Skin + Happiness

How we feel shows on our face. Author, Roald Dahl, expressed it best in one of his children’s novels, “a person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 

And the science stands! Research shows that hormones associated with a positive mood significantly reduce the instance of inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis [1]. 

The best part is this feeling is also a contagious one!

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research demonstrated that simply looking at a happy or sad facial expression elicits the same emotional response in participants [2]. This suggests that just being around a person expressing happiness has the power to make you happier.

But what does this mean for a world with less human contact? 

With so many of us going online to satisfy our need for connection, we’re relying on the digital space to express ourselves. Luckily, positive messages get shared more broadly and reach more people than negative sentiments [3]. This positivity bias also has the capacity to change the way we’re feeling. In research carried out at Tübingen University, scientists who tracked the emotional responses of Facebook users in Germany and the US found that reading other people’s positive posts triggered happiness in 64% of people [4].
 
So, whether it’s paying it forward, smiling on zoom calls or re-posting a feel-good article, see how you can spread the love. After all, happiness looks good on you!

REFERENCES
 
[1] Wardhana, M., Windari, M., Puspasari, N., & Suryawati, N. (2019). Role of serotonin and dopamine in psoriasis: a case-control study. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences7(7), 1138.
 
[2] Wild, B., Erb, M., & Bartels, M. (2001). Are emotions contagious? Evoked emotions while viewing emotionally expressive faces: quality, quantity, time course and gender differences. Psychiatry research102(2), 109-124. 
 
[3] Ferrara, E., & Yang, Z. (2015). Quantifying the effect of sentiment on information diffusion in social media. PeerJ Computer Science1, e26.
 
[4] Lin, R., & Utz, S. (2015). The emotional responses of browsing Facebook: Happiness, envy, and the role of tie strength. Computers in human behavior52, 29-38.