Your Beauty Routine Isn't a Guilty Pleasure—It's *Literally* Helping You Lead a Longer, Healthier Life

20 years of research says so.

Finger, Skin, Hand, Nail, Carmine, Wrist, Thumb, Gadget, Playstation accessory, Nail care,
Finger, Skin, Hand, Nail, Carmine, Wrist, Thumb, Gadget, Playstation accessory, Nail care,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As an on-the-go twentysomething, I find that my sanity can often be summed up by whether or not I'm actually sticking to my beauty regimen. 

Now, bear with me here... It's not so much a vanity thing (though I will say there's no pick-me-up like a clear complexion or good hair day). No, it's more than that—dedicating those 10-15 minutes each morning and evening to taking care of myself helps me feel more centered.The alternative—whether it's skipping washing my face to plunk down in bed as soon as humanly possible or indulging my snooze button in the AM and settling for a sorry excuse for a cat eye—always leads to feeling "off", both inside and out.

But this notion feels a whole lot less frivolous thanks to a newly-released study conducted by CVS that hones in on the correlation between beauty and a "subjective well-being." According to Yahoo Beauty, NYC-based psychologist Dr. Vivian Diller gathered evidence over the last 20 years  that proves carving out time for personal care has worthwhile short and long-term health benefits.

"Activities that allow us to take care of our personal beauty needs should not be viewed as 'guilty pleasures,'" says Diller. "These acts may help us live a long and vital life well into our 80s and 90s."

To prove her point, Diller cites an example that will resonate with lipstick lovers everywhere. Chances are, you know from firsthand experience that a quick swipe of your go-to shade can have a positive effect not just on your appearance, but your state of mind. This confidence, AKA subjective well-being, when incorporated into a daily routine has been linked to improved diet, better sleeping habits, and a boosted immunity, says Diller. Not to mention, that same swipe can be just as big a component to your anti-aging agenda as prescription retinol.

"You should allow yourself to see beauty as staying healthy for the rest of your life," she explains. "We know that on multiple biological levels, from the cardiovascular system to cellular growth, if we include relaxation we are very likely to slow down the natural deterioration of our bodies that come with age."

While this study provides a convenient excuse for a makeup bag refresh,  it's also scientific data that drives an important point home: We should never apologize for the daily beauty habits that make us happy (whether that's religiously multimaskingtactfully layering on serums and creams, or a stamped-on red pout) or how much time we spend on them.

"We all want the same things, we want to feel and look good," says Diller. "That was really the seed of the work that I've been doing for 20 years — to help women not feel so guilty about how they look. One of the reasons not to feel guilty is that beauty and health are not separate."

And with that, we're giving Dr. Diller all the hat tips!

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.