By Mary Radford, RN
Director of Product Content
Valentine’s Day is here! This “special” day may bring up all sorts of feelings, but usually they center around the emotion of love. And whether that’s love between you and your partner, friends, pets or family (or all of the above) there’s also a special relationship between you and yourself, never forget, that is a true source of love.
What is love anyway? There’s an actual love hormone — oxytocin — that is released in our brains at times to create bonds; it’s an aid when a mother is delivering a baby, when you fall in love, between friends sharing a good laugh, and yes, even between you and your adoring pet. You may have heard it called “the bonding hormone” or “the cuddle hormone.”
When these love feelings manifest in our lives — cuddling, bonding, laughing — they can have such positive effects on not only our psychological health but on our skin too! Studies suggest that people who smile or laugh exude positivity, and they can look younger. Positive emotions create a “glow” that seems to come from within, because often it does.
On the other hand, when we are in the dumps, feeling unhappy with our lives and ourselves, we surround ourselves with negative feelings and tend to hibernate and isolate ourselves. When we are stressed we produce cortisol. Cortisol can trigger oil production, which is part of the acne cycle. And then stress contributes to those expression lines that reinforce our least happy expressions! Jeepers! No wonder that when we feel down we also look worse, so the cycle continues.
So, the idea is to increase the love hormone and decrease the stress hormone, which is easy to do by showing yourself some love. Oxytocin has so many benefits, including helping our bodies heal, reducing cravings for sweets and calming us. It also counteracts the effects of cortisol, so once you get into the love cycle, you are heading in the right direction.
Loving yourself means healthy habits, like eating more fruits and veggies and less sugar and processed foods. You will also sleep better when your cortisol is at bay, which we know helps with the furrowed brows and dark circles. Get out and exercise, and make social connections even if you’re faking it till you make it, stimulating that oxytocin. Drink lots of water, which keeps your whole body, including your skin, hydrated. You can also share the love by paying it forward. Start to say “I love….” And fill in the blank several times a day, complimenting yourself and others around you. It may sound silly at first, but try it! Everyone feels better when you comment positively with something as simple as “I love how organized you are!” This will make their day and yours too.
And, of course, take care of your skin! We’ve made it easy to practice self-care every day with our simple Regimens. And some of my personal faves at Rodan + Fields include ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste that exfoliates your entire face and body, followed up by the Active Hydration family. Active Hydration Serum, Active Hydration Bright Eye Complex and Active Hydration Body Replenish intensely and immediately hydrate your skin and keep it softer and smoother over time.
Most importantly, be grateful. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. You always have yourself, and that should be enough to make you fall in love this and every Valentine’s Day.