Mindful Skincare: How Stress Impacts Skin Vitality

Whenever the skin is acting up, the first line of thought for most people is to switch up their skincare routine. Skincare products and routines impact the skin's wellbeing, but skin wellness goes beyond the surface. Your skin reflects how you feel inside. If you're embarrassed, your cheeks flush pink, whenever you're angry or scared, your face becomes pale, and if you're truly happy, you glow.

If you're stressed, anyone can tell. The crazy breakouts, dark circles, puffy eyes, and the fine lines say it all. That is why you should practice mindfulness in your skincare routine. Read on to see what mindfulness is, how it benefits your skin, and how you can incorporate it into your skincare routine.

How Stress Impacts Your Skin's Wellbeing

Stress wreaks havoc on your skin in several ways. To begin with, whenever you're stressed, your body naturally responds by producing the stress hormone called cortisol. In times of true threat or danger, this response works just as nature intended. However, if you're always stressed or overwhelmed, your body produces cortisol without benefit.

Unfortunately, high cortisol levels in the blood hinder oxygen circulation to the skin, which means it becomes deprived of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. As a result, your skin becomes dehydrated, sensitive, and more reactive to bacteria and free-radical induced inflammation, causing your skin to act up.

Also, cortisol leads to the breakdown of collagen, a key part of the skin's architecture. This results in the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of accelerated or premature aging. Stress also slows down the digestion process, creating a shift in gut bacteria, conversely altering the composition of the gut lining. This can also lead to inflammation associated with acne breakouts and premature aging.

How Practicing Mindfulness Can Help Your Skin

Mindfulness has gained popularity in recent years. You may dismiss it as a fad, but it is not. Mindfulness, in various forms, dates back centuries and is about connecting the body and mind in ways that are extensively validated in modern-day medical science.

Mindful practices such as meditation or relaxation therapies have been proven to support cellular health, the foundation of healthy skin. Meditation, for instance, has been shown to reduce the over-activity of the part of your brain that produces cortisol. With cortisol out of the way, your skin cells and tissues get the oxygen and nutrients they need to rejuvenate.

Meditation by Anchoring it to Your Skincare Routine

Meditation is a skill that develops over time, but even a little goes a long way. So, if you are a novice, you want to set yourself up for success by easing into it with simple practices that fit into your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you get going;

Be Intentional with Your Beauty Products

Why go through all the trouble of practicing mindful beauty if you are going to use skincare products that irritate your skin? Mindful beauty starts with the products you use. Be intentional with everything you use on your skin by making sure you know what's on the ingredient list. Use products from cosmetic companies that are mindful about your skin by applying ethical, organic, animal-cruelty free beauty products.

Turn Off Distractions

You cannot meditate or relax if your phone notifications are continually pinging. You cannot tune your mind to relax if your environment is full of distractions. That said, the first step to practicing mindfulness in your skincare routine is turning out any source of distraction. Switch your phone to airplane mode or turn it off.

Create a Relaxing Environment

With distractions out of the way, work on creating a relaxing environment. For some people, this means playing some relaxing music and lighting some candles. While for others, it means soaking in a rose and essential oil-infused bath in a quiet environment. Whatever environment works for you, create it!

Focus on Breathing

Mindfulness practices like meditation are all about breathing. When you take deep breaths, that's when your blood circulation is enhanced, leading to better oxygen and nutrient delivery to skin cells. So, be sure to focus on your breathing.

Try Facial Massage

Want to reap the full benefits of that skin toner while elevating your relaxation levels? Focus on your breathing while giving yourself a tension-releasing facial massage. Use a rose quartz energy wand for the benefits of lymphatic drainage. This stimulates oxygen and nutrient delivery as it helps move toxins out of the skin, reducing puffiness, and supporting a brighter, healthier-looking complexion.

Regular Body Scans

Mindful skincare involves engaging all five senses. You can trigger and engage these senses during your beauty routine by conducting regular body scans. These scans involve paying attention to different parts of your body, starting with the head, and moving towards the toes. Making these scans a part of your routine enables you to be in sync with every part of your body.

This consequently elevates your skin and even overall health as you get to identify the parts of your body, you may have unknowingly neglected. You can make these scans even more effective by using a rose quartz wand in the process.

Notice Every Moment

Being intentional with everything you do is key to achieving mindful beauty. Always bring awareness to each moment. If you are on a walk with your dog or even alone, take note of the beauty of the environment around you, nature sounds, and also the beauty of your furry best friend. If you are soaking in your bathtub, notice how the water feels, how the bubbles form, or even how the bath bomb foam is slowly evaporating. Slowly and intentionally, take note of every minute and enjoy every tiny detail of the experience. Doing this takes your mind off anything that might be weighing you down, ultimately leading to a stress-free, happier, and skin-healthy you.

If you are looking for safe and effective ways to support glowing skin, don't hold your breath. The secret to beauty radiates from within. If your skin is showing signs of stress, a little mindfulness can go a long way in restoring balance. Give it a try today, and don't be shy about sharing this secrete with others. Gratitude also wears well on your skin.

Lori Bush is a wellness and beauty industry innovator and thought leader.  She has authored a number of papers dealing with health, beauty and business leadership and is a co-author of a best-selling beauty and wellness book.