Stress is a common human condition, and everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. And while you may think of being stressed as solely a mental state, that’s not true – stress can affect your entire body, including the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

There are many ways stress physically affects your skin:

  1. The stress hormone cortisol leads to an overproduction of sebum (oil) in your skin glands, which causes clogged pores and acne breakouts. Chronic stress leads to constant increased levels of these hormones and can have a negative effect on your skin health
  2. Stress can cause wrinkles to form because high amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone, can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin. Research has found that chronic stress can increase inflammation, causing skin aging and accelerating the formation of wrinkles.
  3. Stress impacts your immune system, causes your skin to be more reactive and sensitive, and triggers rashes, hives, and redness.
  4. Stress exacerbates existing inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, leading to flare ups.
  5. Stress may cause you to feel nervous or anxious, and pick at scabs or acne, or scratch your skin until it becomes red or breaks.

 Tips to Keep Your Skin (and Your Mind) Stress-Free

  • Meditate! Can meditation that reduces stress slow the aging process? There are multiple studies that show this is the case!
    • Have your heard of Telomeres? They are protein caps on the end of each chromosome in your body.  Studies have shown that chronic stress shortens the telomeres.  When telomeres become too short, the cell can no longer divide and replicate. This increases aging in the body and is associated with age-related diseases.
      • This discovery led to lots of research with scientists looking at ways to slow or prevent the shortening of telomeres. If you can do that, you can slow the aging process—both inside and outside the body.
      • Many studies have proven that just 15 minutes of daily meditation, yoga, or prayer leads to measurably longer telomeres!
    • Other benefits of meditation:
      • It’s free, has no side effects; can improve concentration, self-awareness, sleep, and lead to a happier, stress-free life!
    • Cultivate friendships, love deeply!
    • These are the golden tickets to happiness and fulfillment which has been proven to slow the aging process.
    • Keep laughing!
    • We all know that “laughter is the best medicine!” Not only does it decrease stress hormones, laughing increases the blood supply to your cheeks that nourishes the skin and makes your face glow. It tones up the face, giving you an attractive look. Know any good jokes?!
    • Maintain a good skin care routine every day!
    • Even on days when you feel stressed or anxious. This will help your skin to rebound from the stress of the day.  Also, the routine can be relaxing and comforting!
    • Take time for yourself.
      • Find the time to engage in a relaxing, re-energizing activity that makes you happy – read a book, take a warm bath,  get a massage, listen to music, or practice yoga and deep breathing exercises.

Most importantly, we encourage you to talk to someone if stress is having a negative impact on your health and well-being. Confide in a trusted friend, family member, therapist or spiritual counselor. Even just knowing you have someone by your side can help you feel stronger in your capability to handle stress, and a great side effect will be a healthier, more beautiful YOU!

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