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World Mental Health Day: How to reduce stress and improve acne and skin ageing

October 10, 2015 by Works with Water
World Mental Health Day

Across the globe many are raising awareness of mental health issues this weekend in aid of World Mental Health Day – a celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

According to mentalhealth.org.uk, one in four adults will have experienced a mental health problem over the past year – from occasional episodes of stress through to long periods of depression.

At Works With Water, we’ve explored the effects of mental health issues – particularly stress – on both our emotional well-being and our skin. We’ve discussed topics like the effects of stress and alcohol on acne through to the ways stress can accelerate skin diseases.

We felt that today, on World Mental Health Day, it’s an opportunity to revisit one of the most common questions we get asked: Does stress really have an adverse effect on acne and cause our skin to age prematurely?

How does stress really affect our skin?

Many people find that their skin is significantly worse when they’re stressed. Not only can acne be exacerbated, but wrinkles can be deepened by premature ageing and the surface of the skin can be irritated by constant inflammation — stress and anxiety can effectively be ‘written all over our face’.

There are many reasons why this is the case. The main being that stress puts your body into panic mode on every level and focuses on calming you down, slowing your heart rate and pumping blood to your heart instead of repairing skin cells, reducing inflammation or keeping levels of collagen high.

Stress can take a long time to combat fully, however there are some small steps you can take to deal with your emotions, feel calmer more often and address issues with your physical appearance that might be brought on by stress and anxiety.

Four simple ways to reduce your stress levels

1. Avoid smoking and drinking

There are lots of studies about the negative effects that smoking and drinking excessively has on both your wellbeing and your skin.

Many people drink excessively and smoke as a way to de-stress, however our bodies are anything but relaxed when exposed to toxins from alcohol and cigarettes.

In our recent blog post about Stoptober we explored recent research that suggested those who smoke are more likely to have acne than non-smokers.

Choose wind-down routines that don’t rely on escaping and unwinding with alcohol. Instead find an activity that benefits your mind, body and skin, like outdoor exercise.

2. Develop a skincare routine…and pamper yourself

Not only will this improve your skin — good habits really count — but for many of us, our skincare routine is one of the very few times we can take a break from our daily schedule to focus on ourselves.

This act of  ‘self-love’ – whilst perhaps seems selfish –  is likely to flood your system with feel-good endorphins.

Feed your skin from the inside out by  incorporating our natural skin supplements into your daily skincare routine. help: clear skin and help: clear skin MEN are soluble acne supplements with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and help clear skin by reducing spots and acne.  help: beautify skin ready-to-eat beauty jelly is also totally natural and is formulated with collagen, resveratrol and CoEnzymeQ10.  Your complexion becomes smoother and less congested,  helping skin appear younger and more youthful, slowly plumping the skin to reduce wrinkles and signs of ageing.

3. Develop a mindfulness meditation practice

Mindfulness meditation has become a bit of a buzzword over the past few years. But recent stats suggest it’s one of the best strategies to calm your nerves and refocus your mind.

Start small and count your breaths when you feel stressed or focus on the sounds around you when you’re overwhelmed. A lot of stress and anxiety comes from obsessing about the past or worrying about the future. Doing your best to bring your focus back into the present moment might not magically make you happier, but it could significantly calm your nerves and get your breathing back to normal. Which means your body can concentrate on making you feel good physically.

4. Eat a balanced diet

In the same way many people who are stressed often reach for booze and cigarettes, others want sugary treats and fatty foods because they think it’ll make them feel better.

But in actual fact a lot of this food only gives you immediate gratification — the unnatural high and energy of sugar, the fatty, creaminess of cheese. Then it’ll make you feel sluggish, or even worse give you a sugar crash, an hour later. If you’re already prone to mood swings, these food-induced swings won’t help.

Choose foods that are likely to keep your mood and energy levels sustained — not cause them to spike. Our anti-acne diet for beginners is a great eating plan to not only improve your skin, but also your mood.

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