Stress wrinkles are lines or creases that show up on the skins surface as a result of mental or emotional stress.
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which breaks down collagen, a protein that allows your skin to retain its elasticity that helps you to maintain a youthful appearance.
For this reason, if you want to slow down the development of lines and wrinkles, it is important to manage stress as a first step. Here we briefly explain how wrinkles are formed on the skin and tips that can help to reduce their appearance.
What are Wrinkles?
The skin is made up of three layers which are the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
The epidermis (or outer layer) functions as a barrier to the external environment.
The dermis is the second layer of skin and it contains the structural elements of the skin, or the connective tissue.
The bottom layer of skin is the subcutaneous tissue, which contains fat cells that provide insulation to the body and make the skin look healthy and plump.
The epidermal cells become thinner and less sticky as you age. The skin looks noticeably thinner due to the thinner cells. The decreased stickiness of the cells diminishes the effectiveness of the barrier function. This allows moisture to be released instead of being kept inside the skin, which is what leads to dehydration, and in turn, lines and wrinkles.
Not only does the dermal layer thin out, but less collagen is produced and the elastin fibres that provide elasticity wear out. This is what typically causes the skin to begin to wrinkle and sag.
Of course, wrinkles to some extent are a natural process of ageing, but there are ways to slow down and reduce their appearance which we will share with you here.
How Stress Causes Lines And Wrinkles
As already mentioned, ongoing stress raises cortisol levels which in turn impacts collagen production. This greatly increases susceptibility to lines and wrinkles.
Think of this process as one of the body’s inflammatory responses to prolonged stress that needs to be brought back into balance.
Of course, a moderate amount of stress and cortisol production is healthy because it causes the body and mind to stay active and alert. But when stress becomes an every day norm that wears you down, the body responds with inflammatory indicators like stress wrinkles due to the excess free radicals that are elevated at a cellular level.
Free radicals are caused by oxidative stress, which means to reduce this antioxidant rich foods need to be included in your diet to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
1. Eat Anti-Oxidant Rich Foods
Certain foods in nature are particularly noted for their antioxidant content and their powers in minimising free radicals. These foods include:
- Dark Chocolate
- Go-Ji Berries
- Red Cabbage and;
Additionally, any of the "one-seeded" fruits are particularly renowned for their nutrient content that helps to target skin vitality. These include:
- Apricots and
It is also important to reduce your consumption of refined sugars and grains, preservatives, food colouring, processed meats, fatty fast foods and industrial seed oils as much as possible. Instead, replace them with unprocessed, locally sourced produce, pasture-raised and organic animal products and plenty of 'good fats', such as extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, flax seed oil and raw coconut oil.
Finally, be sure to include Manuka honey in your diet if you're not vegan to help improve your skin's appearance. Manuka is known to balance skin pH levels and helps to slough away dead skin cell debris and reduce inflammation, all of which can assist to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
2. Manage Stress Effectively
One of the keys to minimising wrinkles, is of course, to manage stress.
Obviously, life is full of stressful moments and pressures that can easily impact your overall state of mind, plus your physical and emotional wellbeing. However, by learning to manage this stressful triggers you can go a long way to reducing the impact that stress can have on your body and your skin.
Some of the best stress-reducing outlets and activities include, yoga, morning sun gazing, barefoot walks on the beach, deep breathing, meditation and a wide variety of moderate exercises from walking to weight training.
Additionally, practicing your hobbies or passions regularly is very important for managing stress and giving you an escape from the daily grind.
3. Use Natural Skin Products
To reduce the appearance of stress wrinkles and line, one of the best things you can do is to only use chemical-free, natural products on your skin.
The problem with regular cosmetics and skin care products is that they are laced with hidden chemicals that actually place additional stress on your skin, which is unnecessary and something you definitely should avoid.
Here are some simple tips to help manage a daily stress-free skin care routine and some of our favourite recommended and most popular products:
Moisturiser: Nourish Daily Moisturiser uses hydrating flower extracts to increase skin’s elasticity, while the strawberry extract protects skin from free radicals and the effects of ageing. Our Divine Plant-Based Face & Body Butter is a great full-body rich moisturiser that uses raw plant butters and pure essential oils to deeply hydrate skin and repair damage.
Mask: Our Radiance Face Mask with Detoxifying Clay can gently but effectively remove toxins and impurities from skin, while hydrating, reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, and exfoliating dead skin.
Face Scrub: gently removing the top layer of dead skin is an important part of your skin care routine and for reducing the appearance of stress wrinkles. Our Glow Face Polish with Botanical Extracts does exactly that while hydrating at the same time, for bright, youthful skin.
You can also use our Renew Salt Scrub Exfoliate in the bath or shower on your face and body. It uses the mineral-dense Celtic Sea Salt to shed dead skin cells and trigger the renewal of skin cells.
Face Oil: before applying moisturiser, smooth a few drops of Immortelle Beauty Booster over your skin. The cold-pressed oils are full of powerful antioxidants that not only protects your skin from ageing and wrinkles but also boosts plumpness and improves texture.
Healing Gel: use Skin’s Love Potion on any blemishes or wrinkles to boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity.
Alternatively, you can source your own skin care products from good supermarkets and health food stores, or you can DIY prepare your own at home if you have the time and interest. Whatever you choose to do, the good news is it's not hard to take good care of your skin cost-effectively with just a few natural products that won't add extra stress to your skin.
The Main Take Away
Even though the development of lines and wrinkles is a natural part of the ageing process, you can take steps to minimise and even reduce their appearance.
By eating plenty of locally sourced foods that are rich in antioxidants, managing stress with exercise, good self care habits and using only natural ingredients on your skin, you will begin to nourish your body and skin at a cellular level, which will ultimately help minimise wrinkles and restore your youthful glow.
Tolman Self Care.