Q.What makes you happy?
A. A fluffy cat.
Ice cream waiting in the freezer.
Chatting with good friends.
A good hair day.
Falling in love.
A long, uninterrupted bath.
Giving a successful presentation.
Getting a text from someone special.
A lost earring, found.

And above all...
healthy skin.

Overall happiness is related to your skin’s condition.

Does the way we feel inside really affect our skin on the outside? Here’s how experts on the skin and the emotions explain it.

Toru Sakura
Toru Sakura
Shiseido Research Center

Happiness brings beautiful skin by strengthening the immune system.

The secret to youthful, beautiful skin is maintaining its stability, or homeostasis. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and its job is to protect you from the external environment. Keeping your skin healthy enhances your overall immunity. And within the skin itself, Langerhans cells maintain immunity by triggering responses against harmful factors like germs and foreign substances that enter the body. This protects skin from dryness as well as UV light and other external stimuli.

Langerhans cells also connect the skin cells with nerve cells, as Shiseido researchers discovered working in collaboration with CBRC (MGH / Harvard Cutaneous Biology Research Center). They also found that when the body feels stressed, Langerhans cell functions are reduced. This connection from the skin cells to the nerve cells explains how the conditions of the heart and the mind are reflected the skin.

The shortcut to beautiful skin then, is to keep your Langerhans cells from deteriorating, by living a happy, stress-free life. Allowing yourself to fully enjoy small pleasures, like the texture and the scent of your skincare products, strengthens your skin’s immunity, leading to beautiful skin (which makes you feel even happier!)

Yasufumi Nagoshi
Yasufumi Nagoshi

A different spin on the beautiful skin/ happiness cycle.

When your emotions are calm, your blood circulates and metabolizes better, to purify the body and the skin. This brings you a feeling of happiness and wellbeing that builds on itself, as people naturally tend to gather around those who look happy and have healthy glowing skin. So interesting opportunities in life come to happy people. Fully embracing happiness is the way to perpetuate this positive cycle.

To those who say ‘That’s impossible!’, I would recommend exercise. When you work out, you experience a sense of satisfaction that radiates energy. Even a 10-minute workout every day does the trick. By the hundredth day, any dissatisfaction you’ve been harboring would ease, and this would make a difference in your skin and your appearance. The effects of your daily skincare routine would become more obvious as well.

Makeup and Beauty Director

Happiness that emanates from beautiful, glowing skin.

I was on a photo shoot once with a well-known model who had just returned to work for the first time in half a year after giving birth. While she enjoyed caring for her child, she came back to work with enthusiasm, and her skin was beaming with happiness. She looked even better than before. There were no flaws in her skin – it was perfectly glowing, radiant, bright, dewy, and smooth textured. I was in complete awe.

A similar thing happened with an actress who played the main character on a morning drama show a while ago. Her skin was well-maintained throughout the day, even though she claimed that she was exhausted. There was no need for a concealer to cover under-eye circles, as there was no trace of wear or dullness. Right after that, I heard she’s getting married and I thought about beauty benefits of happiness.

Even for models and actresses, who take good care of themselves, the power of happiness makes skin even more beautiful. I’ve witnessed this powerful phenomenon, and I encourage everyone to experience it. Having a sense of fulfillment in your life outside of work is definitely a beauty secret! It doesn’t have to be big. When the heart is content, the self is fulfilled, and happiness will radiate from the surface of your skin.