“During the colder months of winter, dull, dry skin tends to leave us feeling less motivated and engaged,” says body language expert Tonya Reiman. Unmotivated? Disengaged? While it may sound like just the typical winter blahs, it could be that your skin is actually the root cause of all that ennui. “Skin and emotion are directly correlated,” Reiman says. When we know our skin isn't looking its best, we're more likely to display subtle body language cues that broadcast insecurity.
If your skin is itchy and flaking, that self-consciousness could be causing you to send unconscious signals that convey a serious lack of confidence. “These insecurities cause [people] to speak in a higher pitch than usual,” Reiman says. “When we’re not as confident, we either avoid touch altogether or touch in a more disconnected way.” Other signs that betray a lack of confidence include a reluctance to make eye contact, poor posture, and darting, hesitant movements.
All these little signals add up to a demeanor that others—from friends to co-workers to total strangers—read as insecurity or timidity or even total apathy. Think of what that could affect—from relations with your family and spouse to how others treat you to whether you’re effective at work.
A super-easy way to fix the problem? Just moisturize each and every day. “When skin is moisturized and feels good, you’re not only better prepared mentally for your day, but you’re also primed to make an impression on people—from your gestures and movement to your appearance and voice,” Reiman says. Confident people walk with heads held high and chins elevated, leaving the impression that they take up more space, and they make bigger, sweeping gestures and speak in lower, booming voices. “[When we’re confident], she says, we tend to move around a space more freely, which gives our movement energy and gets the attention of people we want to impress.
So please, for your skin's health and for your confidence, stock up on your favorite body lotion this winter. Looking and feeling more confident could literally be as easy as moisturizing.