The pursuit of aesthetic improvements has become increasingly dominant in today’s society. Patients often seek beautifying treatments not solely to enhance their physical appearance but also with the hope of positively impacting their social lives and state of mind.
Below, we will explore the intersection of aesthetic treatments and mental well-being, shedding light on the profound mental health benefits of aesthetics that can appear from judiciously administered beauty procedures.
Aesthetic treatments combine a broad spectrum of procedures, ranging from minimally invasive treatments like injectables and laser therapies to more extensive interventions like cosmetic surgery. These treatments can include the following:
Patients opt for these treatments for various reasons, often aiming to improve their physical appearance. But, understanding all the motivations behind these choices is crucial in defining the link between aesthetics and mental health. These reasons can include:
Understanding these motivations is crucial in tailoring treatments to meet individual patient needs and expectations. Moreover, it forms the basis for comprehending the psychological impact of aesthetic treatments.
Self-esteem and self-confidence are integral components of mental health. They influence how people perceive themselves and their abilities and play a pivotal role in determining the overall course of life. Appearance is a critical factor in shaping these aspects of the self. So, aesthetic concerns can significantly affect an individual’s psychological well-being, often leading to negative emotional states and a diminished quality of life.
Body image dissatisfaction refers to individuals’ negative perceptions of their bodies. This feeling can stem from various factors, including societal beauty standards, media portrayal of idealized bodies, and personal experiences.
When individuals are dissatisfied with their body image, it can manifest as:
The brain and skin are in constant contact, so when people experience stress and anxiety, the body assumes it is in danger and releases the hormone cortisol. It increases the blood sugar level and slows down functions that the body considers unimportant in emergencies.
The stress hormone increases the production of sweat and sebum, which clogs pores and causes acne, and also suppresses the immune system so that it cannot adequately fight inflammation and bacteria. This can lead to outbreaks of rashes, infections, irritation, and skin diseases. Cortisol also depletes the production of collagen and elastin, so skin cells are not renewed and restored properly, leading to the appearance of wrinkles.
So, we have a closed circle: psychological stressors can contribute to skin deterioration, and environmental stressors can trigger adverse emotional reactions through the skin.
Recognizing the significant impact of aesthetics on mental health is essential, and addressing these concerns through aesthetic treatments can positively influence psychological well-being. This realization underscores the importance of carefully considering the mental health aspects of cosmetic procedures when evaluating and treating patients.
While aesthetic treatments are primarily associated with physical enhancements, they also are powerful tools for promoting mental well-being. Improvements in self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall satisfaction with one’s appearance can lead to profound psychological benefits.
The positive impacts of aesthetics on the psychological state of a person can be identified as follows:
Identifying patients who may benefit the most from aesthetic treatments in terms of mental health improvement requires careful consideration. The following factors may help guide the selection process:
Aesthetic treatments can positively impact people’s self-esteem, confidence, and overall mental well-being. By recognizing the importance of aesthetic treatments for mental health and the benefits of incorporating this knowledge into your patient care approach, you can not just improve the people’s looks but also contribute to the holistic well-being of your patients and provide a valuable service that extends beyond physical enhancement.
Aesthetics can play a valuable role in promoting a person’s mental well-being by enhancing mood, reducing stress, and providing positive distractions. However, the relationship between aesthetics and psychology is complex and can vary among different patients, so the effectiveness of beauty treatments in supporting mental health should be considered only as part of a holistic approach to mental well-being.
There are several ways in which aesthetic treatments can contribute to improved mental well-being:
The psychology behind aesthetics explores the cognitive, emotional, and neurological processes involved in aesthetic treatments and how mental health and aesthetics are connected. It’s a multidisciplinary field that seeks to discover the mysteries of how beauty procedures influence people’s mental health and why.
McKeown DJ. Impact of Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Procedures on the Psychological and Social Dimensions of Health. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2021;9(4):e3578. Published 2021 Apr 28. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000003578.
Andra C, Suwalska A, Dumitrescu AM, et al. A Corrective Cosmetic Improves the Quality of Life and Skin Quality of Subjects with Facial Blemishes Caused by Skin Disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:253-257. Published 2020 Mar 30. doi:10.2147/CCID.S240437.
Sanclemente G, Burgos C, Nova J, et al. The impact of skin diseases on quality of life: A multicenter study. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2017;108(3):244-252. doi:10.1016/j.ad.2016.11.008.
Michon A, Hassan H. Is more better? Benefits of hyaluronic acid soft tissue filler on the Psychological- and Social-Related Quality of Life dimensions. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2022;4. doi:10.1093/asjof/ojac086.
McDonald CB, Hart S, Liew S, Heydenrych I. The Importance of Patient Mindset: Cosmetic Injectable Patient Experience Exploratory Study—Part 1. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2022;4. doi:10.1093/asjof/ojac043.
Hoffman L, Fabi S. Look Better, Feel Better, Live Better? The Impact of Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Procedures on Satisfaction with Appearance and Psychosocial Wellbeing. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2022;15(5):47-58.
Subscribe for exclusive offers and updates on new arrivals