Cosmetics aren’t just a way to cover up. For many, it’s actually a way to open up. The reality is that putting on makeup is a creative outlet and coping mechanism for many who are dealing with mental health struggles.
There is no denying that the process of applying makeup provides an outlet for expression and can take a person’s mind off of other things that may be weighing them down. There are many ways that makeup can help individuals cope with different mental health struggles:
It’s A Source of Light and Happiness
The lightheartedness of makeup is a welcome break and a source of happiness for many struggling with mental health. There are many beauty companies like the chic makeup brand Paul & Joe Beaute that capitalize on lightness, fun and being your unique self.
The Star credits the brand’s philosophy as being about “enjoying life and offering a sense of happiness and well-being.” It’s this positive energy embodied by so many beauty brands that attract individuals to the industry and its artistry.
It Allows You to Take Control
When struggling with mental illness like depression and anxiety, it’s common to feel a lack of control over your emotions. Makeup can give a person a sense of control as they can decide what goes on their face, and how.
Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert explained to Yahoo Finance that “Anxiety is about uncertainty – not knowing how a situation will turn out, negative thinking, and ruminating on unhealthy thoughts. An activity that is structured and routine, such as… [a] morning makeup ritual, provides a degree of predictability and certainty that can help curb anxiety.”
It Helps to Boost Self Confidence
There is no denying that it is important to be confident in the skin that you’re in. That said, there is also value in understanding how enhancing one’s natural beauty can contribute to confidence.
According to Empower Her, a study done by the Renfrew Center revealed that 44% of the 1,292 women studied had negative emotions when makeup-free. Sometimes makeup is a person’s first step towards self-love – and the ability to go without comes later in the journey. Everyone needs to start somewhere.
It’s a Source of Self-Expression
Makeup is a creative outlet that allows many people to express themselves when they don’t have other ways to do so. The 2017 #InsideOutChallenge that challenged people to use cosmetics to reflect their life with mental health is an excellent representation of how these products celebrate self-expression.
The Process Provides Mental Health Break
While some may find applying makeup to be stressful and time-consuming, others find it to be relaxing. That 15 to 20 minutes spent getting ready in the morning can be quiet, therapeutic, and a much needed break from all of life’s responsibilities.
It Replaces Other Coping Mechanisms
In 2017, a Makeup Addiction subreddit prompted users to share how cosmetics have helped them in their mental health journeys. The now heavily populated thread includes comments from people who have struggled with eating disorders and other conditions, many of which have shared how makeup poses as a healthy alternative to their past negative coping mechanisms.
A black and white perception surrounding cosmetics and mental health harmful, as it’s important to understand that everyone copes and heals differently.