Stress is part of our daily lives, and it not only affects our mental health, it affects our skin as well – people with high levels of stress are more prone to acne, wrinkles, eczema, discoloration and dry skin.
"Stress is what I call a 'beauty burglar,'" says David Bank, MD, a Board Certified Dermatologist and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. "When you are stressed, your blood vessels constrict. Stress also makes you release all sorts of stress hormones, which can trigger your body to decide that skin circulation is not a priority and to channel blood away from the skin toward muscles and other organs in the body. Our muscles tense and skin loses that rosy glow and fine lines and wrinkles begin to form," Banks says.
"When we are under stress we tend (in general) to do less of the things that we need to do to keep our skin healthy," says Christine Cabell, MD, dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Geisinger Health System, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. "We sleep less, drink less water, drink more caffeine, skip parts of our skin care routine and exercise less." And every little bit takes a toll. "Many of us notice a change in the tone, color and moisture in the skin after missing a few nights of good sleep in a row or after the stress of travel."
Meditation is an excellent way to relax the body, and allow it to release chemicals that combat stress. Calm breathing helps oxygenate your body and help with toxin elimination. "I have heard patients tell me that they have noticed a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, improved acne and less dark circles and bags under their eyes as well as a healthy glow to their skin from practicing meditation," says Banks.
Take a little time to meditate every day to restore balance and wellness. Practice relaxation techniques to combat signs of stress.
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