5 tips to de-stress skin

Estee Lauder Grady Reese/iStockphoto
Many of the techniques that can keep your skin looking young also can keep you feeling young all over.

Can forcing a smile do away with stress? What about something as simple as a cup of black tea? Stress can make your skin and the skin around your eyes more vulnerable, which can mean redness, dryness and no more radiant glow, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But fret not. While even the coolest headed among us can get stressed out, thankfully, there are a few ways that we can dial back stress or halt it altogether.

Smile back

Nothing beats stress like a smile – even if it’s forced. A recent study at the University of Kansas called “Grin and Bear It” showed that participants who smiled – even when doing so on command – reported less stress and recovered from stressful activities faster than those who maintained a neutral expression throughout. So even if the day has you down, a smile, even a fake one, can make quite a difference. Long day at work? Visiting the in-laws? Grin away!

Yoga

Yoga is about balance, and not just how well you balance on your mat. Dr. Chris Streeter, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, points out that yoga can help balance your nervous system. Why might this be helpful? “A stressed nervous system is manifested by skin breakouts,” she said. So in addition to relieving depression and anxiety, yoga can also keep your skin clear. Simple enough: Tone down the stress with yoga, and you’ll tone down the breakouts.

The Many Benefits of Tea

The English have long been known for loving their tea, but they’ve since found great reason for it. A recent study at University College London found that the actual ingredients in tea are de-stressing – going against the conventional wisdom that tea is de-stressing because we drink it in relaxing situations. Add to that the fact that green and black tea contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe blotchy complexion, and it’s a wonder why we haven’t joined the Brits long ago.

Take the Time to Chitchat

Going out for a drink or calling up a friend on the phone might seem like the last thing you want to do during a stressful situation. Yet, researchers suggest that socializing might in fact be the starting point. “Many people who are stressed get isolated with their emotions,” says Stanford’s Dr. Spiegel. “Social connections that allow you to talk about what we mistakenly call ‘negative emotions’ can be very helpful.” That’s to say, yes you can chitchat the stress away.

Soothing Skin Care

A sensible, simplified regimen based on your specific skin qualities can help. The key is not to make it a huge production. Focus on quality, not quantity, selecting a few products that soothe, hydrate and calm your skin. Choosing a slow time in your day and focusing can turn this into revitalizing “me” time that relaxes both skin and mind.

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