Life can be stressful – it’s one of the reasons we created our Bel Mondo Bio Cellulose Facial Sheet Masks. Not only did we want to provide a medical spa-quality skin care treatment, but we also wanted to create a product that would give our customers a way to relax and de-stress.
But we realize that stress is part of daily life for some people – and that stress can do a number on skin health. So, we want to provide some helpful information that can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, even if you can’t remove all the stress from your life.
Understanding how stress impacts the skin
Stress can be physical or mental, but our bodies respond pretty much the same way regardless: they release hormones to help manage the stress. The “stress hormone” Cortisol works to help regulate blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels, aids metabolism, and gives you the energy boost needed for the “fight or flight” response necessary in many stressful situations.
But while cortisol is beneficial for stress management in small doses, chronic stress – resulting in chronically high cortisol levels – can be damaging or your body, and your skin. These elevated cortisol levels can cause breakouts, as well as flares of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Bottom line: while it’s OK (and even healthy) to be in a stressful situation once in a while, chronic stress isn’t good for you or your skin.
Reduce your stress if you can
Of course, the best way to mitigate the effects of stress on your skin is to reduce the stress. While that may not always be possible, there are some small things you can do to at least temporarily relieve stress (and reduce those cortisol levels.)
Meditation can be an incredible valuable tool for mental and physical health. It helps to focus the mind and get your mind and body in sync.
Sit up straight in a comfortable position, in a quiet, calm space. Place one hand on your belly so that you can focus on your breathing. Close your eyes, then repeat a positive thought that brings you peaceful thoughts (you can repeat it out loud or just in your head.) After just a few minutes your thoughts should quiet and you should feel your stress levels diminishing. There are even apps for your mobile devices that can guide you through meditation if you’re not sure what to do.
It may seem unconventional, but there’s a reason so many people meditate.
One of the very best stress relievers available is a good workout. Go for a vigorous run (or walk), or take a cardio class at the gym. If you have limited time and/or resources, put on a song you love and dance around your house or office. Whatever you need to do to get the blood pumping and work up a sweat. It calms your nerves, and definitely reduces stress.
If you can’t reduce your stress, give your skin some TLC
Sometimes removing or even reducing stress is an almost impossible feat. But there are some things you can do that will help counteract the effects of that stress on your skin.
Use a Bel Mondo Mask
No, this is not shameless self-promotion. Our masks are soothing and nourishing for your skin, but they are also calming and relaxing. A Bel Mondo mask is like a 20-minute spa break – try it and see!
Yep, we said exercise again. In truth, exercise is good for so many reasons – and we can’t say enough good things about it. But in addition to helping to reduce stress, the act of working up a sweat and increasing blood circulation, can actually carry some of the toxins out of your skin. It’s a win-win.
Watch what you eat
Stress eating is a thing, and if you’re like me you go right for the fried, carb-loaded stuff when you’re stressed. But while that food may comfort you temporarily, it’s not the best thing to help your skin. Instead, try probiotic-infused yogurt, or fiber-rich foods that can help regulate digestion. When your digestion is balanced, it helps your skin stay balanced. In addition, you can add supplements to your diet to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Pay close attention to your skin care routine
It’s true that when you’re stressed, your routines may suffer. But it’s important not to neglect your skin care. It’s especially important to keep up with your cleansing and exfoliation regimens, as those steps will help clear out any excess oil production that occurs.
If you are able to incorporate even one or two of these ideas into your stressful lifestyle, you may be amazed at the positive effects they can have.