Stress on Your Skin: 7 Steps Back to Your Glow By Jayme Hayward, Esthetician
Ever wonder why we seem to break out at the worst possible moments with a pimple or a cold sore? Or why we break out in rashes or the eczema/psoriasis gets worse if you’ve been sick, or haven’t slept well? Well, there is one clear answer to all of these questions and it is simply STRESS. Stress is not only linked to a number of skin conditions but also reduced immunity, digestives problems and even heart disease. When your body is under any type of stress, it is programmed to release hormones like cortisol to help fight through. These hormones make your skin more sensitive and oily and can cause your immune system to suffer. Cortisol also causes all kinds of inflammation in our bodies which breaks down collagen and can trigger premature aging. When your immune system is weakened, infections like pimples (bacterial) and cold sores (viral) tend to rear their ugly heads. So now that we are aware of what is going on, how can we stop it?
Here are 7 steps to lessen stress and boost your natural healthy glow:
- Make sleep a priority. Getting eight hours of sleep a night is a great way to keep your cortisol level down. People who get six hours of sleep or less have 50% higher cortisol levels (Prevention 2013). If it means removing the TV from your bedroom or turning off all social media notifications then do it. Need help falling asleep? Try a guided meditation. I like the 528HZ app and yes, that is really what it’s called. It costs $3.99 but is well worth it, in my opinion.
- Take time for yourself with invigorating healthy activities. Get moving! Exercise helps improve mood and lessen stress in very immediate ways – not to mention the long-term payoff for investing time and effort into your fitness and overall wellness.
- Be mindful of stress-eating! When we are stressed, our cortisol levels rise which then causes food cravings. If we adjust what we reach for in times like this, we can actively lower ourcortisol levels, simply by choosing the right foods and avoiding those that will exacerbate stress. Look for green leafy veggies, and foods high in folate (asparagus and avocado) and Vitamin C (blueberries and oranges) to provide natural support for your body! Also, consider carrying dark chocolate along with you for a mood boosting snack that will lower blood pressure which creates a sense of calm (Prevention 2014).
- Delegate tasks and ask for help! Break down those tasks into smaller pieces and steps. Write them down and break them down even further. Choose one
or two things of these small pieces to accomplish each day. Progress is progress, no matter how great or small. If you get stuck, look beyond yourself to see the talents and strong suits of those around you and bring them into your world. Ask for their help. Often, things that seem daunting to me are easy-peasy for a friend and they are usually happy to help.
- Take alone time and prioritize friend time! Take yourself out on a date or spend the day reading a book. Find that hobby that has been sitting on the shelf and take a break from the endless lists and schedules to simply love and listen to your self. Just a few hours a week can really break through any unhealthy habits that creep up when we are not looking. This alone time, similar to friend time, can tap into the deepest, most sacred parts of our unique being and remind us what is important. The fastest way to get your skin glowing is to start tending to the glow within!
- Aromatherapy can be used as a way to snap out of a worried mind and genuinely move into a relaxed state when life seems overwhelming. Lavender and chamomile essential oils have calming properties that work almost immediately (HealthCentral 2012). Keep a satchel of lavender by your bed, in your car or bag for easy access. You will be amazed at how this simple adjustment can really snap your brain out of a downward stress spiral.
- Self-care is HUGE! Schedule a massage, acupuncture, pedicure or facial (here at Natural Body Works, naturally ;)) before you think it’s a necessity. Preventative care will maintain your balance and keep you in that sweet spot. These services not only make you feel better, but can make you look better too and we all know that when we look better, we feel better.
These steps are sure to do wonders for your skin and the overall health and wellness of mind, body, and spirit. For winter skin support, I have a few exciting recommendations that have worked wonders for my clients:
If you are experiencing red and dry skin, try my Cosmedix Rescue Balm and Mask to calm, hydrate and soothe after just a few applications.
If you are experiencing breakouts, try Cosmedix Clear Mask all over or as a spot treatment for immediate shrinkage of problem spots overnight.
Need an immediate fix? Try my relaxing Signature Facial ($89) for 90 minutes of bliss and rejuvenation.This facial will leave your skin soothed, hydrated, glowing and fabulous!
Click through to make an appointment here online, or call 360-694-9726 to schedule and have all of your questions answered!
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