Skincare is about more than just the practicality of health and good physical habits. Let’s be honest: it’s also about how we feel. The sensation of freshness, of rejuvenation, and the knowledge that you look as good as you feel, are major motivators for creating and sustaining a good daily skincare routine.
Habits, of course, are our best friends, provided we’re mindful of the need to promote the good ones. (We understand the need inherent in having a tub of something sweetly delicious all to yourself at times, but we don’t recommend it as a daily practice.)
Now, you may already have a really good skincare regimen that you follow (and hopefully, it includes environmentally kind Down To Earth products) – but there are two other components to intelligent skincare that have been proven to dramatically enhance your skin’s youthful elasticity and longevity. And of these two components, one of them is almost never directly associated with the health of your skin, despite its enormous effect on the way you look and feel.
THE HIDDEN POWER OF A DAILY GRATITUDE PRACTICE
One of the most insidious and damaging factors affecting your skin condition – and overall health – is one that we often shrug off as part of daily life: stress.
It’s fair to say that in today’s high-pressure global environment, we’ve become so accustomed to dealing with stress at all levels that we almost take it for granted; it becomes background noise against which we play out the “important” parts of our lives. But carrying on regardless, without having safeguards in place, can carry a steep price. Stress (especially repeated or habitual stress) affects the body in two profoundly serious ways:
- It promotes cellular inflammation throughout the body, which is the body’s natural defence mechanism against injury. The problem, though, is that chronic inflammation is also linked to weaker immunity, organ damage, and even mental decline.
- Stress also causes your body to produce Cortisol, a hormone triggered when we go into “fight or flight” mode. And cortisol has a cascade of really bad effects on our health. One particular effect, though, is that it triggers skin rashes, acne, and in extreme cases, can even lead to autoimmune skin disorders.
So, how do we combat daily stress more effectively?
For some people, the answer is found in meditation, or a mindfulness practice. For others, it may be a spiritual connection, the support of a community, or simply a personalised workout regimen that blasts away the worries. But for many of us, it can sometimes feel really difficult to find time or energy for structured pursuits.
If that’s you – don’t worry. Here’s something that has a really powerful and positive effect on your well-being, and it takes only a minute or two each day. Of course, we’re talking about a gratitude practice, but you don’t need to make it a formal event for it to work its magic.
Here’s how you can incorporate gratitude as a healthful habit with (almost) no effort at all:
Simply pick out 3 things to focus on: your environment, other people, and yourself. And, just once every day, take a brief moment to reflect on what we can be sincerely grateful for.
Pick out something in your home or surroundings, or in nature, and take a moment to quietly express thankfulness for it. Be present for a couple of seconds, breathe deeply, and quieten your busy mind to appreciate something beautiful or well-crafted.
In the same way, contemplate someone you love, or someone who uplifts and inspires you. Perhaps there’s someone who simply brings you joy or gets who you are on a deep level. Thinking thoughts of goodwill toward those people has an astonishingly calming effect on your subconscious stress level – you can almost feel the tension melting away.
Take a second to think about something good that you’ve accomplished. Contemplate your best qualities and silence the voice of self-criticism and doubt for a moment. Think about your talents, the parts of your character you’re most proud of, the things that others may have praised you for. And don’t be afraid to bask in it! You deserve it.
HOW TO MASTER A HABIT
Psychologists tell us that all habits are formed through “triggers”. Triggers are physical actions that stimulate a repeated thought or behaviour pattern.
And, for us at Down To Earth, one of the simplest ways to “trigger” our gratitude practice is to associate it with a simple daily action – our morning skincare routine. The physical action of cleansing and nourishing your skin for the day is one of the easiest things to associate with gratitude. Tingling freshness, a sense of awareness and alertness and vitality, are sensations that easily foster a sense of heartfelt optimism and gratitude for the day ahead.
Not sure where to start? Try using our Refresh Cleanser to gently remove excess skin oil (or, if you’re prone to drier skin, use our Revive Cleanser), followed by an application of Clear Skin Gel to set you up for a day of feeling and looking fabulous. Down to Earth’s Clear Skin Gel is powered with a blend of skin loving ingredients including aloe vera, tea tree, calendula and echinacea. The combination refreshes and soothes skin, and delivers powerful anti-inflammatory properties to settle angry and stressed skin. End with one of moisturisers if you need a little more skin hydration to get you through the day – try the Refresh Moisturiser or Revive Moisturiser.
And while you’re attending to that routine, use the time to instil another one: take a moment, focus on gratitude, contentment, and the knowledge that beautiful things, beautiful experiences, and beautiful people, are what make life worth living.
THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU
And, in case you didn’t already know this, we at Down To Earth are grateful for you. Thank you for making the world a better place, and if you’d like to find out more about our products, our ethos, or simply to let us know how you’re doing, you’re welcome to contact us. Here’s to a beautiful day!