Have you ever been looking for a beauty product when you suddenly found yourself inundated with heavily photoshopped images of “perfect” looking women? The answer is likely yes, and if you are anything like me, you were probably left feeling depleted and depressed – but hey, maybe those products will help, right…?
Throughout history, toxic beauty standards have fueled the beauty industry, and though many consumers and companies are taking a strong stand against them now, these toxic standards still drive psychology and purchasing behaviour through a thriving existence on social media.
When you scroll through a feed of endlessly beautiful people (who may or may not be heavily edited) it’s easy to believe that “everyone” is perfect – except you – and thus the toxic beauty standard is born.
On top of compromising your mental health, these toxic standards can directly affect your skin by causing stress, anxiety, shame, and depression. When this occurs your body responds by producing hormones, including cortisol, which create inflammation, cause dehydration, and ultimately impact the health and integrity of your skin over time.
Let’s be clear, there is absolutely no shame in wanting to have amazing skin or even wanting to improve upon your appearance in healthy and empowering ways. The problem is, your desires can be skewed by societal ideals and social media, and the line between what you intuitively want and what you think you want blurs.
Though the beauty industry may not be consciously supporting toxic beauty standards, it is absolutely benefiting from them. The cycle of poor self image causing poor skin leads many of us to seek out new products to fix the problems.
The concept of ‘mindcare’ for beauty is long overdue. Checking in with yourself and nurturing your mental wellness are absolutely critical in the pursuit of beauty.
So, this is where intuitive beauty comes in.
You can think of intuitive beauty as the point in which mindcare and skincare connect. Where you’re consciously checking in with your subconscious to ensure that your beauty goals are empowering you to be a healthier version of yourself, rather than an unhealthy version of someone else.
Intuitive beauty gives you a chance to commune with your inner self and get real about what it is that you want to improve upon and why. Do you want smoother, more supple skin because you want to feel more confident in your appearance for you? Or are you trying to compete with someone you saw on Instagram (who may or may not be using an app to make their skin look like that)?
When you take the time to dig deep and get real about your goals and the intention behind those goals, you’re able to uncover all of your own nitty gritty truths, heal old wounds, and strengthen your intuitive relationship with yourself and your own unique beauty.
Beyond that, when you start to incorporate mindcare into your beauty and skincare routines, you are taking the necessary steps to reduce stress and anxiety, release shame, and improve your overall mental wellbeing. Since stress can create inflammation and dehydrate your skin, by nourishing your mindset, you are actively playing a role in improving your skin from the inside out.
Start incorporating these three simple Intuitive Beauty practices into your daily routines and watch how not only your skin responds, but how your goals start to shift towards something a wee bit more empowering.
Three Intuitive Beauty Practices to try:
1. Future-self Visualization – Visualize the ideal version of yourself and see how your body responds physically. If you’re imagining a version of yourself with a different nose and it makes your stomach hurt, there’s a pretty big chance that isn’t an empowering goal. On the other hand, if you’re visualizing yourself with clear skin and it makes you feel light and airy – that could be a great goal.
2. Gut Reaction Tests – There is definitely something to the expression “a gut feeling”. Your emotions are closely tied to your gut, so when something you want is ego driven or fueled by toxic beauty standards, your gut will probably be the first to let you know. Try running your physical goals by your gut – think about what it is you want to change or improve upon and see how your body reacts. You will know whether it’s something you should pursue or not.
3. Stream Meditation – This last practice is perhaps the most important in allowing yourself to fully acknowledge where you’re at from a mental wellness perspective. The idea is to lie down on your back, and imagine yourself floating down a peaceful, buoyant stream. From there, allow yourself to fully connect with your body and feel where in your body you’re holding tension, stress, sadness, grief, anger – you name it. Then take the time to acknowledge why you’re holding onto those feelings, address those emotions, and when you’re ready, lovingly let them go.
This practice may not feel like it’s directly related to beauty, but by taking care of yourself on an emotional level, you are building more resilience, patience, and confidence within yourself, and that will reflect in every aspect of your life – even your skin.
At the end of the day, this is your life. You know what is best for you and for your skin on an intuitive level, whether you realize it or not. You have the power to defy toxic beauty standards and harness your own unique beauty and potential in your own time, your own way.