It is not just an aesthetic issue: the well-being of the skin also affects self-esteem

This article was originally published in the March 2023 issue of Vogue Spain.

“We cannot reduce a skin problem to something merely physical, but we must take into account that everything that has to do with our appearance also has an impact on our emotional plane and vice versa,” he says. Isabella Reoyopsychologist from the mental health platform we are great. It is often said that what matters is insideand although in an ideal world this might be true, the reality is that what is shown on the outside also influences both in the perception that others have and in their own. And despite the fact that this idea is usually related to the body, the truth is that the state of the skin has as much or more to do with self-esteem. “Given how important external approval is to people, it’s very normal that the appearance of the skin is something that is given a lot of importance. Added to this is the pressure exerted by beauty canons and all the inputs we internalize about how our skin should be; which in turn leads us to compare ourselves”, adds the specialist.

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Acne, blemishes or skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or psoriasis are therefore not only a matter of skin well-being, but for many people they are a serious blow to self-confidence. “Self-esteem and appearance are closely related.; we could say that the body has a recognizable limit with the outside, it is the letter of introduction to others and is accompanied by an emotional assessment. This examination of ourselves, which in turn is influenced by the evaluation of others, conditions our self-esteem”, develops Irene Street Lopezhealth psychologist of psychopartner. As Isabel Reoyo remembers, The skin “is not only the largest organ in the body, but also the most visible; It is the first thing we see in the mirror and the first thing other people see when they meet us.” Curiously, one of the most common conditions is also the one that tends to cause the greatest insecurity: “There are many skin diseases that affect mood, but if we have to highlight the most difficult it is acne, not because of the complexity of the treatment, but rather due to the age at which it normally occurs”, highlights Lorena Holidayfounder of the center Womum from Madrid. In fact, the expert points out that age is usually an important factor when it comes to linking self-esteem with the appearance of the dermis. As Irene Calleja develops, self-perception in adulthood will depend a lot on how self-esteem has developed over the years, but “adolescence is a stage in which many physical and personality changes take place, a physical and psychological identity is being built, and it is an essential moment to prevent future problems with self-image and to help them relate to themselves and their body in a healthy, individual and affectionate way”.

Is it an issue that affects women more? Indeed, Isabel Reoyo confirms that “the aesthetic pressure to which we are subjected leads us to be in constant conflict with our image and thus, our self-esteem is highly conditioned by ideals or canons that it will not always be possible to reach.” In a healthy way”. Of course, it is an issue that is beginning to affect them as well. “They increasingly develop a cult of the body and are more focused on their appearance, on body and skin care,” says Irene Calleja. And just as it can happen with the obsession with weight or certain physical features that are considered ‘beautiful’, having pimples, spots or any other supposed ‘imperfection’ can trigger underlying problems greater than insecurity. “If my self-esteem is closely linked to body image, it is easy for me to suffer from frequent anxiety and sadness. More and more I find myself consulting people with a negative or deteriorated body self-image, with difficulties accepting differences and subordinating their worth to a perfect appearance and highly conditioned by the prevailing ideal of beauty in social networks and the media,” she observes. the Psychopartner specialist.

At this point, Should the skin problem be treated or self-esteem work? Actually, the answer is both. Although it is key to mental well-being to see a professional who teaches manage insecurities and its link with the external image, for many people the mere fact of starting to treat the skin correctly and seeking help to improve skin health is not secondary either. “Seeing ourselves well and, above all, seeing ourselves improve, increases the motivation to take care of ourselves, makes us feel better and increases our security and confidence in ourselves,” he analyzes. Isabel Muñoz, technical director of WOmum Madrid. Of course, we must not forget that, as Isabel Reoyo emphasizes, “we must treat each other with affection, acceptance and compassion in those moments of insecurity. Read about self-pity and learn to put it into practice, follow profiles on social networks that promote aesthetic diversity and unfollow those who we feel are not doing us good ”, she recommends.

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