You are here
Stress affects the body at many levels and especially the skin. It can provoke:
- the appearance of pimples
- the formation of wrinkles and early fine lines
- the loss of hydration of the skin
- increased fragility
These negative effects of stress can make a lasting mark upon your skin, accelerating skin ageing.
You want to do well and you’re dashing about to keep everybody happy. The demands of your family and colleagues are always growing, but you are short of time. As it is, you are stressed.
Your body reacts by commanding the blood to concentrate within the vital organs. The skin does not form part of these, so it is therefore less well nourished by the blood cells, which are normally responsible for carrying the nutrients and oxygen necessary for good functioning and regeneration.
In any case, the production of free radicals, these molecules which attack healthy cells when there are too many of them, increase. These in turn attack the fibroblasts which set about producing less collagen: the skin loses its firmness.
Finally, the stress hormone, cortisol, provokes the inflammation of the skin and manifests itself in redness.
If you feel overwhelmed, such as in the case of a stress attack, give yourself a break and take several deep abdominal breaths: inhale and fill your stomach before your chest and then exhale slowly, five times in a row.
Take it easy
We all know it: when we are stressed, we tend to purse our lips, frown and adopt facial expressions which reflect our state of mind. In doing this, we force our skin to fold in a repetitive manner all along the same grooves. With time, the groove becomes a wrinkle, which gives us a severe appearance. So we must try to relax our faces: we massage it, we laugh in front of the mirror to stimulate all the facial muscles. And above all, we try and take it easy!
There are numerous methods of relaxing which you can call upon. The most simple consists of you stretching out on your back, tightly contracting your whole body for several seconds and then relaxing everything. Then give yourself several minutes to become conscious of the contact between each part of your body and the surface upon which it is resting. This exercise will let you detach yourself from your agitated mind in order to “come back down” within your body.
Run, dance, move!
To unwind, there’s nothing like a good session of sport. Thirty minutes of daily exercise five times a week is enough to reduce stress in a spectacular fashion. By doing sport, not only do you secrete endorphins, the well-being hormones, but you stimulate the micro-circulation of the skin, whilst ridding yourself of toxins through perspiration.
Think about magnesium
Magnesium is the trace element which is considered to be the best natural anti-stress substance. However, more than one woman in four is lacking in it! Make sure that this is not the case with you and eat green vegetables, whole grains, natural oils (nuts hazelnuts, almonds) and dried vegetables (white beans, lentils, split peas) as they are foods which are rich in magnesium.
If you are a stressed-out foodie, why not treat yourself to a square of dark chocolate? It is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, molecules which fight against the free radicals caused by stress. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium and promotes the production of serotonin and endorphins, two hormones which promote well-being. It would be a shame to deprive yourself of them!