Stress… a word we are all too familiar with.
It’s no secret that the constant stress present in our daily lives can lead to a multitude of health problems including heightened risks of obesity, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and an overall hormonal imbalance in our bodies… but did you know that this imbalance of hormones increases inflammation in the body resulting in skin problems that may be ageing you before your time?
When we think about stress we seem to focus on the emotional stress present in our everyday lives, but we must also be considering the external stressors we are exposed to on a daily basis that have a direct impact on the health of our largest organ - our skin.
Constant exposure to environmental & oxidative stressors such as pollution, UV and smoking (to name a few) are wreaking havoc on our bodies and most of us are completely unaware to the effects it’s having on our physical appearance.
When we suffer from stress (internal and external), our bodies release the stress hormone Cortisol. High levels of cortisol can have a number of known negative effects on our health as mentioned earlier - but this imbalance is also having additional impacts on our skin contributing to premature ageing and aggravating symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and hives.
So how can we combat the negative effects of stress and retain our youthful glow?Whilst we can’t completely remove the all of the stress from our lives, we can dramatically reduce the amount of stress that we encounter and proactively protect our skin from premature ageing - all it takes is a few simple actions.
When you miss out on sleep this directly applies stress to the body. Chronic stress harms the integrity of the collagen in skin. Collagen is an important ingredient in the elasticity and structure of skin. When collagen is broken down, the skin shows more noticeable signs of ageing by becoming thinner and less firm. When skin is thin its appearance is less smooth and subtle and showcases wrinkling more prominently. So make sure you are getting 7-9 hrs of beauty sleep each night!
Exercise boosts the flow of oxygenated blood through the body which is essential in nourishing and revitalizing the skin. Regular exercise also assists in maintaining healthy stress hormone levels, increasing your mood and giving you a healthy glow! Find an exercise that suits your lifestyle and incorporate this into your daily routine, consistence is key – and make sure you're keeping hydrated.
Taking a few minutes each morning and each night to introduce a mindfulness practice is a brilliant way to ease the pressure. If you’re not doing that already get started by doing the following. Focus on your breathing for a moment. Then, inhale to the count of four, hold to the count of four then exhale to the count of four. Repeat the process adding a second to each exhale until you reach eight. Continue for at least five minutes.
- SPF, SPF, SPF
We know you’ve heard this one before, and that’s because it plays a very large role in protecting your skin against the harmful environmental stressors that lead to premature ageing. Make sure you’re applying an SPF daily, it's a handbag staple for us! We recommend: Dragon’s Blood Radiance Daily Moisturiser.
- Most Importantly, Get Some YOU time!
Leading a busy lifestyle can contribute heavily to your stress levels. Take some time out at least once a week to do something just for you. Sunday’s are the perfect time for this, allowing you to wind down from the week & prepare for the week ahead.