Christmas is a fun time of year. But it can be one of the most stressful too.
What’s more, when you feel stressed your skin feels stressed.
Regardless of whether your stress is…
- Emotional (such as panicking about buying gifts)…
- Physical (say, from drinking excessive alcohol)…
- Environmental (like the cold, dry air)…
Your skin’s health and condition is affected by all these factors.
So to help de-stress your skin this Christmas, here are Dr. Chasan’s 5 easy tips for relieving “stressed skin”:
Frequent social media use can increase feelings of inadequacy, dissatisfaction, and isolation. In turn, these feelings negatively affect your mood and add to your stress levels.
With friends and family all around, Christmas is the perfect time to connect with those you love, rather than mindlessly scrolling through social media.
I can promise that having real, lively, in-person conversation will help you feel happier, more content, and with lower stress levels to boot.
Done right, facial massage can:
- Slow the formation of new fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve circulation to your skin, resulting in a healthy glow
- Rejuvenate skin cells, encouraging them to stay elastic and strong
Of course you can treat yourself to a professional massage (which could be just what you need this Christmas), but you can give yourself one too.
YouTube is packed with easy-to-follow videos demonstrating how to give yourself a lovely facial massage… Which pairs well with bubble baths I hear!
I understand that enjoying festive treats is a big part of the season, but you should know that your skin is unlikely to be as forgiving.
When you eat lower-quality food or stuff rich in sugar, skin tends to respond by breaking out in acne, redness, and rashes. These kinds of foods trigger an inflammatory response, which is why these problems can arise.
Now you don’t need to avoid the Christmas deliciousness. But I want you to be aware of the potential adverse effects on your skin.
If you keep fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts, and grains in your diet, you’ll help mitigate the above inflammatory response thanks to these foods being packed with Vitamin E, C, K—which your skin needs to fight off stress.
The best way to de-stress your skin is to de-stress your mind.
During Christmas, this is easier said than done. But taking time for yourself will do wonders for your overall well-being, and your skin.
Here are some restful ideas to get you started:
- Sit back and read a book with a mug of hot apple cider…
- Explore a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to…
- Spend time outdoors enjoying the fresh air…
- Go to the movies and unwind with a bag of popcorn…
Your options for rest and relaxation are endless!
The purpose behind taking time to rest is that you’ll trigger “feel good hormones” such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Endorphins too!
Flooding your body with these happy hormones helps counteract any stress you might be experiencing. So, find something that makes you smile, laugh, and truly feel happy.
If you’re stressed and sleep deprived, you’ll be caught in a vicious cycle that’ll crater your mental health, and your skin health.
Being stressed and sleep deprived often manifests in a low and lethargic mood, rock-bottom energy levels, irritability, and dull, drab skin.
Consistent, restful sleep is a must in order for your skin to de-stress.
Deep, healing sleep is when your body cleanses your skin of toxins that accumulate during the day, leaving you and your skin fresh and pure.
You can easily enhance your sleep quality with the following advice:
- Avoid watching TV and scrolling through your phone before bed (the blue light emitted from these devices suppresses melatonin production, making falling asleep tricky.)
- Cut out caffeine in the afternoon and evening (caffeine has a half-life of ~8 hours, which means half the caffeine from your afternoon coffee is still active hours later, keeping you awake when you should be winding down for the night.)
- Minimize alcohol in the evening (while drinking can make falling asleep easier, the overall quality is reduced and you won’t be rested.)
- Lower your bedroom temperature (a cold bedroom lowers your body temperature which makes falling into deep sleep much easier.)
- Read or meditate before bed (both activities reduce cortisol levels—your stress hormone—which makes finding deep, healing sleep much easier to come by.)
We talk about the importance of hydration all the time, and stress is like a sponge—pulling water from your skin, dehydrating your skin cells.
This dehydration can be even more pronounced during the winter, with the contrast of cold, dry air outside, and warm, dry air inside.
And dehydrated skin can’t function properly, becoming more susceptible to forming new wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and losing your glow.
As you can see, staying hydrated is so, so important—which you can achieve by drinking plenty of water and unsweetened herbal teas.
Despite all the fun, this time of year can be stressful. But if you follow the advice above, you’ll de-stress your body and mind, and enjoy glowing, happy skin this Christmas.
To your health!
Assistant to Dr. Chasan