Stress And Your Skin

stressed out woman

Did you know that stress can do a number on your skin? You are probably familiar with the stress-induced breakout, but prolonged, chronic stress can also prematurely age the skin. Stressful situations trigger the release of cortisol, adrenaline, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and angiotensin, all of which rob your skin of collagen and weaken its cellular repairing capabilities. Circulation is diverted away from the skin during stressful situations, which explains the dull, pale appearance of the skin in people who deal with constant stress.

Cortisol in particular inhibits the growth of fibroblasts which are responsible for making collagen, so they can’t keep up with the constant breakdown of old tissue. The result is skin which is collagen deficient, resulting in thinner, more wrinkled skin. Free radicals are formed in response to stress, which then damages skin cells and adversely affects the condition of the skin.

beautiful-look-without-makeup
So how can you fight the effects of stress on the skin? There are three keys:

1. Exercise:

Every cell in the body benefits from exercise, including skin cells The pores of the skin dilate during exercise, and when you work up a sweat, trapped dirt particles are released. In addition, the increased circulation which results from exercise delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to skin cells, as well as carries away waste products and free radicals.

2. Relax:

We all know how frustrating it can be to have a big event looming, only to have an acne breakout right before the big day. The fact is that the stress associated with preparing for the event can trigger excess oil production in the skin, which clogs pores and sets up the perfect environment for an acne flareup. Even other skin issues, like psoriasis, are linked to stress. However, by practicing relaxation techniques, you can increase blood flow to the skin and offset any triggering factors (such as buildup of oil or free radicals) which contribute to skin maladies.

3. Use topicals:

Some of the best friends for your skin are topical agents such as antioxidants and retinoids. I am a big fan of vitamin C, not only because of its general antioxidant benefits, but also because it has a tendency to lighten up brown spots and impart a brighter appearance to the complexion. Retinoids are great for increasing cell turnover, and are potent anti-aging compounds.

Get The Best Skin Ever- Part 1: Lifestyle Adjustments

Beauty face of woman with clean skin

http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/11853-get-the-best-skin-ever-part-1-lifestyle-adjustments.html

Please read my RxGirl article on making lifestyle adjustments that will transform your skin. You can access the original article by clicking on the link above, or keep reading here for the full article.

“What skin cream do you use? Your skin looks amazing!”

This is a common exclamation from women who admire the flawless skin of those who are either naturally dermatologically blessed or have been proactive about practicing good skin care. Perhaps you are one of the blessed individuals, but most women deal with acne, wrinkles, oiliness, hyperpigmentation, dry skin and dark circles under the eyes, all of which can be addressed with targeted products. If you practice consistent skin care with the right products, you will see improvements in the tone and quality of your skin.

Before delving into topical products in Part 2 of this article, I will utilize Part 1 here to review the many variables which can dramatically influence the quality of the skin.

Sleeping Beauty –
There’s a lot of truth to the adage about getting one’s beauty sleep. When you get adequate sleep, you optimize your body’s ability to repair itself because it has a chance to release human growth hormone in the deep stages of sleep. Conversely, cheating yourself out of a good night’s sleep results in an increase in cortisol release, which increases the amount of inflammation in the body. Basically, the inflammation prevents your cells from repairing damaged collagen, and if this occurs chronically, your skin will adopt an aged appearance. So get some quality shut-eye every night!

Don’t smoke –
I know most of you ladies don’t engage in this habit, but if you do, bear in mind that the habit breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, aging you prematurely. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the upper layer (epidermis), which interferes with delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients which are involved in cell renewal. Lastly, the constant pursing of the lips which occurs while puffing on a cigarette causes fine vertical lines (“smoker’s lines”) to develop around the mouth.

Internal antioxidants –
We have all heard of the benefits of daily antioxidant intake and how these nutrients boost the body’s immunity, decrease inflammation, and even improve cognition, so it shouldn’t surprise you that antioxidants also promote cellular repair in the skin as well. Make sure to incorporate foods and supplements which have antioxidants such as vitamins A,C, E, cofactors like CoQ10, and polyphenols like resveratrol in them.

Hydrate from within –
Drink plenty of water, and you will be rewarded with glowing, healthy skin. Every time I have told a patient who suffered either from dry skin or from stubborn acne to drink plenty of water, I have seen dramatic improvement in the quality of their skin after they began drinking at least three liters of water per day. Adequate hydration will ensure that toxins are flushed out of cells and the cells are filled with water.

Healthy fats –
One of the hazards of competing is the tendency for coaches to completely strip dietary fat from contest prep diets. What results is a gaunt, unhealthy, aged appearance in the face which looks terrible and just screams for dermal fillers. Rather than wreak havoc on your youthful appearance, why not keep healthy fats like avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed, almonds, cashews, and fish oil in your daily regimen?

Limit alcohol –
Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating the skin and for that reason alone should be ingested in moderation. Also, since alcohol is toxic to the liver, it impairs the body’s ability to remove other environmental toxins which will be reflected in the quality of the skin. And for those of you who suffer from rosacea, that relaxing glass of red wine with dinner is a big no-no because it will aggravate the condition.

Clean makeup brushes –
When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Makeup brushes should be thoroughly washed on a regular basis to remove product build-up, bacteria and oils. If you suffer from acne, you need to be especially diligent about cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. As a general rule, clean foundation and concealer brushes at least once a week (twice a week if acne is a major issue). Eye makeup brushes should be cleaned every two weeks, and other brushes should be cleaned monthly. There are some excellent brush cleaning solvents, but you can mix one part baby shampoo with four parts water for an excellent and cheap brush cleaner.

Sanitize cell phone –
Cleaning your cell phone on a regular basis is a good sanitary practice to adopt, and can also save your skin from acne breakouts and rashes. Think for a minute how much you touch your phone and how much dust, ear wax and fingertip residue can accumulate on its surface. It’s no surprise that putting this bacteria- riddled device next to your cheek can cause skin flare-ups to occur. The best way to clean your phone is to use a soft cloth which is lightly sprayed with a dilute isopropyl alcohol solution (equal parts iso alcohol and water).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article which will cover topical products and treatments for luminous, youthful skin!

Mineral Oil Sensitivity

I was compelled to revisit this topic because I foolishly went against my better judgement and used a product which I happen to hate, with disastrous results. I hate Lubriderm products and think they are a scam due to the presence of mineral oil. Mineral oil is a very cheap filler which is used in skincare products and cosmetics. What many people don’t realize is that some individuals suffer from mineral oil sensitivity and truly cannot come into contact with it. Sadly, I am one of those people.

Lubriderm is touted as a “dermatologist tested” product, which basically doesn’t mean a thing. Apparently the dermatologists who tested this product weren’t aware of the fact that mineral oil can be a very reactive substance for a segment of the population. I for one have ALWAYS been reactive, though I could never understand as a child why I always broke out in itchy rashes within an hour of being exposed to baby oil. To this day, a high concentration of mineral oil will drive me into an itchy frenzy. This was the main reason why I hesitated when the idea of trying Lubriderm once again, but my stubbornness won out.

I used Lubriderm lotion for normal to dry skin for one week, and during that entire time, experienced itchy skin which only got worse at night, as well as a diffuse papular (raised) rash which covered my shoulders, arms, and thighs. On the last day in which I used the Lubriderm, I actually broke out into hives on my thighs!

As soon as I stopped using Lubriderm, the rash cleared up without any intervention. This was a clear sign that I was indeed still very sensitive to mineral oil, and that it was tragic that products could still be found which listed mineral oil among its top 5 ingredients.

PIt’s important to bear in mind that mineral oil is manufactured from crude oil, and as a result can cause pronounced reactions in people who are sensitive. Such reactions aren’t confined to skin rashes, but also include headaches Mineral-Oilor joint aches. Mineral oil can also disguise itself as petrolatum, paraffin, or propylene glycol.

lease please please be aware that mineral oil sensitivity is very real!