When it comes to achieving healthy, glowing skin, many of us turn to high performance products, expert treatments and customized skin care programs recommended by a licensed aesthetician, to obtain the results we desire.
While all of the above are essential components in combating many skincare conditions and concerns, we often overlook the role that mindfulness and meditation can play with relation to the overall appearance of our skin.
We’ve discussed in previous blog posts how stress can have a major impact on our skin and on our psychological and emotional wellbeing. When we become anxious or over focus on a specific area of our lives which is troubling us, the body produces more insulin which in turn triggers our adrenal glands to release steroid hormones known as androgens and cortisol. These hormones have the ability to stimulate sebaceous oil glands and cause inflammation, which can lead to acne flare ups, skin sensitivity and pimples.
While a certain amount of stress in our lives is necessary for optimum performance and to help keep us firmly focused on our goals, when it’s not managed effectively it can begin to take over our lives and prevent us from functioning with enthusiasm and positivity. When this happens, it’s time to take action.
Meditation and mindfulness are two words that have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. While the fundamentals and techniques used in these practices can be traced back to ancient civilizations, the incredible benefits that they can bring have only been highlighted in mainstream media recently, which is why we wanted to take the time to explore it in a little more detail.
How can meditation and mindfulness help improve skin health?
When practiced regularly meditation is believed to reduce the levels of cortisol within our bodies and calm our nervous system, allowing us to step away from the ‘fight or flight’ mindset which we often enter into when our stress levels are heightened. As we become more aware of our thoughts and are able to calm our minds, , scientists have found that oxygen which is provided at cellular level begins to regulate as our heart rate and blood pressure lowers. When we’re stressed our body sends blood to the brain and muscles where it believes it’s required most at that specific moment in time. This has a detrimental effect on our skin, as the amount of nutrients and oxygen it needs to repair itself and remove any unwanted bacteria and toxins are reduced. When this happens flare ups of acne, increased sensitivity and blocked pores can occur, along with other conditions such as Psoriasis, Eczema and Rosacea.
The art of meditation and mindfulness focus on us becoming more aware of our thoughts and the management of deep breathing. Through a series of techniques which are taught by practitioners in this field, we are able to reduce anxiety by releasing any negativity which is preventing us from moving forward and focusing on personal goals.
While research is always ongoing, studies have shown links between consistent practice and the potential to increase immune function, decrease internal inflammation and reduce stress, all of which we know can have a direct impact on our complexion and the visible health of our skin.
How can mindfulness and meditation be incorporated into my daily routine?
Meditation and mindfulness classes have become more popular over the last couple of years and the chances are that if you search your local directory of wellness practitioners and community classes, you’ll be able to find one local to you. If however you’d prefer to practice in the privacy of your own home or don’t have the financial resources to pay for group events then there are a number of free resources which have been designed to provide greater insight into the subject. Some of the more well-known ones are available at ‘The Mindfulness Solution’, ‘UCLA Health’ and the ‘Chopra Center’.
While meditation is a fantastic way to support your skin care program, it should not be used to replace regular skincare treatments or as an alternative for acne safe products such as the PoreInfusion skincare line, which have been formulated specifically to help target acne related skin issues and improve your complexion.
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