Many aspects of our lifestyle directly impact the condition of our skin. Beautiful skin is achieved by much more than the products we use.
Today we will discuss the top lifestyle factors affecting our skin: stress, sleep, and food.
The nervous system and the skin are connected. The state of the nervous system can greatly determine the condition of one's skin. (Source)
It has been noted that most inflammatory conditions are improved by a lowering of stress. These conditions are also exacerbated by an increase of stress, whether it be emotional, mental, or physical.
One study showed that quieting the mind through mediation, had a direct affect on patients with psoriasis. Those who practiced mediation on a consistent basis, healed faster! (Read about the study here).
Many hormonal changes are accompanied by stress and contribute to problem skin. At these times, it's important to practice activities that promote relaxation (on a daily basis, if at all possible).
Stress is certainly a difficult area to address. I understand. My best stress reduction tips include: prayer, quiet time, sleep, gentle exercise, time outside, doing less, saying no, intentional breathing, and self compassion.
Want more stress reduction tips? See 20 Ways to Reduce Stress
Sleep is very much connected to stress management. Not getting enough sleep, generally leads to more stress.
In fact, lack of sleep increases levels of stress hormones in the body. This high level of stress hormone increases inflammation, which in turn, leads to breakouts, accelerated aging, and wrinkles. (Source)
During sleep, the body (and mind) relaxes, rests, detoxifies, and repairs. One of the areas the body works to repair and rejuvenate is skin tissue.
Getting enough sleep on a consistent basis helps our skin looks it's best.
Have you noticed how skin looks saggier and less vibrant after a night of too-little sleep? It's not your imagination! It's real!
Quoted in this article on WebMD, dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, says “Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles.”
Want to reduce dark circles? Sleep more.
(Sleep is not the only cause of dark circles, but well talk more about that later.)
There really is something to the term beauty sleep.
We will talk about this more in-depth in another post soon, but for now, be aware that what you put in your body greatly affects you in every way; including the health of your skin.
A real food diet, void of processed foods, is your best bet for healthy looking skin.
It's also worth looking into performing an elimination diet in order to identify food allergies and intolerances, which could be leading to skin irritation (as well as many other health issues).
Have you seen these at work in your own life?
This is Day 2 in the 31 Days of Natural Beauty series.