My mantra based on my experience of working as a GP and cosmetic doctor has always been “inner health equals outer beauty”. In other words, when it comes to beauty; self-love is the place to start.
What you put into your body and how you live your life ultimately shows on the outside.
This not only applies to what you eat and drink but also how you feel. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, not enough water, smoking, alcohol all affect both our physical and mental health. These factors also have a significant effect on our skin; it can trigger flare-ups in skin problems such as eczema, acne and psoriasis and also can cause premature ageing.
Effects on the body
Skin problems; breakouts, dull skin, the formation of lines and wrinkles can affect our mood in a negative way and can lower our self-confidence and self-esteem.
This pattern can then fuel a vicious cycle of low mood, stress, lack of self love which leads to negative behaviours such as comfort eating, smoking, excess alcohol and poor sleep which in turn fuels the underlying problem with our appearance.
Self Love and well being
Self-love is not self indulgent or selfish. Taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself is the foundation of our health and wellbeing. We are all guilty of taking our health for granted. It is only when we, or someone close to us, experiences ill health that we appreciate how precious our health is. Looking after your health in terms of diet, exercise, rest and relaxation is mutually beneficial for our general health and appearance.
Working as a cosmetic doctor, I see both men and women who are unhappy with their skin and body for a variety of reasons. Working with people on their “treatment journey” I have been fortunate enough to see first hand how enhancing a person’s looks can dramatically improve how they see and think of themselves in a more positive light. It lifts their mood, improves their self-confidence and self-esteem. It is this boost in positivity which is often the much needed first step towards self-love. This has to be the most rewarding aspect of my job as a cosmetic doctor.
Despite the imagery we see daily on social media of perfect faces and bodies, I don’t believe there is a perfect “template” of beauty that we should aspire too. Beauty is unique to you. It’s not about erasing imperfections; it’s about optimisation of your natural looks rather than changing your face to fit a “ standardised model of beauty”.
In summary when people say happy girls are the prettiest, I have to totally agree. Love yourself; take of care yourself and your natural beauty will shine through, without having to try too hard!
Dr Jane Leonard is a fully qualified GP and Cosmetic doctor, graduating from the University of Manchester. She also has a first class honours degree in anatomical sciences, in which she focused her studies on the anatomy of the face, head and neck.
She completed her aesthetic training on Harley Street following a stint at The Alfred Hospital Medical Research Centre, in Melbourne, Australia. Her work in Dermatology research has been published in the prestigious Australasian Journal of Dermatology.
Almost a decade of aesthetic treatment experience, Dr Leonard has been nominated for the Cosmetic Doctor of the Year in the prestigious Safety in Beauty Diamond Awards.