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The Mind-body Wellness Connection

By: Simone Baroke
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Saint-John’s-wort, which rose to global fame as an herbal depression buster, racked up global sales of $216 million in 2008, and a lot of scientific attention is being paid at the moment to the emerging link between diet and depression. A study carried out by University College London and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in November 2009 concluded that people with a diet high in processed foods were much more prone to developing depressive illness compared to those who consumed mostly whole foods—yet another confirmation that eating well is not only good for the body and the skin, but also for the mind.

Peace of mind

The mind-body wellness trend manifests itself in many different ways. For example, many believe organic foods are a healthier option, as they are less contaminated with agrochemicals, have higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than conventional foods, and are better for the environment. In other words, not only do consumers value organic foods as better for their bodies, but they also afford peace of mind and a clean conscience.

Global value sales of packaged organic foods leapt from $10 billion in 2002 to $23 billion in 2007, and although the recession has stifled the category’s growth performance of late, organics are far too important a component of the health and wellness trend to be killed off. In fact, they are the perfect fit for consumers’ ever-more holistic definition of wellness, and for spas, as well. With many skin care professionals turning to more holistic ingredients and products, incorporating more organic and natural elements into every aspect of a spa is a smart business move.

Cosmetics and personal care manufacturers are also beginning to run with this trend. Everybody knows of the old maxim that looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand, but some manufacturers have gone further by creating “edible” cosmetics. The use of organic, food-grade ingredients placates consumer worries about being harmed by chemicals. In fact, one niche beauty provider pioneering the organic cosmetics craze has created a line of organic skin care products using food-grade ingredients.

This is just yet another example that mind-body wellness is no mere passing fad, but a blossoming trend that is taking many different avenues to express itself.