Besides having less dirt around to clog your pores, there are internal reasons why having a clean and orderly house can help soothe your skin.
A study on the effects of living in a disorderly cluttered environment on your health was conducted by professor Nicole R. Keith, Ph.D. a research scientist and professor at Indiana University. After studying nine hundred and ninety-eight African American subjects from the age of forty-nine and sixty-five, she “found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses.” (1) That’s right, having a messy house can literally damage your health. Keith found an “increased risk for heart disease… The researchers also found that women with cluttered homes expressed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.” (1) How is the home supposed to create a fortress for relaxation when it’s cluttered and you’re reminded of everything you have to do? It’s only natural that your body would react negatively.
When the stress hormone Cortisol is released, it affects the internal functions of the body but also the skin. Richard Fried, M.D. Ph.D., a dermatologist, clinical psychologist, and clinical director of Yardley Dermatology, tells SELF. Dr. Fried says. “So many [skin conditions] are related to an inappropriate release of inflammatory chemicals… Your immune system gets ready to do battle.” It does this by releasing chemicals like interleukins, which, in order to help protect your health, cause inflammation. (2) Inflammation is like your body’s airbag, trying to protect you from the impact of the harmful stressor. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you happen to be predisposed to eczema, then feeling overwhelmed with stress is one factor that can cause patches of dry, itchy, inflamed skin bloom across your body. It can also cause acne, rosacea, and psoriasis to become more inflamed and chronic. (3)
Stress can also cause the excoriation disorder, where one picks their skin excessively is a behavioral way to cope with stress, which is a claim supported by Shannon Bennet, Ph.D., a psychologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. Bennet states that this behavioral impulse-control condition usually gets worse under stress. (2)
If not for the piece of mind, keep a tidy house to the sake of your health. You may want to put off cleaning, but your body will thank you if you can keep your home a safe space to relax in at the end of the day.
Written by Kesia Cameron, Contributor