Your Stress-Free Skincare Routine: Cleanse, moisturize, meditate?
There’s already a laundry list of reasons to send stress packing, but did you know that it’s toxic effects also take a toll on your skin? Skin is a perfect reflection of what is going on inside your body, so when you’re stressed it shows on your face. In today’s climate, it’s hard to imagine living a stress-free life, but it’s also easier than ever to try out activities like meditation to keep yourself—and your skin—calm. So how can meditation benefit your skin? First, it’s important to understand just how stress impacts skin health.
Can Stress Affect Your Skin?
You might notice that when you’re stressed, your skin loses some of its vitality. The effects of stress are two-fold when it comes to your complexion. In addition to slowing down digestion, which can cause inflammation, when you’re feeling stressed, your body produces more cortisol, the hormone responsible for a “fight-or-flight response.” An increase of cortisol causes an inflammatory response that can exacerbate oil production and skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Hello Stress, Goodbye Healthy Habits
But stress doesn’t just affect your complexion at a molecular level. One of the worst things about stress is its ability to make us throw all of our healthy habits out the window. While this is a completely normal response to feeling overwhelmed, changes in diet, sleep patterns, and exercise habits can lead to acne, excess oil, dryness, and redness. And while stress can sometimes feel like a snowball rolling down the hill, getting out of a frazzled headspace and evaluating the patterns stress causes can help keep your skin more radiant.
Meditation Benefits for Skin
Taking time to focus on your breath when you’re stressed may feel completely unrealistic, but the benefits are worth it. Meditation helps decrease the amount of cortisol produced when you feel stressed which mitigates the body’s inflammatory response. Giving yourself time to breathe can also bring awareness to some of the unhealthy patterns you may turn to when stress hits. While it’s never easy to flip the switch on these habits, being aware of them is the first step to more impactful changes that will benefit your skin, body, and mind.
So next time you feel stressed, consider your skin and give meditation a try. While it can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. These days, there are plenty of opportunities to design your practice in a way that works for your life. Meditation applications like Headspace and Calm offer a range of different styles and lengths of guided meditation to help you customize your practice as you wish.
And if meditation doesn’t seem right for you, there are other stress-relieving activities that can help to get your skin back into balance. It’s really about giving yourself and your body time to rest and repair, and meditative activities like going for a walk, cooking your favorite meal, or reading a good book can be just as useful in reversing the effects of stress. Whatever your practice is, you will only benefit if you are consistent, so figure out what works for you, and commit. Your skin will thank you.