While the wild and unrealistic portrayals of beauty in media may make you think makeup and mental health don't mix, studies have shown there are positive mental health benefits of putting on makeup. The meditative act can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and promote a calmer, happier mindset - as if you needed another reason to restock your makeup bag with all the essentials!
Read on to discover why applying makeup boosts wellbeing, how you can use your daily routine to deal with anxiety and depression, and which famous beauty bloggers rely on makeup for their mental health, too.
Studies have shown the ritual of applying makeup can actually help soothe anxiety and calm the mind. Because routine activities - like getting glam every morning - give the brain specific, concrete actions to take, they eliminate an element of the unknown and provide peace of mind.
Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert explains, “Anxiety is about uncertainty - not knowing how a situation will turn out, negative thinking, and ruminating on unhealthy thoughts. An activity that is structured and routine, such as... [a] morning makeup ritual, provides a degree of predictability and certainty that can help curb anxiety.”
According to makeup blogger Jaclyn Hill, beauty isn't just skin-deep - she turns to makeup to help calm her anxiety and swears by its healing, restorative properties!
When she tweeted, "I swear doing my makeup helps my anxiety so much!! If I start getting anxious for no reason & just sit down & start doing makeup, my anxiety settles down within 10 minutes. Every time! Thankful for makeup," hundreds of fans tweeted back in agreement.
One woman replied, "I recently just started to have actual panic attacks because of everything happening through my senior year of high school but makeup helps me sooooo much and of course watching makeup vids! Keeps my mind off everything!!"
Who knew makeup could be so powerful? After Jaclyn Hill tweeted about how makeup helps calm her anxiety, follower @ChelseaBeckner chimed in and said her makeup routine has helped her recover from drug addiction and stay sober for three years.
She said, "I'm three years sober from heroin and other various drugs, and have my second son on the way due next month... I've established solid ground in my sobriety but sometimes I still need that getaway. Makeup really helps me cope with cravings and just all my anxiety/depression."
In early 2018, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business did a study on makeup tutorials and found the videos aren't necessarily making viewers any better at applying makeup. The study claims YouTube tutorials provide the "illusion of skill acquisition" - but viewers notice another important benefit. One fan of makeup tutorials said, "When I first started watching... tutorials, and it helped distract me from my eating disorder."
Another agreed, explaining "the talking calms me down from feeling alone." Clearly, YouTube tutorials are about so much more than learning new skills.