One sure way for your skin to age prematurely is to let stress get the best of you. In addition to premature aging, a number of dangerous health issues can arise from stress such as heart attacks and depression. Fortunately, a few easy stress relief actions and strategic products can help keep your skin looking younger for years.
The Direct Correlation Between Stress and Your Skin
Stress is directly related to the appearance of your skin including acne, dark circles, dull-looking skin, dry skin, faster aging, inflammation, puffy eyes, and even rashes. Your body’s internal, natural reaction to stress is to increase the production of cortisol. This hormone leads to an increase in the production of oil and a spike in blood sugar resulting in many of the symptoms listed above, as well as destroying collagen and an unpleasant skin texture. As if these negative skin effects of stress were not enough, stress leads to facial muscle tension associated with wrinkles. And, if you suffer from rosacea, the National Rosacea Society warns that stress can lead to longer lasting fare-ups.
Skincare Essentials to Reduce Stress Effects
Because of the effects of stress on your skin, it is essential to select the right skincare products. Many dermatologists recommend the use of fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products. Such products are most likely to be found from brands that utilize more natural ingredients over chemical-based ingredients to reduce symptoms such as rosacea. These products are more likely to have lower pH levels that will not contribute further to inflammation or dryness. Another way to help your skin is to use a calming mask to soothe your skin from internal irritations and to prevent or reduce flare-ups. It could also prove beneficial to wash your skin in lukewarm water rather than hot water to prevent the removal of essential oils and to apply moisturizer while your skin is still a bit damp as a more successful way to keep moisture locked in. And, be sure to look for products that include antioxidants that promote the production of collagen and licorice root that can help shift the appearance of your skin from lackluster to radiant.
Lifestyle Changes to Minimize Stress
While skincare products can help combat long-term effects and act as temporary relief from dry, dull-looking skin, acne, etc., it is essential that you fight stress from its source of origin to truly eliminate the effects on your skin. Most of us crave comfort foods or junk food when we are feeling anxious or stressed; therefore, it is important to continue to eat properly to keep your body in fighting form against stress-related illness and to protect your skin. You should try to get as close to 8 hours of sleep each night as possible so that your body has a chance to recuperate from life’s daily stresses.
Also, be sure you drink enough water and exercise regularly. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is essential for your overall well-being and will fight your stress in a number of ways such as to increase your endorphins, regularly feel more calm and relaxed, and improve your mood. Whether you practice yoga, walk 10 minutes everyday, or train for a marathon, every little bit of exercise will help manage your stress. And, as an added bonus, exercise is great for your skin! The American Psychological Association also advises the following to minimize your stress:
- Identify the source of your stress.
- Keep your family and friends close and communicate.
- Remove screens, such as televisions and laptops, from the bedroom.
- Speak with a professional if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Minimizing your stress is essential for healthy living, however it is also critical to your psyche and skin.The process of caring for your skin can even have a calming effect on some people. And, when you look in the mirror and like what you see, it can have a dramatic impact on your mood and confidence for the day. Take care of your skin and it will take care of you!