“Make up is self-confidence applied directly to your face,” one internet meme reads. Famous talk show host, tv show host, and supermodel Tyra Banks once said, “I love the confidence that makeup gives me.” Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown once said that he believes “all women are pretty without makeup and can be pretty powerful with the right makeup.” Many argue that makeup isn’t authentic. Many others argue that makeup can help someone be on the outside who they authentically feel they are on the inside, especially when they can’t show it on their own. Makeup can be a unique tool during recovery from a number of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and even substance use disorder. Feeling confident, looking a certain way, doesn’t mask authenticity but rather empowers someone in recovery to embody their authentic selves.
Teen Vogue reports that there is a science behind putting your best face forward when you are feeling less than “pretty” inside and out. Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety include the obnoxious symptom of ruminating thoughts, getting caught in analysis, having anxious thoughts, feelings of pessimism or hopelessness, and more. Called “pitfall patterns”, according to the article, these thought processes “are linked to neurological processes in the brain that have been associated with depression and anxiety, and certain actions– even those as seemingly simple as a skincare or makeup routine– can help to uproot them.” Beauty routines like applying makeup during the day “can bestow some pretty powerful cognitive benefits on the brain,” the article writes.
The act of putting on makeup, or engaging in any other beauty routine, interrupts the neurological process of negativity with something both positive, productive, and pleasurable. As a result, the process can’t continue and the negativity is stopped in its track. Beauty routines help the brain learn new ways to cope and makes new associations with pleasure. When depression and anxiety, or any other mental health disorder, is co-occurring with substance abuse, this can be an especially helpful tool. “Beauty has the potential to be so much more than just a hobby or a part of daily appearance management,” the article elaborates, “it’s a ritualized form of self-care, a much-needed avenue of routine and control, a means of creating the identity they wish to project, and a space for mindfulness and reflection.”
Treating anxiety and depression as primary diagnosis or co-occurring with substance use disorders needs to be approached holistically. The residential treatment programs at Avalon By The Sea are designed to heal mind, body, and spirit. From our serene estate on the iconic coast of Malibu, California, we provide life changing and life healing treatment. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.