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March 24, 2021 | withSimplicity

5 Ways to Destress + Improve Skin

In the bustling world that we live in, it can be hard to find moments of peace to be at ease, especially when those little devices in our pockets are constantly notifying us of everything that’s happening from Asia, to Europe, to South America. We’re always in the know, and honestly, our brains can’t handle this overload of information.

When we’re stressed, it isn’t just felt mentally, but physically. Our appetite changes (increases or decreases), chest pains are more common, our muscles feel tight, we feel exhausted, and our stomachs are a churning sea… it sounds like a true illness, right?

While stress isn’t an actual diagnosis from your doctor, it’s not something that should be taken lightly.

A little stress here and there is necessary to survive. If our ancestors a long, long time ago didn’t feel stress, they wouldn’t have known to flee from wild animals or shelter during severe storms. A healthy amount of stress keeps us on our toes and aware of our surroundings. It becomes an issue when we start to feel it more intensely in our bodies.

How Does Stress Affect the Skin?

When our body is in a state of stress, the hormone called Cortisol is released into the bloodstream by the endocrine system… and it can start to play games with the body’s homeostasis.

Oil: Oil glands begin to produce an excess amount of oil, which can clog pores.

Acne: Multiple studies have shown that with higher levels a stress, acne becomes a problem… and when we get acne, we become more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle.

Fine Lines + Wrinkles: Skin around the eyes and on the rest of the face begins to lose elasticity due to lack of sleep, tensing of the muscles in the face, and a change in the skin’s protein structure. Fine lines and bags start to appear.

Rashes: Stress can lead to a weakened immune system. Imbalances within the body can perpetuate inflamed skin, psoriasis, and more.

Dry + Irritated Skin: When stressed, the outer layer of your skin starts to lose its protective barrier. It can’t hold on to moisture like it used to, and skin cells don’t stay as hydrated. 

What are 5 Easy Wasy to Relieve Stress?

Even though natural skincare products are amazing at combating the issues we listed above, sometimes they aren’t enough to address underlying problems that are affecting the skin. We have to fight the problem at the source instead of combatting the symptoms daily.
By combining your natural skincare routine with daily stress-reducing activities, you and your skin are better prepared to tackle anything that comes your way.

  • Exercise. We’ve heard it time and time again - exercise is extremely beneficial for our overall health. Exercising lowers cortisol levels and brings our mind’s focus to the activity at hand.

  • Sleep. It’s crucial to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This is when our body reset and our skin starts its renewal process. Waking up without adequate sleep does not set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

  • Me Time. Find time in your busy schedule to take a break. Read a book, sip a cup of tea, go on a walk, treat yourself to an at-home facial...the possibilities are endless.

  • Talk it Out. Especially if you’re carrying something heavy on your mind, sit down with a friend or family member and talk about it. Even just speaking your stress into existence can help release a lot of the pressure.

  • Get Outside. Standing on grass with your bare feet can make you feel “grounded”. Grounding is the idea that the earth, which is full of negative ions, neutralizes your body’s charge and returns your body to a neutral, stress-free state. Put down your phone and connect with the nature around you, breathe in the fresh air, and remember that stressors aren’t as big as they seem.
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