We all have different stress triggers, yet our bodies respond in similar ways, releasing adrenaline that speeds up the heart and metabolic rate. Chronic stress leaves our bodies anxious and exhausted and our skin drawn, sallow, and, well, sad.
Here's the science behind your stressed out skin
- Adrenaline redirects blood away from the skin, leaving it looking pale and drawn
- Anger and frustration release chemicals which stimulate sebaceous glands, leading to blocked pores and breakouts
- Tension slows down the rate of cellular turnover resulting in a dull, sallow skin tone
- Continual stress suppresses the skin's natural protective mechanisms, making it more vulnerable to free radical damage
Exercising can sometimes feel like a paradox. The more we need it, the less time we make for it. So how about this? Schedule it in your day and integrate it in your life. A brisk 30-minute walk. A few laps in the swimming pool. The stairs instead of the elevator. All release endorphins—the body’s feel good hormones—and help boost sluggish skin cells. It’s the least you can do for your stressed out skin, not to mention your body and soul.
It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing. You may be asleep, but the body’s natural restoration system kicks in while you slumber and skin cells renew themselves twice as fast as during the day, due in part to an elevated body temperature. Long story short, get your winks. Go to bed at a consistent hour and do something relaxing to unwind beforehand, like a warm bath, a gentle walk, or, well, you know.
Massages are a great way to relieve tension and relax muscles. Put yourself in the hands of a professional for an hour of bliss or ask your partner for a little labor of love in the form of a shoulder or neck rub. Every little bit helps.
Learn to recognize the early signs of stress—in mind, body, and skin—and take action.
Bryan Gan, an alternative therapist who contributes to the IMEDEEN® Inside-Out workshops in Singapore, recommends a DIY peppermint oil head massage to soothe and calm. He also recommends simple acupressure techniques to boost circulation and improve skin radiance. Find the acupressure point in the ball of the foot, hold for 6 seconds and then release. Repeat 3 times.