What is ‘healthy beauty’? And how can the purchase and use of make-up and beauty products positively affect our mental health and self-esteem?

POSITIVE SELF-CARE Beauty tools like hair removal creams, face masks and relaxing bath bombs are all products that we use less frequently (in comparison to things like toothpaste, daily moisturiser and shampoo). In that comes a sense of positive novelty, which means that these products give us more of a feel-good factor when we use them as tools to ‘care’ for our bodies. You use that face mask and wash off the excess to reveal glowing skin and a fresher, more youthful ‘you’. Such products help us to look after ourselves to a greater extent and give our being some TLC when we need it.
SELF-EXPRESSION AND EXPERIMENTATION Make-up, hair dye and other beauty products enable us to experiment with our look and continuously evolve it. We express our sense of confidence, personal style and what makes us unique through the way we look. For many people, they don’t feel ‘themselves’ if they don’t have that slick of pink lipstick, vibrant red hair, or those false eyelashes. Make-up and beauty companies are generally offering a wider choice of products, because they know that consumers demand more from a range than just a product to use on their skin. They require a tool that helps them to feel like their ‘best self’ every day. CRUELTY AWARENESS More companies are creating formulas that are not tested on animals, and are aware that this issue is important to consumers. The number of people going animal-friendly with their beauty routines is on the rise, and there is more pressure being placed on beauty brands to create more ethical ways of testing their products. Our decisions influence our mood, and there is undeniably a feel-good factor in choosing an ethical beauty product that hasn’t been tested on animals.
SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING Using beauty and personal care products is rooted in positive mental health. The psychological term for feeling positive about one’s appearance is known as ‘subjective wellbeing’. Beauty products such as make-up enhance subjective well-being, as they reinforce a positive approach to one’s look, which in turn makes a person feel more attractive through boosting confidence.
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS With a plastic packaging disposal crisis consuming our planet, more of us are turning to ‘green’ and ‘eco’ beauty products that are either packaging-free or have very minimal packaging. There is an increased demand for self-preserving products such as soap bars, shampoo bars and solid conditioners sold in ‘naked’ or ‘biodegradable’ packaging. Consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, which in turn makes them feel good about themselves in that they are making more ethical choices for the planet.
STRESS-BUSTING Taking the time to formulate a proper skin routine can form part of a ‘wind down’ that destresses you and either prepares you for the day ahead, or bedtime at the end of the day. The act of applying products and seeing their effects on your skin can be both soothing and calming, helping you to de-stress.