Most of us know that stress is bad for the heart and can increase the risk of other health-related issues including obesity, diabetes, and depression. So what does stress have to do with skin health? Research shows that stress also increases inflammation and throws hormones out of balance. Both, by the way, increase skin aging and can cause breakouts.
Lifestyle for Skin Health
All in all, stress wreaks havoc on our skin! Don’t you wish you could have “weekend skin” with bounce and glow all week? Try these tips to reduce stress and improve your skin health.
Adjust Your Routine
Sit down and write out your daily routine. Are there times that you can add time for you? Even if it’s 10-15 minutes, adding some time to relax can increase productivity and lower stress throughout the week, helping you to look and feel rested. For example, I add a 15-20 minute walk after lunch on slow work days, and I make it a point to enjoy my coffee in the morning in my favorite sunny spot before leaving for work daily.
Tip: Learn how to use a Bullet journal, or BuJo, for tracking daily activities and changing habits.
Relax and Steep
There’s something about sipping tea that makes the world slow down. So why not have your tea do double duty? Relax and get skin-loving nutrients through tea! Green tea, peppermint tea, and matcha tea are a few that are high in antioxidants, can encourage cell turnover for a younger complexion and even help control oil production. Bonus, you can use teas on your face too!
Try this DIY matcha facemask:
Combine ½ tsp matcha (go for organic here if you can!) + ½ tbsp honey. Gently steam your face using a hot washcloth for 30 seconds. Apply mask using fingers or brush, leave on for 10-20 minutes (preferably with your feet up) and remove with warm water to reveal energized and healthy skin!
Revive tired eyes with tea bags. This tip has survived centuries for one simple reason, it works! After you brew yourself a cup of tea, save the tea bags. Look for teas with caffeine for that tightening effect. Cool tea bags in freezer for 5-10 minutes, and place on eyes until they come to room temp. Repeat as many times as desired.
Tip: Check out these 7 skin care rituals that will protect your skin from the harsh elements in the winter.
Up Your Antioxidant Intake
This healthy skin tip goes below the surface. Environmental stress can cause cellular damage, and adding antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables can prevent daily wear and tear on our cells. When we are stressed, it shows in our skin. Keeping a diet rich in colorful berries, leafy greens and other vegetables is a way to promote skin health, ensuring the “glow from within.” Antioxidants actually alter our body’s response to stress, and we need all the help we can get!
Tip: Nutrition plays a vital role in skin health. Get to know your skin-loving supplements for beauty from the inside.
Love Your Skin Iced Summer Berry Tea
Combine these tips with my favorite iced summer berry tea:
Brew peppermint tea per package instructions (usually 2 tea bags per quart water) and set aside to cool. Add ½ cup of frozen or fresh berries like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries (the frozen blend is great and less expensive, just check for added sugar), stir and let sit overnight. Enjoy throughout the day!
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).