To put it bluntly: Stress sucks. Whether you’re wound too tight from work, family dramz, or issues in your relationship, worrying about what’s going on at the office or at home 24/7 can take its toll on more than just your mental state of mind. In fact, it can wreak havoc on your skin.
“When you are stressed, the skin becomes more reactive, which means that any underlying skin conditions are likely to flare up,” says Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, Board-Certified Dermatologist. “In terms of hormonal acne, the stress hormone cortisol can cause the oil glands in the skin to produce even more oil and increased oil production can lead to more acne.” Um, great!
Not only that, but when you’re on the verge of losing it, you tend to make facial movements like furrowed brows, pursed lips, and squinty eyes, according to Gerald Imber, M.D., World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon and Director of NYC’s Youth Corridor. “These repetitive movements create and accelerate the presence of fine lines and wrinkles on one’s face.”
Since no one wants to deal with breakouts or accelerated aging, there’s only one way to get this sitch under control and that’s to stress less. Here’s how:
Remember to breathe during the day and get up from your desk multiple times, recommends Dr. Imber. “It sounds simple, but a few deep breaths can also help you relax and sleep. Another alternative is to have a stress ball or a fidget spinner at your desk that can take the pressure off your facial expressions,” he adds.
Be More Mindful
“Mindfulness practices and cognitive behavioral therapy are often recommended as reliable ways to manage stress, but like many skin care regimens, they must be personalized to be most successful,” advises Erin Larson, Esthetician and Director of Brand Management & Education at HydroPeptide. Cognitive behavioral therapy is all about understanding how and why certain situations are affecting you. By taking part in CBT you can change your way of perceiving situations, and therefore alter the way that they affect you. We love these tension-busting tips from the Huffington Post.
Get a Massage
“A good massage can help get rid of the physical pains associated with stress, but studies show that there are also stress-relief benefits to regular massages,” says Paula Simpson, Holistic Nutritionist, Biochemist, and Co-Founder of Zea Skin Solutions. So #TreatYoSelf to 60 minutes once a month, and see how different you feel. You can also try facial massage; not only is it incredibly relaxing, but it can decrease puffiness by aiding lymph-drainage, and over time it will help you to age better. Find out more about facial massage here.
We’re not talking about dancing, we’re talking about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). The therapy is used by celebs like Madonna and Whoopi Goldberg and is based on the idea of tapping your body in certain areas, to tap into and utilize your body’s energy meridian points. It sounds super easy and a little bit different, but by applying pressure and tapping acupoints, it can help you to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. The most subtle (in case you’re at work) and easiest ways you can try the technique are by gently tapping acupoints on the inside of your wrist, and the side of your hand between the base of your little finger and wrist.
Sweat It Out
According to Simpson, exercise gets your heart beating and your skin sweating — which helps cleanse the body of toxins — so hot yoga studios, saunas, and steam rooms are where you want to be spending your time. “All of these things also transport you to a more peaceful, calm state of mind,” she adds.
($3-20): Acne fighting body washes, detoxifying charcoal mud masks, and micellar cleansing waters will benefit your visage (and bod) and work to banish nasty impurities, so stock up on Yes to’s tomato-based collection asap.
ZSS Clear Skin Dietary Supplements, $75: These supplements are a combo of antioxidants, healthy probiotics, and botanicals targeted to support the detoxification of the organs. That means blemish-free, balanced, and glowing skin is the result. #Amen
Youth Corridor Ultimate Antioxidant C Boost Serum, $195: Make sure you are preventatively treating your skin for aging so when fine lines and wrinkles appear, you’re one step ahead of them. “Everyone should be using a Vitamin C Serum with the active form of L-Ascorbic Acid,” says Dr. Imber.
Differin Acne Treatment, $29: The oilier your skin, the easier it is to have a flare-up, so products for oily and combination skin will keep the balance. You also need to make sure the products you are using aren’t drying out your skin, so Dr. Imber suggests an on-the-go spot treatment like Differin.
Let us know if you have any other tips on how to de-stress or any miracle products we need to know about in the comments below.