face, hands, feet). These skin problems themselves generate stress, and a vicious circle is set in motion.

One way of identifying cause and effect is to keep a flare-up diary. What did I feel a few hours before this new discomfort? What happened in the days leading up to it? Who did I interact with? How did I interact? Did my behavior change as a result (sleeping, eating, etc.)?

While this is true in the case of medically diagnosed chronic skin diseases, it can be generalized to imperfections of all kinds, and to skin beauty in the broadest sense (radiance of complexion, elasticity of tissues, glow).


Speaking of which, have you ever blushed out of shame or love?



Skin microbiota and mood fluctuations


At the same time, we're hearing more and more about this umpteenth body flora made up of a population of micro-organisms on the surface of our skin: the cutaneous microbiota. This microbiota is said to be responsible for defending our skin against external aggression, just as the composition of our intestinal microbiota enables us to digest and ensure our general immunity to a greater or lesser degree.


Excessive hygiene or the use of inappropriate cosmetic products can unbalance this skin flora. We are talking about dysbiosis that can hinder its protective efficacy (maintenance of pH, regulation of inflammation, anti-infective and restorative roles). What if our mood swings could also be the cause of these imbalances?


Over the past decade, studies have demonstrated the link between intestinal microbiota - resonating with skin microbiota - and emotions, partially disengaging our brain from these mood fluctuations!

For all these reasons, and others to be discovered, we can indeed define the skin as a mirror of our emotions. It thus appears that taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is essential to have beautiful skin, regardless of your starting capital.


Here are a few ideas for calming our busy brains, which are bad for our skin:

      • soothe your mind daily through the practice of breathing exercises or meditation;

      • clear your head at regular intervals by practicing a physical activity, which itself secretes feel good neurotransmitters, endorphins;

      • return to the body and allow it to relax through hot baths and frequent massages;

      • put on paper everything that is on your heart thanks to automatic writing, as a daily or occasional routine;

      • play a role in the theater or join a choir, to bring out the emotions and forget your worries;

      • in a situation of overflowing with sadness, anger, fear… trying out methods of emotional regulation such as TIPI or positive thinking;

      • seek psychological support to express their feelings or work on old traumas.


      In the same logic, taking food supplements nourishing the nervous system (omega 3 in the EPA/DHA form) or acting on the balance of neurotransmitters (adaptogenic plants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements) is also a good way to improve the appearance of the skin. This strategy will be all the more relevant once a deficiency or dysfunction has been identified with the help of a doctor or naturopath.


      At Days of Confidence, our Serenity Complex formulated with patented KSM 66® titrated ashwagandha and patented saffron, whose effects have been validated by 32 clinical studies, natural marine magnesium, taurine and vitamin B6, helps to ensure the essential contributions to the general balance of the nervous system.


      By now, you're well aware of the need to look after your skin differently, but we're not stopping there: discoveries about the subtle links between the mind and the skin are still in full swing. A new discipline has emerged from this field of research: neuro-endocrino-psychodermatology. Who knows... Perhaps in the near future, it will enable us to develop skincare products capable of acting in depth on the balance of our neurotransmitters and skin microbiota?



      For further :
      Your skin has things to tell you from Pr Laurent Misery, Larousse
      Feeling good about yourself, feeling good about yourself by Dr Danièle Pomey-Rey
      The cutaneous microbiota by Alain Géloën and Alexandra Raillan, First editions - Institut Pasteur: The intestinal microbiota participates in the functioning of the brain and the regulation of moods .


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