Can the Mind Help Clear Up the Skin?

The Essential Info

Visualizing anything in your life helps prime your subconscious to help you achieve it. While it is a fantasy that you can simply visualize clear skin and this alone will magically achieve it, it can’t hurt, and just might help.

The Science

We are not responsible for creating acne with negative thought. Acne is a genetic disease, and you are no more at fault for it than you are for the color of your skin or how tall you are.

Having said that, the mind does have an impact on the health of the skin. Research shows that stressful life events, which affect us on a psychological level, can also worsen acne. Conversely, psychological techniques for managing stress and cultivating a positive outlook might help to clear acne.1-3

Proper topical treatment to get rid of acne should be the first line of defense. However, results from biofeedback studies are hinting that the mind might be able to help clear up acne, at least to some degree.3 Simply put, if you visualize clear skin, you may have a better shot at achieving it. Plus it can be fun and you can use this technique with anything you want to achieve in your life.

What to Do:

  1. Start by feeling good: This will get you in a fertile mindset for your visualization to take root. You can do this by thinking about someone you love, by listening to a favorite song, singing, dancing, smiling, or doing whatever it is that makes you feel good. You can change this each time you do your visualization, or it can stay the same. Just have fun with it.
  2. Now that you feel good, sit down and close your eyes: Take a few deep breaths as you start visualizing yourself with beautifully clear skin. Visualize it in the present, as if you have already achieved it. You can say phrases to yourself like, “I am enjoying perfectly clear skin,” or “My skin is smooth and healthy.” Get creative and say what feels best to you. Try to really feel what it feels like to have clear skin. Do this for 1-2 minutes. If you’re having fun with it, keep going for longer.
  3. As you go through your day, keep that feeling with you: Keep reminding yourself that you have clear skin. It may sound silly, but it feels good, it’s fun, and it may help. You can repeat the phrase, “Thank you for my clear skin.” The feeling of gratitude that this sentence creates will help keep you in a good feeling place at the same time that you are reminding yourself of the clear skin you are bringing into your life.
  4. Seize opportunities to act: If something presents itself that will aid you in your journey toward clear skin, reach out and seize it.
  1. Azambuja, R. D. The need of dermatologists, psychiatrists and psychologists joint care in psychodermatology. An. Bras. Dermatol. 92, 63 – 71 (2017).
  2. Marshall, C., Taylor, R. & Bewley, A. Psychodermatology in clinical practice: Main principles. Acta Derm. Venereol. 96, 30 – 34 (2016).
  3. Chiu, A., Chon, S. Y. & Kimball, A. B. The response of skin disease to stress: changes in the severity of acne vulgaris as affected by examination stress. Arch. Dermatol. 139, 897 – 900 (2003).