Why Skincare Burns So Much Fun


The ritual goes little like this. Once or twice a month, I look forward to going to my little bathroom and greeting my face in the mirror. In the private sanctuary of this intimate space, I examined my skin under a soft amber bulb. The lighting here is soft and welcoming, but the action I take in my view is anything. I chose a soft spatula and used it to rub a gray pink goo all over the face. I looked at my reflection, shone with product and promise, and I waited.

It didn’t take long for the fun to begin.

As it set in the growing holes dug by years of smiles and wrinkles, the essential goo began to reign in pain and my whole face screamed with alarm. It burned and I loved it. It hurts and I enjoy it. But why?

I’m not the only person who achieves a worse skincare product than a good cream without questioning my ability to last. And frankly, I don’t know if my pain mask will work or not, despite my seemingly monastic devotion to it. What I do know is that the act of suffering somehow makes me feel like it’s working, and that the pain makes me feel good in the process.

The science of pain, and the way guilt affects it, can help explain the appeal of aversive skincare. I love my cruel face because it feels like remorse, a deliberate act of apologizing every time I walk around the day unprotected. But the persuasion also lies in the fact that when we endure some pains to achieve something, our minds give more value to the result. The term for intentional pain experience—masochism—With all the baggage to start the word as a sexual paraphilia. Even beyond skincare, masochism is normal and widespread, and understanding it is an important step in the process of determining a person’s habitual behavior.

In a 2011 study published in Psychological Science explored the relationship between pain and remission, the researchers asked study participants to write about one of two things: an example of rejecting or excluding another person, or a harmless relationships. Afterwards, they filled out a survey about their perceived conscience. Afterwards, the fun part: They have to stick their whole hand in the ice water until they can stand up. Well, the rest too. The restraint group got temp room, the bastards.

The researchers found that people who wrote about their memory of guilt held their hands in ice water longer, valued ice water more painfully than others did, and experienced a significant reduction in guilt afterwards. Read that again. Guilty people take more pain, are said to be in more pain, and feel less guilty afterwards. To illustrate this, the authors refer to DB Morris ’book, The Culture of Pain, stating that “pain is usually understood to be purely physical in nature, but it is more accurate to describe it as the intersection of body, mind, and culture.” This model of thinking assumes that people define pain, and Drs. Brock Bastian, one of the study’s authors, argued that people are socialized from birth to receive internal pain in a judicial model of punishment.

“I think it’s more of a relationship between pain and justice. The perpetuation of pain can be as if it gives a sense of justice, and a form of self -punishment,” Bastian said, quoting the mixture of punishment can be associated with repentance to varying degrees. ”It is not clear that people say to themselves‘ I punished myself with pain ’instead. [they are] for a hard jog or doing something vigorous and fulfilled the need to restore justice through punishment. ”As Bastian says in the paper,” History is filled with examples of ritual or self-inflicted disease aimed at achieving purification. “

In the case of skincare, a sense of justice arises when we feel we have done a lot. earn the effects of our pain creams and microneedler. Pain also gives us a taste of atonement through self-punishment, making us pay for all the transgressions we perpetuate on our skin: days without sunscreen, cigarette smoke, forced shopping. , sleep with makeup. And once we pay for our dermatological sins, we can taste that sweet, sweet laugh.

But my fascination with masochistic skincare isn’t just about guilt. There is something else going on, something that has to do with the ways people act and experience value. “When something hurts, it can create a sense of value or effectiveness,” Bastian explains. In general, making an effort on things increases our perception of their value, ”so the use of skin care products that are average and slightly harmful, may be lost in our vision. well, they did something. “



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