It’s a term we hear banded around a lot, but what does it actually mean and how do we manage it? Essentially, stress is a symptom of pressure – and the way in which we deal with that pressure.
Our bodies have an inbuilt physical reaction when we are stressed – we release hormones that are part of the ‘fight or flight’ response; it is an instinctive reaction to feeling under threat, or in danger, which the body creates in preparation for optimal performance; which is great when experienced in short doses, as nature intended.
Unfortunately, modern day society is leaving lots of us feeling in a permanent state of stress – things are so bad the that the World Health Organization calls stress ‘the health epidemic of the twenty-first century.’ Dr. Ranjan Chaterjee has written two brilliant books on the subject of stress – they are unbelievably relatable; he refers to MSDs (micro stress doses) which are the endless mini stresses we put on ourselves throughout daily life –looking at your phone the minute you wake up, comparing yourself to others on social media, overfilling your diary etc. etc. This list goes on.
We know how bad stress is for us, it effects our mind and our body but it also affects the face hugely too. Stress is terrible for skin because the high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin. According to Dermalogica, research has found that “chronic stress can increase inflammation, causing skin to age and accelerating the formation of wrinkles.’ It can dehydrate the skin as well as contributing to poor circulation – all of which lead to dull skin and an aged appearance.”
Stress also usually causes us to over express – frowning for long periods of time results in deep set wrinkles. Understanding your stress levels and addressing them is of paramount importance if you want to maintain a youthful, happy and healthy looking face.
Over the past few months it has felt even more important to manage stress levels at home; We have found Chloe’s Pilates subscription service to be an absolute Godsend – she really is the best…amazing for toning but always with a real eye on form and preventing injury – a virtual Pilates session with Chloe forces us to switch off and concentrate for an hour – which is so good for calming the mind and giving you a reset.
This may seem like a less obvious inclusion in a list of suggestions to help combat stress, but TRUST us, The Mindful Chef is worth trying…it is like cooking by numbers – it takes the stress out of thinking about what to cook (and shopping to buy the ingredients) and you can mindlessly put together something truly delicious and nourishing that your family will enjoy. We like the fact that all of their meat is grass fed and free range and the recipes are imaginative – Teriyaki salmon, spinach & choi sum and golden aubergine fritters & plum tomato sauce are just two examples of recipes we’ve loved.
We also discovered Life Armour during lockdown – their tinctures contain 100% active ingredients and are thoughtfully designed to combat stress. We have had so many friends and members reporting feelings of increased anxiety and ever mounting stress levels during this period so we are working with Life Armour until the end of the month to bring our members a 20% discount off their entire range – we recommend you give them a try if you’re feeling stressed and looking for a bit of natural support.
At bedtime, we’ve mentioned them both before, but the Neom Pod diffuser is dreamy, accompanied by a spritz of the Votary pillow spray and a roll of Votary Feelings on your pulse points (our favourite scent from the Feelings selection is Drift)…and UNPLUG – that’s been the biggest improvement we’ve made, lockdown has forced us all online a lot more – increased screen time is mentally tiring, so having the discipline to put your phone down or turn the TV off an hour before bed in order to relax, wind down and read a good old fashioned book (even if it’s only a page) makes all the difference.
Why become a member of Luminous?
Subscribing to Luminous will give you access to a wealth of curated tutorials and routines to help teach you to lift and tone every part of your face. You can filter by face part to target specific areas, or try the full routines. We add new techniques and routines to the site regularly as it is important to mix up the exercises you do to keep your muscles challenged.
We do monthly online live classes which will help keep you motivated as well as ensuring you are doing the techniques correctly.
Head to the ‘Become a Member‘ page to learn more about the benefits and cost of membership!