the benefits of face routines

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

My husband often describes me as what marketers might call “a whale” – when I find something I love, such as a beauty product, I go in full force and probably boost the revenue like crazy (sorry Bram!). The trouble is that I’m always finding new products to love…so, technically, I don’t think it fits me perfectly. I’m not exactly a hard sell.

For this reason, I always appreciate when dermatologists give us an honest take on beauty products. Dr. Natalia Spierings and Dr. Fayne Frey do a wonderful job of breaking down much of the marketing and unfounded promises of the beauty industry, guiding consumers to spend their money wisely and be wary of outlandish claims. For their efforts, I am very grateful and I regularly read and watch what they have to share. It helps me determine what I should be spending my money on – what is truly effective and what claims are just purely marketing.

I do disagree with some of the advice given by science-based experts at times. For example, many suggest that skin needs JUST a simple cleanse at night and a sunscreen/moisturizer. While I agree that this might be the bare basics “need” of our skin, I believe there are so many benefits to adding in a few extras and taking the time to create a beautiful ritual around caring for skin. In addition, I prefer “natural” products despite the insistence that evidence shows “traditional” products are perfectly safe. Without opening a debate or combing through the contradictory studies, I will just say that it’s mainly a preference for me (I love natural scents and ingredients) and I’ve had very good results from natural products.

I’d like to focus on the value of face care rituals in this post. I read a study this week about the physiological and psychological benefits of face care in the International Journal of Cosmetics Science. It’s a pre-print and is available to read online, if you are curious, and it’s an interesting look at how an hour of face care (performed by an aesthetician) can relax body and mind even more than resting for an hour. The authors measured heart rate, upper back stiffness, breathing and more, discovering that the face care routine had a bigger effect on these measures than resting. Perhaps it’s the pleasure of having the facial skin touched, the time carved out for a beauty ritual? I’m

Granted it was a small study but still a fascinating one to make the case for taking care of our skin! An interesting thing to note: the products used on the skin were all fragrance-free so there wasn’t even an aroma therapeutic benefit to the facial. The participants may have been even MORE relaxed had natural oils been used.

Many times, a skincare routine is either brushed off as excessive or can be so intense and detailed that it’s impossible to keep up. For me, there’s a happy medium where I love to take 10-15 minutes each night to cleanse my skin, mist with rose water, do a face massage with my favourite oil/serum, apply a natural active like Bakuchiol or a gentle acid, and the a beautiful moisturizer and eye cream. It’s time to myself to breathe and relax, letting go of tension from the day. I can’t imagine not doing it now!

While I adore trying new products I always seem to go back to Beautycounter (I am a brand advocate so if you’re curious, please let me know!). They discontinued my favourite oil so I was delighted to meet Lauren, a local Niagara woman who makes the most gorgeous face serum that works perfectly for massage. She also had gua sha tools, which is another big part of my evening routine.

In 2015, Revlon partnered with Fordham University to study the positive effects of rituals on women. The women were sent supplies and instructed to do 7 things each day for at least four days:

  • Look at yourself in the mirror
  • Use your favourite fragrance
  • apply your eye makeup
  • put on a new lipstick or gloss
  • take a deep breath
  • smile at yourself

This was a large study (710 women) and had some quite promising results:

  • 89% said they felt more confident and attractive
  • 78% said people reflected back their positive mood
  • 56% noticed people flirting with them more often

Of course, this is a study commissioned by a company that is selling elements of the ritual but it is still a fascinating look at how carving out time for skincare and beauty has an incredible effect on our mood and confidence!

I encourage you to take the time to choose beauty products that you love and take the time to care for your skin. If you enjoy them, beauty rituals are an important part of creating lovely skin AND building the confidence that will shine in all other parts of your life!


Bouhout, S, Aubert, A, Vial, F, Choquenet, B. Physiological benefits associated with facial skincare: Well-being from emotional perception to neuromodulation. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2023; 00: 1– 12.

Malefyt, T.D., Kachersky, L., Flicker, M.H. (2018). How Makeup Rituals Transform Makeup Wearers and Their Romantic Interests. In: Rossi, P., Krey, N. (eds) Marketing Transformation: Marketing Practice in an Ever Changing World. AMSWMC 2017. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer, Cham.

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