De-Stress for Super Skin
You may have accepted that life nearly always has to be busy and therefore stressful… but have you thought about the significant impact that that might be having on your skin? We are all programmed to age faster or slower according to our unique genetic profile. However, rest assured, we also have it within our grasp to influence certain external factors – such as stress linked to our lifestyle; and lifestyle is responsible for over 50% of the appearance of signs of ageing on our skin.
Stress, more and more common in our overburdened lives, therefore plays a major part in the skin’s ageing. How exactly does it impact upon our skin’s health and appearance and how can we de-stress to stay looking younger?
What is Stress?
Stress is a phenomenon of the body that allows humans to react to their environment. It affects more women (37%) than men (24%).
When you are stressed, your body reacts by secreting hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which stimulate all your vital systems in order that you are ready to face a situation… or flee!
This is the ‘fight or flight response’.
This adaptation syndrome, positive in origin as it was intended to help us to survive, has two negative consequences on the skin. Effectively in case of chronic stress, the body becomes exhausted, precisely because it is permanently hyper-stimulated by these same hormones. The skin, like the rest of the body, suffers from this hormonal deregulation.
The Causes of Stress
Stress can be tied to physical reactions:
1. Extreme temperatures
2. An injury
4. An illness
And to these psychological reactions:
5. An unsettling remark
6. Prolonged pressure (e.g. at work)
7. A painful or upsetting situation
8. A particular fear.
Stress and Signs of Ageing
When stress becomes chronic, it has biological repercussions which impact on the skin, notably accelerating the skin’s ageing. It becomes much duller, thinner and less supple skin with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, sagging and more.
Also, as we age, we may acquire crow’s feet, laughter lines and wrinkles of the forehead, the very visible traces of our worries. Stress provokes facial expressions, like frowning, which, through being repeated, marks the skin with wrinkles which we could do without.
Keep Young and Beautiful…De-Stress!
As well as taking long baths, or having relaxing massages, here are a few more de-stressing ideas:
Unwind with Yoga
With yoga poses you bend, tighten, stretch and relax every part of your body. This helps you to relax and stay in shape, as well as with the removal of toxins and waste products deep within the muscles tissue. Moreover yoga helps to still the mind and give greater mental clarity making it an all-round great way to lower the stress levels. Try enjoying a spot of yoga first thing in the morning, so that you begin the day feeling calm and again last thing at night, to relax you and promote a great sleep.
Walk Yourself Calmer
Walking is great for body and soul – encouraging greater mobility, burning fat and lifting the mood. In fact, many regular walkers say it helps to reduce the symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Don’t over-stress your body by speed-walking or attacking steep inclines first or all. A flatter walk at roughly 3mph will steadily burn fat and help to get the de-stressing endorphins racing around your system. Plus, all that lovely scenery is good for the heart and soul too.
There are many studies showing that meditation has many good effects on the body, mind and soul. How to do it? Firstly, wear loose comfortable clothing and find a quiet spot where you will be undisturbed. Sit on the floor on a carpet or mat. Try to sit upright with your eyes closed, legs crossed for about 10 – 15 minutes and just focus on breathing in and out. Breathe steadily in through your nose and out through your mouth, as it gives you something to focus on and to may distract you from your thoughts. You don’t need to say a special chant, unless you want to. Simply stilling your mind as you breathe in this way can have great health and de-stressing benefits, slowing your heartbeat and making you feel much calmer.
Anti-Stress Skin Secrets
Soothing Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well known for its soothing, hydrating qualities. It is also full of nutrients essential to optimum skin health including vitamin A, C, B and E plus loaded with minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and copper. Not only does it help heal and hydrate, but aloe vera is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties that nourish your skin and protect from infections and damage. You can find many soothing aloe vera products of all kinds at good health and beauty stockists.
Scrub Away Stress
Oats and honey can make a delicious, nourishing facial scrub that you can massage in as you scrub dead skin cells – and tension – away. To make one, take some organic Manuka honey and stir about 1 teaspoon of it into the fresh juice of 4 large tomatoes. Add enough oat flakes to make a rough, thick paste and, using your fingertips, scrub this paste onto your skin with light circular motions.
Avocado Soothing Mask
Avocado has many soothing and nourishing properties. Mix three tablespoons of cream, 1/4 ripe avocado and one tablespoon of honey. Smooth the avocado mixture over your face, close your eyes and place two rounds of cucumber on your eyes leave for at least 10 quiet, relaxed minutes, then wipe away with a warm, damp cloth.
Relax Yourself Radiant
There you have it – the foolproof guide to understanding stress, its impact on skin and a few simple ways to overcome it. So now all that you have to do is thoroughly relax,totally de-stress and start looking better than ever.