The holiday season just passed can be a magical time of year but also quite hectic, with numerous work, social and family events to fit in. Regular sleep routines may be disrupted, whilst pledges to healthy eating, exercise and moderate drinking are tested. All this can take a toll on our skin afterwards, as anyone struggling with breakouts or flare-ups knows only too well. Our skin is the main barrier between the outside world and the living cells and tissues inside our bodies.
When our stress levels go out of kilter, is it any wonder that the epidermis is one of the first places to be affected? Let’s look into some high-performance ingredients and useful tips that will help protect the skin and keep you looking at your best even when the heat is on. As part of my research and the clinical trialling of our vegan and organic brand Nourish London, I have seen the results first hand.
Best skincare actives & natural ingredients/extracts to combat stress effects
As we become stressed, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol. This in turn results in the skin becoming more sensitive, with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema and roseacea flaring up, and much-dreaded breakouts and acne arising due to increased oil release on the skin. When the skin is caught in this process it often produces more oil, which in turn leads to more breakouts. Supplementing the skin with topical B vitamins can help to regulate the excess oil.
Free radicals are produced in the skin in response to both external and internal stress. The triggers for their production are many and varied throughout the course of the day. One of the best ways to combat the effects of free radicals is to top up on topical antioxidants in the skin. Oil-soluble Vitamin C is particularly helpful at protecting the skins proteins and ensuring the production of healthy collagen. We strongly recommend applying a Vitamin C-rich oil at night to create a reservoir of antioxidant protection to help combat the stresses of the day to come.
Strikingly, Vitamin C is 30 times more effective to the skin when applied topically than when taken internally.
“Vitamin C is 30 times more effective to the skin when applied topically than when taken internally”
Our Nourish London Argan Skin Rescue provides the necessary Vitamin C and contains potent anti-inflammatory Ginger extract to help sooth the damage caused by the free radicals released in response to stress.
More vital roles are played by the minerals Copper, Zinc and Magnesium in helping the skin to protect itself from the damaging effects of stress.
Providing the skin with a “probiotically digested” version of these vital minerals can help to accelerate the speed at which the skin repairs. Magnesium in particular helps to increase the levels of neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to encourage relaxation and aid restful sleep. Low magnesium levels are associated with heightened stress and anxiety.
This is why magnesium is known to bring about a sense of calm and relaxation before bedtime. Our Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask which incorporates Lavender oil has been formulated to encourage good sleep and boost overnight skin repair.
Improve/change your routine
“Practising good sleep hygiene is the best step one can take to improve resilience to stress”
On the same topic, a good nights sleep is vital for beating the havoc that stress causes on the skin. Practising good sleep hygiene is the best step one can take to improve resilience to stress. Three key golden rules of sleep hygiene:
- Avoid any caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bedtime
- Remove all gadgets from the bedroom
- Create a calm and peaceful space to sleep in. A calming pillow spray will help to bring about ease.
Sleep is where we recharge, where our bodies repair. Chronic lack of sleep causes premature ageing of the skin, dark circles around the eye and a sallow tone to skin. A good night's sleep is absolutely vital to bust the negative effects of stress.
As a day-to-day practice, Mindfulness has been shown to really help to reduce anxiety and stress. Introducing mindfulness into your skin care regime can not only help reduce stress but it can improve the skins health.
The use of a Jade Roller as part of the night time cleansing ritual is hugely beneficial to the skin. The Jade helps to cool the skin thereby reducing localised inflammation, and the meditative and mindful routine of using the roller helps to bring about a sense of calm. The gentle pressure helps to stimulate circulation, lymphatic drainage and leave the facial muscles more toned.
I hope these tips help you on your journey to healthy, calm, radiant skin.
Founder of Nourish London
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