reduce the effects of stress on your skin
Anxiety. Nervousness. Apprehension. Unease. Whichever way you choose to identify it, stress can take its toll on the health of your skin, not to mention your overall health.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), money woes, the economy and family responsibilities are top stressors – ones that have a significant impact on our health status and longevity. Studies have found similar trends worldwide, with China having the highest rise in workplace stress and over half of Great Britain worried about the effects stress has on their health.
While headaches, irritability, muscle tension, stomach issues, sadness and depression may be the physical and psychological signs commonly associated with being "stressed out," symptoms of stress on skin are also numerous. They include psoriasis flares, rashes, itching, expansion of capillaries (which makes skin appear red) and increased sebum (oil) production, which can lead to more acne.
It's one thing to know that these things are stressing out your body and skin; it's another to take steps to help mitigate the effects. Here are a few simple ways you can guide your health – and that of your skin – back to a calm, clear state.
Keep track of what sets you off by paying more attention to your mood and stress level throughout the day. Once you're clued in to what sets you off, you can work towards establishing workarounds that can help offset anxieties.
According to the APA, stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults awake at night. To help ensure you get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye, remove distractions such as television or computers from your bedroom, or shut them off 15–30 minutes before bed. Also, go to bed at the same time each night.
Caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety, so try to wean yourself off by adding some decaf to your morning cup(s) and gradually increasing the amount until you're left with no caffeinated coffee. Swap soft drinks for decaffeinated options or sparkling water. If you must drink caffeine, experts recommend cutting it off after 2 p.m.
Something as simple as walking can help you blow off steam. Exercise increases the production of "feel good" endorphins. Committing to becoming more active is a small move that can facilitate a big change.
Aromatherapy may help reduce stress and fight depression. Try incorporating beneficial aromas into your skin care regimen (such as UltraCalming™ Mist). You can also add Calming Treatment Oil into a warm bath or massage it into your skin.
Massage is a proven, effective form of stress management and reduction. Your Dermalogica Professional Skin Therapist is expertly trained in the art of massage, so ask her to incorporate it into your next skin treatment.
Whether you want to escape to the country for a day, enjoy a family outing or give your skin a relaxing professional treatment, it's important to stop and smell those figurative roses! It can be as simple as applying MultiVitamin Power Recovery® Masque, designed to rescue stressed, aging skin, once a week.