You may have noticed that the language around beauty has shifted. Refreshingly, it feels as if we’re moving away from an obsession with wrinkles. Talk is increasingly about wellness and balance — about health, not youth.
In September, Allure (the world’s biggest beauty magazine) went as far as to ban the term “anti-aging” from its pages, with the editor stating: “Changing the way we think about aging starts with the way we talk about aging.”
According to The Global Wellness Summit, the borders between beauty and wellness have already blurred. It identified meditation, yoga and nutrition as accepted paths to beauty. Destination spas are now offering neuroscientists, psychologists and nutritionists alongside beauty therapists, and meditation bars, like LA’s Unplug, could soon become the global norm.
Beauty from within
Just as we’re turning to green juices and plant-based diets to feel better, there is overwhelming evidence of the positive impact nutrition, exercise and stress reduction have on our outward appearance. Whether it’s eating more salmon to get our Omega-3 or loading up on vitamin-A-rich leafy greens to fight breakouts, we understand more than ever that beauty is an inside job. The exploding popularity of mind-body workouts, like spin and yoga, prove that exercise is a big part of the message. It doesn’t just feel great, it also oxygenates the blood, giving our skin a healthy glow, and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) which in turn can reduce acne, support collagen and make hair healthier.
Using food-inspired ingredients for beauty — traditionally a mainstay of Asian culture — is also driving a new wave of high-performance natural skincare. Ingredients such as turmeric, kale and kombucha are being harnessed not just for their youth-boosting antioxidants, but also for their impact on hormones and the immune system.
Even the act of applying beauty products is undergoing a rethink. Borrowing from the Korean “beauty ritual” culture, products increasingly come with instructions for pressure-point massage, breathing and visualisation. Those daily beauty chores have become a moment of mindfulness, a chance to practice a little self-care. And who wouldn’t want that?
5 holistic beauty tips for better skin
- Start the day with a “mindful” shower. Studies show that a hot shower can boost feel-good oxytocin levels and growth hormones that can speed up cell repair. Take a minute to enjoy the therapeutic feeling of water on your body before you start washing.
- Choose skincare inspired by ancient wisdom. The SHISEIDO WASO range, for example, embraces holistic principles of washoku — traditional, nourishing Japanese food that stimulates all five senses. It uses “beauty foods” such as carrot, honey, tofu and white jelly mushroom to defend skin against environmental stressors, helping to reduce the appearance of pores and imperfections.
- Enjoy your makeup. Be fully present, admiring the textures, paying attention to how your face looks and feels today. Look at makeup as an opportunity to be creative and express yourself.
- Make a spa appointment with yourself. Once a week, put an hour in the diary as if you were committed to the salon, and do anything you enjoy that nourishes body and soul — a candlelit bath, a face mask, a home manicure… The choice is yours!
- Commit to cleansing. For many Japanese women, the most important part of any beauty regime is the evening cleanse. Instead of rushing through it, consider it your precious me-time. Just two minutes spent massaging cleanser into your face, breathing deeply from your diaphragm, helps increase cell turnover, lift facial muscles and maximize radiance.