Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy
Everyday stress can make you look older but you have the power to stop this from happening. Everyday I amaze people when I tell them how old I am. They often think that I am at least 20 years younger than I am. I often hear that my skin looks amazing. What I learned a long time ago is not to let stress or anxiety take a toll on my health and well being and my skin. You can often tell just by looking at someone how much stress they have had in their lives and how much of a toll it has taken on their wellbeing, just by looking at their face.
You see each one of us at one point and time in our lives has suffered from the stress provoked acne breakout. This happens because stress and anxiety triggers hormones and neurotransmitters that inflame the skin and causes the skin to become a breeding ground for acne. When your brain senses psychological stress it turns on the stress related hormones. The result is an acne producing cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals triggering angiotensin and inflammation generating cytokines that courses through your body eroding your skin’s plumping collagen and sacred defenses. When this happens during short-term stress or anxiety, it is not too much of a problem. The trouble is when stress and anxiety become a chronic problem, which often goes unnoticed.
The chronic state of stress continues bathing of the skin in the stress hormones, which begins to damage your complexion from the inside out. Over time the increased exposure to cortisol can inhibit the growth of fibroblast cells, that make new collagen, but it doesn’t slow the breakdown of old tissue. This may lead to skin tissue lost at an accelerated rate. Chronic stress also boosts the production of free radicals and reduces protective antioxidants making your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles, pigmentation spots and dullness.
Skin inflammation often occurs in response to emotional stress and the inflammatory process damages and ages skin. Your immune system is not meant to be turned up 24/7 and than constant low grade inflammation may further degrade collagen and hinder skin’s ability to replenish. Plus inflammation compromises your skin’s barrier function, which can leave your complexion drier, duller and more prone to irritation. When you live in a constant state of stress it becomes harder for your skin to repair itself naturally, form healthy collagen and elastin and heal the damaged areas.
Your Skin’s Biggest Friends
So now you may be wondering how in the world can I prevent this from happening when often times I don’t even realize that I am stressed, well let me share with you some of the methods I use to keep my skin looking fabulous while keeping stress and anxiety at bay.
We all know that exercise is good for you in so many ways in that it boost circulation and relieves stress. In fact, exercise decrease cortisol levels and inflammation and you actually look younger, fresher and healthier after you exercise. Exercising for even 10 minutes has been shown to have a significant effect on the appearance of your skin.
Something that has wonderfully soothing effects on the mind and the body is listening to some soothing music. Soothing music is known to reduce cortisol and inflammation. So go ahead an indulge in some soothing music by turning on your computer playlist and let the melodies of the music relax your mind and your body and heal your skin from the inside out.
Being in nature or surrounded by green space has a soothing effect on the brain as well and can reduce cortisol and anxiety in adults. Taking a walk in nature can do wonders to relax the mind. A relaxed mind equals decreased stress hormones and happier skin.
At the end of the day, take a minute to write down three things that you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to beat stress and feel happier. You don’t have to do a 10-day silent retreat to make significant impact on stress and how you let it affect you and the way you look.
My Zenful solution to you for improving the way your skin looks and feels is exercise, music and gratitude. These three little things can reduce the hormones that lead to dull, tired looking skin, wrinkles, sagging and aging skin.
Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título