Awe reduces cytokines and makes skin awesome. The circularity of that is really dependent on your understanding of cytokines that get no press compared to oxidative stress even though they are pretty pernicious. These little proteins are pro-inflammatory. They reduce collagen, skin thickness and compromise the skin's immunity. Who knew? and what can you do?
Intrepid researchers however discovered that profound experiences were associated with reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines specifically interleukin. They measured awe specifically — momentary awe that simulate wonder and curiosity — these are those memories of seemingly fleeting moments of beauty — natural or in this case artistic that move you out of yourselves.
So there you have it - high culture's completely tangential role to contemporary well-being is in skincare. Because that is the promise of opera, ballet, art, theatre and literature - they are not easy to embrace but they promise awe - science does as well but high culture was designed to deliver precisely these fleeting moments of transcendence. The relevance of which is frequently questioned in our distracted cultural moment.
So you can give yourself over to art for awesome skin. Here’s Walter Pater on the Mona Lisa that speaks to this cool finding.
It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions.