The world is in a lock down, well almost. Work from home as well as work for home is keeping us on our toes and social distancing has made sure we get zero parlor time. We are left to our own devices as far as skin care is concerned. You may think, staying at home gives you more time to look after yourself, but factors like stress, anxiety and lack of access to personal care specialists can all creep up on you, making it hard to take the best care of your skin internally and externally under the current circumstances.
Body Releases Stress Hormones That Are Bad For Your Skin
The onslaught of incrementally scarier news you receive from media and social media can leave your skin exposed to breakouts and acnes. The chemical response from stress can lead to skin sensitivity. Also, if you have existing skin problems like psoriasis and eczema, they can simply get worse with additional stress.
To manage stress,
Meditate twice daily.
Meditation activates parts of the brain that release happy hormones.
- Meditation helps relax your facial muscles. Stiffness often becomes most visible on your face and muscles remain tightened as the body’s mechanism for fight or flight response to stress.
- Meditation improves your sleep. Higher levels of stress on a daily basis can disrupt your circadian rhythms giving you under-eye puff bags and black circles in the morning, apart from affecting your productivity.
- Meditation is effective in managing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema that are made worse by release of stress hormones.
- Meditation can stop premature aging of your skin. According to a study, the major antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione-have been found to be higher among practitioners of deep breathing practices like Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, than those who did not meditate or practice deeper breathing.
Here’s how you can meditate effortlessly for 20 minutes.
Unhealthy Binging Can Cause Excessive Oil Secretion
This is a vicious loop. Undergoing stress can push us towards unhealthy binging, that only makes it harder for the skin to receive the right nutrition that it needs right now, to fight the aftereffects of stress built up. Our skin reflects what we put into our bodies. Research suggests, eating foods that destabilize blood sugar levels like sugary drinks and fried, fatty foods, white sugar can lead to acne problems.
Eating healthy foods that aid stress reduction can also simultaneously work wonders for your skin, because foods that are good for beating stress are rich in antioxidants and loading up on antioxidants ensures your skin has all the ammunition to fight off rogue radicals that make your skin look dull and aging.
Fruits like strawberries, orange, guava and pineapple have Vitamin C and can help fight against tension and fatigue. Beans and bananas, rich in tryptophan, contain a type of protein that is converted to serotonin, a happy hormone. Grains like oats and brown rice have lean proteins and essential vitamins to combat stress and anxiety. Lactium in milk calms the mind and reduces stress hormones.
Stress Can Debilitate Vata Dosha
Stress can cause imbalance in the Vata Dosha that represents the air element in the body and is responsible for all types of movements. Vitiated Vata can further anxiety, irregular appetite, mild weight loss, constipation, interrupted sleep, and bloating. Vata related skin problems can range from black or brown discoloration, skin dryness, roughness, stiffness in skin, fissures or affected nerves.
Ground yourself with Abhyanga
Abhyanga or self-massage therapy calms the mind and the nervous system that is under attack from the physical and psychological or emotional stress we are carrying in our systems from the information implosion we are being exposed to. Abhyanga helps you eliminate this emotional toxin which is stored in our body in the form of stress and tightness. Removing excessive heat and fatigue from the body, it leaves you feeling peaceful, clear and light. Find out more about benefits of Abhyanga and how to do it, here.
Abhyanga experts recommend use of oils especially formulated using herbs that possess specific healing qualities appropriate to each individual’s body constitution or Prakruti and doshas it must balance.
Shankara’s Soothing Body Oil is one such offering. It is a soothing blend of essential oils that are known for their relaxing and de-stressing qualities. Made from essential oils of almond, grapeseed, sunflower, borage, evening primerose, lavender, sandalwood and chamomile, this nutrient rich body oil also helps address worries of the mind, over critical thinking, irritability and anger! An oil for hypertension and stress release is also an oil for a perfectly calm and relaxed mind!
Here’s how you can use simple practicable wisdom from Ayurvedic sciences to build immunity.