How Skin Care Helped One Woman Fight Depression

Photographed by Sunny Shokrae.
It's not news that a swipe of red lipstick or a great blowout can do wonders for your ego. When you look good, you feel good. For some, adding a little extra something to their beauty routines can even help get over a breakup. But, in the case of Fashionista writer Jude Chao, beauty is less of a pick-me-up and more of a lifeline: It aids her in avoiding depression. 

After dealing with bouts of depression during which Chao had a hard time getting out of bed, going to work, and was simply "unable to give a shit," let alone think about her beauty routine, she came across Reddit's Skincare Addiction subreddit. Subsequently, she took a deep dive into the wonderful world of Korean skin care and adopted a complex, multi-step regimen of her own.

"Here's the secret: It's fun for me. I look forward to my morning and evening skin-care routines — they're often my favorite parts of the day," Chao writes. The improvement in her skin was evident and, well, addictive. "Those results keep me coming back for more... I stick to my routine. That alone has improved my mental health more than a hundred hours of therapy could." 

The mental-health results were also apparent. "My increased confidence and willingness to make an effort got me out of the house, into a doctor's office, and on an antidepressant," she writes. Her routine also serves as a form of meditation — it helps keep her grounded and in the present. It provides her with a sense of achievement, and it gives her a reason to take care of herself. 

While it may seem trivial to some, this type of self-care can be the motivation for some people to get up in the morning. "My lengthy Korean skin-care ritual gives the present back to me twice a day, every day," Chao writes. "Putting things on my face doesn’t just soothe and smooth my skin but my thoughts as well, letting me feel myself in myself in a pleasant, positive way." 

Mental illness is still often a taboo topic. So, the fact that Chao was brave enough to write about hers not only helps break the stigma surrounding it, but can hopefully help other women dealing with their own depression. To read the complete story, head over to Fashionista. We highly recommend it. (Fashionista)


Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!
Photographed by Sunny Shokrae.
Advertisement