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Skin Care Addiction: Is It Real? Are You a Skin Care Addict?

Skin care serves an important purpose in your daily routine. If you don't take care of your skin effectively, you might develop conditions like acne, and taking care of your skin properly also staves off the effects of aging. However, we all know that taking care of your skin can go too far; for instance, if you wash your skin too much, you break down your skin's natural barrier, and if you apply too much moisturizer, you can block your pores.

Aside from simple skin care mistakes, however, there are other ways that you can go overboard when you're taking care of your skin. There comes a point where you might simply be using more skin care products that you truly need, and this excess can cause a number of difficulties in your life. The emphasis on skin care worldwide, especially in young women, has led to the coining of a new phrase referring to overdoing it with moisturizers, cleansers, and serums: skin care addiction.

The Growing Obsession with Skin Care

In part, the burgeoning worldwide obsession with skin care has noble purposes. People have started to realize that makeup doesn't really make you more beautiful or solve your skin issues; in fact, makeup tends to make your skin less healthy, and most of the big players in the makeup industry include dangerous ingredients in their formulations. Modern consumers have turned away from simply hiding their blemishes, and it's currently all the rage to make your skin truly beautiful instead of covering it up with makeup.

However, this seemingly positive trend has some significant downsides. For instance, cosmetics manufacturers have successfully capitalized on the world's new obsession with skin care, and many companies are currently milking the skin care revolution for all it's worth. In some cases, adding new products to the market that expand your skin care routine makes sense; science has come a long way in understanding what makes skin tick, and many revolutionary products go a long way in helping people get the type of skin that they need. On the other hand, skin care manufacturers know that the more steps the most influential beauty magazines insist are necessary to include in your daily skin care routine, the more products they can sell, and many young women find themselves in a whirlpool of more and more empty moisturizer bottles and seemingly endless sums of money disappearing from their bank accounts.

What Market Factors Are Spurring Addiction to Skin Care?

In days past, it would have seemed silly to perform any more than three steps in your daily skin care routine. After all, the gold standard of wash, tone, and moisturize seemed to be working for everyone, and there was no indication that adding any more steps to your routine would impart any benefits. The free market, however, operates on the forces of supply and demand, and when there is a lack of demand, the people manipulating the engines of commerce have a habit of finding a way to create it out of thin air.

One market factor that is exacerbating the West's obsession with skin care is the emerging Korean skin care market. While this might seem odd to Western countries, the largest exports of which are products like agricultural commodities and armaments, the South Korean economy is so small that skin care products make up a large portion of this country's GDP. While most people hadn't even heard of Korean skin care a decade ago, this country's skin care industry is now synonymous with near-mythical high quality in the public mind whether it deserves this association or not.

It's true that South Korea has pioneered a number of skin care trends in recent years that have some true merit. Since skin care is such a vaunted aspect of the South Korean economy, cosmetics manufacturers in this country put a lot of time and effort into their creations, and the South Korean skin care market has even started influencing powerful Western cosmetics companies. However, with great economic reliance comes great responsibility; the proponents of the South Korean economy are keenly aware that skin care products are one of their country's only marketable exports, and, as silly as it sounds, this country could face an economic recession if the growth of its skin care industry were to slow down by any increment.

Therefore, there is a powerful push to develop more and more products to unload on Western customers. Some South Korean beauty experts now contend that a person needs to use at least ten different products in their daily skin care routine; the beauty world now takes it as fact that you need to wash your face twice in a row with two different cleansers, and if you're only using one type of moisturizer, you're behind the times.

Western skin care manufacturers have been quick to capitalize on the ground that their Korean counterparts have won. Plenty of American and European cosmetics brands now make seven, eight, or even ten-step daily skin care regimens, and beauty magazines, which are the propaganda arm of the global skin care industry, do their best to convince young women that if they don't use all of these products, they will be ugly, age faster, and die alone.

What Is Addiction to Skin Care?

Addiction to skin care is when your natural interest in keeping your skin healthy goes too far. While the psychiatric community hasn't recognized this type of addiction as an actual psychological disorder, many people around the world believe that they are addicted to skin care, and they have sought help by creating communities of fellow sufferers.

Psychiatric authorities have expanded the definition of addiction in recent years. While it used to be the case that you could only be addicted to drugs or alcohol, therapists widely accepted sex into the realm of things you can be addicted to a few decades ago, and food quickly followed suit. Most recently, video games and smartphones have also been invited under the umbrella of psychiatrically-recognized addiction, which seems to indicate that addiction is coming to mean any type of unhealthy reliance on anything. Therefore, if you know you're using more skin care products than you need and you can't stop, it's fair to say that you're addicted to skin care.

Are You a Skin Care Addict? #skincareaddict?

If you believe that addiction to skin care is a real thing, then there are a variety of ways that you can find out whether or not you suffer from this type of addiction. Here are some examples of the behaviors that may indicate that you have a problem with your skin care habit:

Your Cabinet Can not Hold It All

If you start noticing that each of your trash bags is half full of empty cosmetics bottles or there's no more room in your bathroom to stash your products, you might have a problem. While it's in the best interest of skin care manufacturers to sell you as many products as possible, you might be on the losing side of this equation. Instead of waiting until your wading through a sea of "empties" every time you go to the bathroom, address your problem proactively today.

You are Constantly Worried About Your Appearance

There are a number of psychological reasons why you might be constantly worried about the way you look, and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is one condition that can contribute to a negative self-image. However, the more time and money that you invest into looking good, the more likely it is that you will be preoccupied with your appearance. We psychologically value the things that we spend money on, and when you're obsessed with skin care, you may start thinking of your skin as an object that you need to maintain meticulously. If you're terrified of being away from your medicine cabinet or you can't muster the courage to stay the night at a friend's house due to your dependence, you may need to rethink your relationship with skin care.

You Can Not Afford It

One of the most obvious signs of addiction is financial insolvency. Whether you're addicted to alcohol, drugs, or prostitutes, if your habits are making you so broke that you can't afford basic needs like food, housing, and transportation, then you might need to rethink your priorities. Some skin care products on the market today can get incredibly expensive, and you'd have to be financially well-off to afford the types of regimens that top Korean and Western skin care authorities are constantly informing you that you need. If your skin care habit is putting you out in the cold, it's time to admit that you have a problem and seek help.

Your Skin Health Is Getting Worse

Remember when you were a kid and you had perfect skin without even trying? Many young women are trying to recapture that youthful bliss with expensive skin care products, but if your skin seems to be going in the opposite direction, you might want to rethink your regimen. Even though skin care manufacturers make a living by making you think the opposite, you don't really need that many skin care products. It's important to take care of your skin, but when you mess with it too much, you can actually make matters worse. One of the clearest signs that you need to rethink your skin care situation is the development of acne, rosacea, or another inflammation-related skin condition.

How to Manage Addiction to Skin Care

One of the best ways to reshape your perspective on your skin's health is to learn more about how your skin functions. Most of the supposedly authoritative narratives that skin care magazines and websites spew is irredeemably biased, and learning more about the way your skin works can help you tailor your routine in an educated and scientifically rigorous manner. For instance, did you know that free radicals cause most types of skin problems? If you simply use natural antioxidant compounds, you can make your skin look younger and healthier without any need for expensive moisturizers and cleansers.

Relatedly, you should start using products that really work. Most skin care products operate on a reductionist scientific model; they take a look at a certain symptom, and then they devise treatments to address that particular symptom and nothing else. However, removing the underlying causes of disease is the best way to stay healthy whether you have heart disease, diabetes, or acne, and so you should stick with products that address underlying conditions instead of symptoms.

You may also find that you don't even need to do anything to your face to improve your skin health; diet plays a big role in the health of your skin, and if you simply switch to a clean diet that is full of fresh fruits and veggies and free from processed foods, you may start to enjoy the type of skin that all of the expensive skin care products promise but never deliver.

If making these minor changes in your life still doesn't seem to solve your issue, you may need to seek professional treatment. The right addiction treatment clinic will recognize that you have a real issue, and they may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment. While there still isn't much of a history behind the psychological exploration of addiction to skin care, it's undeniable that thousands of women across the world suffer from this problem, and if you take matters into your own hands and do what it takes to get better, you can serve as an example to people in similar situations.

1 comment

  • Hello Valentina Chistova,

    Thanks for giving this useful information. When it comes to your skincare routine and the products you’ve selected, it’s easy to get confused and wonder whether or not they’re really working for you.

    Peterson Harvy

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