Beauty has always gone beyond skin deep. Yet, with the recent influx of research on cosmetic procedures, we are finding there is much more to beauty treatments than meets the eye. Far from superficial, many common salon and clinic offerings actually provide measurable physical and mental health uplifts. From reducing migraine pain to boosting mood, aesthetic treatments are unveiling surprising therapeutic potential.
1. Migraine Management
Botulinum toxin injections, such as Botox, have been used for years by over 2 million migraine sufferers in the UK to reduce headache pain. The injections work by blocking nerve signals, relaxing muscles, and preventing the release of inflammatory substances that can spark migraine attacks. Studies show migraines occurring on over 15 days a month can plummet to just 1-2 days following Botox treatment. For those prone to debilitating migraine pain, a trip to the aesthetics clinic brings sweet relief.
2. Depression Lift
Vain, though it may seem, treatment aimed at modifying facial aesthetics also appears to boost mental health. A pioneering study in 2022 found that non-surgical aesthetic treatments like fillers and skin rejuvenation led to significant declines in anxiety, depression and poor body image among middle-aged women. Researchers speculate that reducing visible signs of ageing counters ageism faced by mature women in Western culture. This lifts appearance-related psychosocial stress that can contribute to declining mental health in older females.
3. Injury Recovery
Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal devices are saving skin – literally. The high-tech tools excel at treating scars and healing injuries by stimulating skin cell renewal and boosting collagen production. The non-invasive light therapy reduces inflammation and redness while evening skin tone and texture damaged by cuts, burns, acne, or surgery. In wound healing trials, scarred skin sites treated with IPL lasers or LED light therapy healed in nearly half the time compared to no treatment.
4. Restoration Response
Skin smoothing and fillers like Juvéderm don’t just fill wrinkles; they may help fill vital brain regions starved of stimulation. An intriguing study in 2021 gave a group of Alzheimer’s patients regular aesthetic treatments, including Botox, filler injections and laser therapy. After six weeks, PET scans showed significantly increased metabolic activity in temporal and prefrontal areas involved in memory, behaviour, and mood. While medics aren’t yet sure of the mechanism, restoring a youthful facial appearance seemed to restore higher brain function.
5. Gut Rebalance
The mouth is a window into our gut health – and dental aesthetics align our oral microbiome. Recent research reveals straightened teeth and fitted dentures encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria that regulate digestion, weight, inflammation, and immunity. Poorly fitting dentures and dental gaps mess with our microbiome, allowing harmful bacteria to flourish. This can spark inflammatory gut conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In an era of mounting IBS and food intolerances, dental aesthetics offer a surprising route to feel good inside and out.
Recent evidence dispels the myth that beauty is only skin deep. Cosmetic treatments from Botox to veneers provide profound physical and mental therapeutic effects.