Beauty

Can your skin be stressed?

Prevention (USA) - - CONTENTS - WITH RE­PORT­ING BY PAIGE STA­BLES

Yes! It’s not all in your head: Anx­i­ety can show up on your face. “When you’re stressed, your lev­els of the hor­mones cor­ti­sol and adren­a­line sky­rocket, cre­at­ing an in­flam­ma­tory cas­cade in your body that can have a slew of side ef­fects, in­clud­ing ag­gra­vat­ing skin con­di­tions like acne, rosacea, and eczema,” says Amy Wechsler, M.D., der­ma­tol­o­gist, psy­chi­a­trist, and ad­junct as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try at Weill Cor­nell Med­i­cal Col­lege. “The red­ness from those is bad enough, but it turns out that chronic stress— con­sis­tently height­ened lev­els for a few weeks or months— can cause an in­crease in lines as well as de­creased skin elas­tic­ity (which can prompt sag­ging). But not to worry: There are easy so­lu­tions for both in­side and out.

FIND MORE CALM IN YOUR DAY

PRI­OR­I­TIZE SLEEP

“Get­ting seven and a half to eight hours of sleep each night is cru­cial for skin and well-be­ing,” ex­plains Evan Rieder, M.D., psy­chi­a­trist, der­ma­tol­o­gist, and as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of der­ma­tol­ogy at New York Univer­sity Lan­gone Health. “It re­sets stress hor­mones like cor­ti­sol and repairs your com­plex­ion.”

RE­LAX YOUR MUS­CLES

Any time you’re tense, try a tech­nique called pro­gres­sive mus­cle re­lax­ation, which in­volves clench­ing and re­lax­ing mus­cle groups one at a time for four to 10 sec­onds each. Start with your feet, then work up to your calves,

thighs, butt, core, chest, arms, mouth, even the mus­cles around your eyes, breath­ing slowly and deeply as you go. “It shifts the fo­cus away from what’s stress­ing you out,” Dr. Rieder says. (The method is es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive in help­ing set­tle your body and mind be­fore bed.)

SWEAT IT OUT

Any type of ex­er­cise can melt stress by pro­duc­ing en­dor­phins in your body, which trig­gers an instant surge of well-be­ing. Aim to en­gage in 30 min­utes of car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness, Pi­lates, or yoga each day.

HAVE A GOOD LAUGH

Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of qual­ity time with your loved ones, Dr. Wechsler says (tex­ting, call­ing, and FaceTim­ing don’t re­ally count). It’ll lift your spir­its, make you chuckle— which is shown to re­lease feel-good brain chem­i­cals like sero­tonin and en­dor­phins—and help you de­com­press.

GET OUT­SIDE

Spend­ing time in na­ture, ide­ally in a park or wooded area near a body of water, has been shown to lower lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol.

BREATHE PURPOSEFUL­LY

When we’re anx­ious, we tend to take shal­low breaths from our chests, which can make us light-headed.

“But in­hal­ing deeply from your di­aphragm, al­low­ing your stom­ach to puff out­ward as you slowly exhale, will help al­le­vi­ate ten­sion, calm you down, and clear your mind,” Dr. Rieder says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.