Physical and emotional stress can show up in different ways. But none more so than on your body's largest organ - your skin.
Stress is no picnic to experience, but it’s even worse when it starts wreaking havoc with your complexion and causing wrinkles.
Treating stress wrinkles isn’t as easy as preventing them in the first place, but it’s completely doable with a few self-care habits and a mixture of external and internal remedies.
Keep reading to find out what’s causing your stress wrinkles to develop, how to prevent them, and how to remedy them naturally but effectively.
1. 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 a person ages. 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 causing dryness, and in turn, wrinkles.
Not only does the dermal layer thin, but less collagen is produced and the elastin fibers that provide elasticity wear out. The skin will then start to wrinkle and sag.
Skin starts to wrinkle naturally as you age, but there are ways to reduce wrinkling including moderate sunshine, lots of water and salt, and especially a clean diet that consists of an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Learn more in Longevity Secrets: Staying Forever Young With Nature’s Gifts.
2. What are Stress Wrinkles?
Stress wrinkles are just like regular wrinkles in appearance, but they’re caused by stress. In fact, they’re your body’s inflammatory response to prolonged stress.
We know that too much stress isn’t good for us both mentally and physically, but when we experience regular stress our bodies respond with inflammation (which is designed to protect us from injury temporarily).
However, chronic inflammation leads to damage from free radicals, including wrinkles that are being formed at the cellular level.
This makes them harder to treat, but not impossible. The way to fight oxidative stress is with antioxidants and we can consume them in certain foods like berries, leafy greens, nuts, red bell peppers, broccoli, and avocado. Consuming more of these foods every day can help give your body the tools it needs to fight off free radicals and oxidative stress, for smoother, healthier skin from the inside out.
3. Eating for Healthy Skin
In addition to consuming plenty of foods with antioxidants, you can also help nourish your skin with the right foods to prevent wrinkles. Coconuts and coconut oil are particularly beneficial at preventing wrinkles, and these are easy to add into your daily cooking (cooking oil, smoothies, sprinkled over oatmeal, salads, and baked goods).
Learn more in The Healing Powers of Coconut.
One seeded fruits and vegetables e.g. olives, peaches, mangoes, nectarines, avocados and apricots; are renowned for their skin revitalising qualities and should be consumed regularly.
Also, butternut squash, okra, and flaxseed are great foods known to remedy wrinkles, and many people swear by bee pollen. It may improve the appearance of our skin and prevent wrinkles by increasing the flow of blood to skin cells and by stimulating the growth of new skin tissues.
4. Reduce Stress
While there are many remedies that can help you reduce the appearance of stress wrinkles, one of the key steps is prevention. Avoiding stress is your best bet to preventing stress wrinkles from being caused in the first place. Sometimes stress is unavoidable, like in your job or in personal problems, but we can definitely improve our reaction to stress.
Finding stress outlets like yoga, sun gazing, beach walks, meditation, gentle exercise and hobbies can drastically improve our body’s response to stress so that our skin doesn’t suffer.
While you might not be able to stop yourself from experiencing stress from time to time, you can definitely reduce the amount it happens and also train yourself to redirect that energy to another activity.
Find the outlet that works for you and that helps calm you in the moment. Swimming is great for a sensory distraction, while meditation is exceptional at clearing the mind and improving focus. By training yourself early to reduce stress, you can prevent years of stress wrinkles from forming.
Gua Sha is a great de-stressing ritual that can also help reduce the appearance of stress wrinkles. Learn more in Natural Anti-Ageing with the Ancient Practice of Gua Sha.
Tip: Try this homemade natural mask that uses the power of cabbage to counteract dryness, prevent wrinkles, and give skin a glow. Juice a couple of cabbage leaves, dissolve a quarter teaspoon of yeast in the juice, and add in one teaspoon of honey. Mix well and apply a thick layer over the skin, leaving for 15 minutes. Remove with cotton pads soaked in water.
5. Natural Skin Products
When treating and preventing stress wrinkles, it’s important to use natural products without harsh chemicals that can hurt your skin even more. These products from our store are all gentle but effective, and filled with powerful ingredients that you’ll recognize and understand.
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.
Learn more in 7 Secrets to Supple, Youthful, Healthy Skin.
Fighting the signs of ageing completely isn’t possible, but it is definitely possible to reduce the number of stress wrinkles that develop.
By combining fresh air, moderate sunlight, plenty of antioxidant-full fruit and vegetables, natural skin care products, and regular stress relief, you can nourish your skin from the cellular level out and enjoy youthful, bright skin free of fine lines and wrinkles.
A final thought...
Remember, a certain amount of stress is healthy.
It's what keeps us inspired and focussed on important tasks. But excessive or ongoing chronic stress will eventually take its toll on your physical health.
Tolman Self Care.