We’re all familiar with the unwelcome holiday visitor that pops up every season—stress. In between the gift shopping and events galore, it can be hard to manage tension levels. Yet, it’s not just our mood that suffers: Our skin also takes a serious hit when we get stressed out.
The brain responds to anxiety by releasing various stress hormones into the bloodstream, like adrenaline (redirects blood flow and leaves skin looking washed out) and cortisol (inhibits new skin cell growth and breaks down precious collagen that keeps skin plump). Once your skin loses collagen, it appears thinner and becomes more prone to wrinkling—which means that stress can actually visibly age you. Combine that dangerous duo of hormones with a stress-induced burst of cytokines causing inflammation, and it’s a recipe for a skin disaster.
All that stress can manifest in the form of an acne breakout, a sallow complexion, or sagging skin. Ongoing stress also triggers the body to produce free radicals, which can damage skin cells and reduce antioxidants—making your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles, dark spots and dullness.
Do your skin (and your well-being) a favor: Make time for relaxation with these easy tips so you can keep calm and carry on, while enjoying healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
- Skip the never-ending lines at the mall by shopping for gifts online. Otherwise, try running errands at off-peak hours.
- When you find your stress levels peaking, take a moment to pause and do five minutes of breathing exercises.
- Put away the shopping bags and take a walk, away from the crowds. Or gift yourself a trip to yoga or exercise class. Studies show that exercise nourishes skin cells and keeps blood flowing, which carries away toxins and age-inducing free radicals.
- If stress shows up on your skin in the form of visible redness, use SOOTHE Regimen for sensitive skin, featuring RFp3 technology to shield against biological and environmental triggers of inflammation.
- Indulge in a little aromatherapy with citrus essential oils. Studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic found that orange, lemon and grapefruit fragrances help lift your mood and alleviate stress.
- Cozy up with a cup of green tea, which contains antioxidants that protect against free radicals.
- Opt for an anti-aging skincare routine, like REDEFINE Regimen to prevent moisture loss, boost hydration, and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for visibly firmer, smoother skin.
- Finally, do your best to get a good night’s rest.