How To Prevent Stress Wrinkles As You Age
Let’s just be real from the very beginning - you are going to wrinkle as you age. Wrinkles happen, even if you spend your life somehow maintaining complete serenity. OK, that’s tough love. Now, let us be a little more hopeful and focus on the HUGE amount you can do to help slow down the formation of wrinkles. Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to anti-aging.
Even better, you have even more control over stress wrinkles, which are something that can occur, even when you are in your younger years. With over half of Americans admitting to suffering from stress, it is no wonder that our skin has something to say about our emotional turmoil. We’re all a bit frazzled it seems.
First, let's take a closer look at what stress wrinkles are…
Stress is kind of a bummer for your skin because it contributes to us neglecting our health. We might sleep less, we may not have time for exercise, we can eat badly, and emotionally you might be wearing facial expressions like frowns that bit too often. So a stress wrinkle doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere because you feel stressed, but it is a line that forms in the skin because of a combination of factors. Usually the stress is chronic and so the stressors on the skin have time to ‘make their mark’. Basically, if you have a stressful evening don’t worry, you won’t wake up looking like a shar pei.
The Science Behind It
Wrinkles are made when the collagen and elastin in the skin break down, something that happens naturally with age. Other factors like UV exposure and lifestyle choices can also impact the skin. When it comes to psychological stress, cortisol is actually able to destroy and break down the collagen and elastin in skin, prematurely. A study on this topic found that chronic stress can cause wrinkles because stress creates inflammation in the body and slows the body's ability to repair itself. Studies have also shown that ageing skin can often be connected with over a 50% increase in the levels of inflammation in the blood.
Lower insulin resistance related to stress can also contribute to a process in the body that stops the skin being as elastic as it should be, essentially stopping it from bouncing back. This then causes premature wrinkles.
As if all of that wasn’t enough it is thought overall stress from our personal and professional lives, and the world around us can contribute to wrinkles too.
How To Prevent Stress Wrinkles
Luckily there is so much you can do to prevent stress wrinkles. Even better, reducing stress overall may even help you slow down wrinkles that form from the process of aging, boosting your youthful looks for longer.
Here are lots of ways to prevent stress wrinkles:
Your body is made up of up to 60% water and your skin is a massive 64% water. It makes sense that hydration is key to preventing wrinkles and keeping your skin healthy. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is important, increasing that amount if it is very hot or you are exercising a lot.
Moving your body is a natural stress reducer, and it also boosts your heart rate and improves circulation. This helps to ensure oxygen and nutrients get to the skin, promoting new collagen production and a healthy glow. We need around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every 7-day cycle.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are thought to help our minds slow down, and give us a moment to be more centered. Practicing daily helps to lower stress long-term. Here’s a free stress meditation to start with on Youtube.
Work/ Life Balance
Balancing our work lives and personal lives is hard, especially when we can so easily work from home, and don’t have a clear cutoff point for when work ends, and relaxing begins. Unfortunately, the less balanced those things are, the more stressed we can be. Correcting your work/ life balance is key to reducing stress and helping keep those stress wrinkles at bay.
Eating a balanced diet of healthy proteins, fats, carbohydrates and colourful fruits and vegetables is so important. The food you eat feeds your skin from the inside and it affects your overall mood and energy levels. In general, the more whole foods your diet is, the better your nutrition is likely to be.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is very bad for the body and the skin. It causes the blood to rise in the tissue causing inflammation. Do stick to the guidelines in your country on how much should be consumed.
Smoking causes grey, sallow skin and premature wrinkling. Quitting smoking is one of the very best things you can do for your skin and overall health. Thinking of quitting? Here’s a little article to help.
When you sleep you have more blood flow and so your skin spends this time repairing itself. The less sleep you have, the less time your skin has to repair. You can find tips and tricks on having a good night's sleep here.
UV damages the skin, and it is present even on a cloudy day. You don’t have to be in the direct sunlight for it to damage your skin. Ideally you will wear a high factor like factor 50 sun cream every single day, before you go outside. This helps reduce sun damage and slow the formation of wrinkles.
A Good Skincare Regime
A good skincare regime helps to keep your skin clean, exfoliated and moisturised. Consider speaking to a professional skin technician or dermatologist who can recommend products that are specific to your skin needs.
“One of the reasons people get old - lose their aliveness - is that they get weighed down by all of their stuff.” - Richard Leider
Stress wrinkles are an unfortunate byproduct of being stressed, but in reality, they shouldn’t be the only reason you fight excess stress in your life. You only have one shot at this, and it isn’t worth spending every day feeling totally frazzled. You deserve to have fun and to thrive. Do try our tips above to slow down the production of stress lines, but destress for yourself too, you deserve it.