When we think of oxytocin, we think of "love" as it is often called the "love hormone" However, oxytocin (OXT) is so much more.
Oxytocin mediates a wide range of actions including but not limited to:
- cell growth
- cell differentiation
- sodium excretion
- social behavior
It has also been found to be clinically relevant to skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis.
Paiva Skincare was built on the legacy of Catherine and Thurman Paiva, my parents.
The last conversation that I had with my mother before her passing, was where she - now facing death and having time through her hospice and cancer to reflect, wanted me to know that all that really mattered in life was to love and to forgive. This was a message gifted to me over two decades ago.
A decade before, I would find a hidden letter that my father wrote to me, knowing he was going to pass away soon from lung cancer (unknown to me), that while we use our "head" in life with goals, to always include our heart.
Thus, oxytocin is very important to this company philosophy, and I want to share the "why" of why it should matter to you as well.
When you feel "down", be it just unmotivated or depressed, your oxytocin is not as expressed in your skin.
- Past trauma.
- Being isolated.
- Going through a troubling relationship.
- Stress of any kind; physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.
These are all triggers that can reduce the production of oxytocin.
This means that acts of kindness and love, those that are romantic, generally kind and positive thinking, as well as self-care such as wellness and positive self-care, all have the potentiality to trigger oxytocin which in turns, helps to create a sense of well-being, reduce stress and then create the foundation for more wellness, love, peace and kindness.
Decreasing stress, and boosting positive responses to life experiences has both an indirect and direct response to skin's appearance and health.
We already know that oxytocin may benefit people with:
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Panic Disorder
- Antisocial Behavior
But it also has an impact on our behaviors, habits, thoughts, and relationships- again, including the relationship with ourselves.
The mind and skin are not two ships crossing in the night; they are intermingled.
Everything from trichotillomania (hair-pulling), hives, acne, rosacea and more, are responses to stress; and stress blocks oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of the answers to lowering stress, and thus, combating these symptoms and conditions.
Oxytocin is released in response to positive activation of sensory nerves during not only breastfeeding, sexual activity or romance but also through thinking kind and positive thoughts about others and one's self.
Through volunteering, through making a difference in the world in a positive way and by increasing the impact we have in the world; are all ways oxytocin is activated.
Humans express different behaviors in order to feel peace and to avoid stress.
Some of these behaviors hinder oxytocin.
If as a youth, you did not learn that you deserved love, you might instead use food or other self-soothing as your main way in which to glean stress reduction or feel a sense of calm. Only after careful practice does one begin to institute habits that include self-care and build upon this.
For instance, we all know someone who assumes one must have to work "hard" or "pay their dues" in order to be successful in love, life, and work. We all know that person who assumes that men (or women) are horrible and trusted people are far and few between. You might be that person who feels that way.
However, in practicing loving-kindness to yourself first, and then toward the outside world, a little at a time, you begin to stimulate the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and ba-da-bing, you begin to experience not only self-soothing but a greater sense of well-being and hope.
Why does this matter for a skincare company?
This matters to us for many reasons. Not only do I want to carry on my parents legacy and share their wisdom with the world, but I know from a psychological space that the messages we are bombarded with, become the saturated marinate of our present and future thoughts.
We begin to assume that an "anti-aging" oil is in fact, a good thing; that the term "anti-aging" is in some way better than "aging"... we are learning to disrupt our natural flow of life with marketing manipulation.
I want to instead disrupt the idea that we should see aging and enjoying the next moments of our lives, the new chapters that unfold, as a negative.
We need to stop allowing negativity to be inhaled into our gentle emotional lungs and circulate throughout our being.
Oxytocin is an interactive behavior response and, foundation. The thoughts of your own self when you look into the mirror are actually quite interactive. You must think "about" yourself as "Self". In my research within neurophenomenology, the role of "Self" can be quite abstract or disconnected when we are not at ease with our past and present experiences or, when we feel unloved, unlovable or undervalued.
By creating rituals, by having higher standards for yourself and not settling for shady people or marketing, we are all taking a step not only for ourselves but for others, to rise higher, to love ourselves, resulting in the potential for increased kindness, peace, calm and opportunities for love.
The sheer act of looking in the mirror, and creating a loving, nurturing massage when applying your skincare, understanding that you are nurturing your body, mind, and spirit, is a first step in boosting your own oxytocin levels.
Loving the skin you are in is about loving yourself, inside and out, and the world around you.