That’s kind of our mantra here at BOOM, and if you follow our posts, you’ve probably heard it a lot: How we look on the outside is a reflection of how we feel on the inside. But even if we know that’s true, that the philosophy makes sense, it can be tricky to know how to apply it, or how the connection actually works.
Well: did you know that science has actually proven a link between feeling good inside and beautiful skin? An emerging field called psychodermatology studies the relationship between mind and skin, looking scientifically at how our skin can manifest what’s going on inside us---and how we can heal and beautify our skin through cultivating a happier inner life. A “meta-study” published by the British Journal of Dermatology found that changing negative thought patterns and cultivating a meditation practice helped heal skin diseases and inflammation in more than 900 patients across 22 studies.
Learning this was really inspiring for me, because it confirmed something I already felt inside—that when I feel happier and more relaxed, I automatically look better too.
When you’re stressed, your body has all kinds of automatic responses that kick in—our nervous systems react, mobilizing all the systems in our bodies to protect us and take action. But when that happens too often—in response to small, daily stresses that aren’t really threats—over time, those systems get worn down, including all the systems that feed and nourish your skin. Meditation helps our bodies and brains distinguish between the little stresses of everyday life and real threats that we actually need to respond to. Over time, meditation stops our bodies from overreacting to everyday stresses--and when your system isn’t overreacting to stress, it can spend its energy healing and repairing. In one study, psoriasis sufferers listened to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments---and healed four times as fast as the non-meditators.
One of those automatic responses that happens when we’re stressed is a surge of hormones, including one called cortisol. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol triggers inflammation---and inflammation breaks down collagen, which is the protein that keeps skin plump, firm, and vital. The more cortisol circulating in your system, the more inflammation taxing your skin cells and sapping your collagen supply. The most effective way to reduce cortisol levels is a regular meditation practice—one recent study showed a 20% decrease in cortisol levels after four months of regular meditation.
If you don”t already have a meditation practice, starting one can feel like just one more thing you”re “supposed” to do. And all the articles telling us how we “should” do it—first thing in the morning! Five days a week! At least 20 minutes!—don’t help. Meditation shouldn’t feel like one more obligation or stressor. But your skin (and your whole being) will benefit from any amount of mindfulness you can manage. I’ve found that little things like bringing my attention to my breath for one or two minutes, putting down my phone and tuning into my body as I walk down the street, sitting quietly for thirty seconds before I drink my coffee in the morning, if I do them over time, make me feel so much more relaxed and happy (and make it feel a whole lot easier to gradually step it up to those twenty minutes, five days a week). Any amount of meditative awareness you can bring to any moment of your day reduces cortisol levels and calms inflammation, leading to more radiant skin. Go easy on yourself, don’t expect perfection, and experiment with practicing in whatever small ways feel accessible to you. Before you know it, you’ll be chilling out your neural pathways, calming down your fight-or-flight responses, and nurturing your skin’s innate ability to heal and repair itself. (You might even find a more radiant reflection looking back at you in the mirror!)
“The whole idea of less is more, that women shouldn’t be slaves to dozens of makeup products, is what I really believe in,” said Cindy Joseph, a makeup artist and model who’s pared down her own cosmetics kit to just a few items. Three of them are from her new line of multiple-use cream sticks called BOOM!.
The line is not just for Boomers like Joseph. “BOOM! is the sound of a revolution in cosmetics,” she says. “Cosmetic companies are constantly adding products; I’m taking away. Mine is the only company that is pro-aging, not antiaging.
Jennifer Aniston believes in aging gracefully and not over-doing it on the makeup. When asked by Self Magazine what is in her purse when she leaves for the day, she said, “Boomstick Color: It’s an all-in-one stain for eyes, cheeks and lips that’s so much fun.”
“There is this pressure in Hollywood to be ageless,” said Aniston. “I also understand that age is kind of awesome... Don’t over-product — that’s the other thing.”
The BOOM! Products come in identical chubby silver tubes that fit in the palm of your hand. Boomstick Color, a sheer berry for cheeks, brow bone, eyes, lips, forehead and neck; Boomstick Glimmer, a sheer iridescent champagne for the inner corner of the eye, cheekbones, shoulders, decollete; Boomstick Glow an olive oil and beeswax moisturizer for lips, cuticles and around the eyes.
Judging by the photos and videos, Joseph, who recently turned 60, needs no makeup at all. She’s one of those Emmylou Harris beauties with lovely features, luminous skin and long silver hair, who spends just a few minutes a day on her face before she’s out the door. As women age, she says, looking fresh, rather than made up, is the key.
“The biggest makeup mistake that middle-aged women make is putting on too much under eye concealer,” she said. “At home, it might look OK, but in the daylight, it just looks like a bunch of gunk under your eyes. The older you get, the less makeup you should wear. It’s not a blank canvas anymore.”
After growing up in the Bay Area – Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, class of ’69 – she moved to Paris in the early ’80s and later to New York.
“I was a classic California flower child,” she says. “I went to Haight Ashbury on the weekends, the Fillmore West, the Avalon Ballroom. I was at the center of it all. People still ask me to this day: ‘Are you from San Francisco?’”
Joseph married young, had two kids and began her makeup artist career in San Francisco in the late ’70s, working for Macy’s, Esprit de Corp and others.
“I always had the smallest kit and the fewest products of any of my colleagues,” she remembers. She let her hair go gray in her late 40s, and just like that, she was spotted on a New York sidewalk by a scout for the fashion photographer Steven Miesel and has been a model ever since, featured in ads for Target, L.L. Bean, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Olay, Nivea and others.
About a year ago, she went into the cosmetics business herself. “I’d done makeup for two decades and when I created this line, I created what I would want in my own kit,” she says. “I wanted to do a line that was not about hiding, but was about revealing.” The overall effect, she says, is a dewy, glowing face.
“By far this is the best ‘make-up’ for women over 40. I feel the need to brighten up just a little. Time is showing on my face, which is beautiful, but a splash of Boom is the perfect accompaniment of a wonderful life.” — Susan
No extra packaging, no animal testing, no parabens or phthalates. Anyone can have allergies. If you have any discomfort or a rash develops, discontinue use and consult your physician.