Self care science: Why moisturising feels so good
We all agree that soft, moisturised and smooth skin feels amazing. And it’s not just about the end result – the very act of moisturising your skin makes you feel good too. But few of us actually know why.
Here’s the thing: when our skin lacks moisture, our nerve cells send signals to our brain telling it that there’s something wrong. This is what’s happening when your skin feels itchy or tight. If you’ve ever stepped out of the shower, or a swimming pool and felt like your skin is too small for your body, you’ll understand the sensation.
On a simple level, that’s why moisturising feels so good. When you deliver nourishing moisture to the dermis, it responds by looking and feeling bouncy, hydrated and supple. In short, it feels great.
By moisturising your body, you’re effectively strengthening the skin barrier, so that your skin ends up feeling like a silky wrap for your body. Moisturising helps to reset the skin’s ability to repair and protect itself, which ultimately leads to making you feel better. When the skin barrier is functioning at its best, it protects against toxins, irritants, and moisture loss so that skin irritation, itchiness and flakiness are minimised, and you’re more comfortable in your skin.
The Feel Good Factor
The act of massaging cream into your body reduces stress, improves circulation and increases relaxation. When you step out of the shower and take a couple of moments to moisturise your body, you are effectively giving yourself a mini-massage at home!
The act of pampering your skin regularly triggers the release of mood-boosting chemicals in your brain, so that you face the day feeling confident and relaxed.
Mental Health Benefits of Moisturising
Moisturising your skin every day is an act of self care. By doing something for yourself that you know improves skin health and appearance, and makes you feel good, you are intentionally being kind to yourself.
When we look and feel good, our self-esteem increases, which of course has a lasting positive impact on our mental health.
A Scented Experience
Scented moisturisers send signals to the part of our brain that controls memory and emotion.
For the ultimate self care experience, choose a moisturiser with a smell component – like citrus or lavender – which are scientifically proven to enhance mood. For example, citrus aromas curb stress and anxiety, making you feel energised, uplifted and more in control.