Stress ages you before your time

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Stress ages you before your time.

Let’s face it, we are not all blessed with a youthful appearance. We have to make the best of the genes we have inherited from our relatives, and we have to make an effort to take care of our skin with topical products and treatments to get a good result. However, research tells us that we can also enhance our appearance just by reducing our ability to deal with stress

In our modern world we are under constant stress. The primitive mechanism designed to flight or fight the onslaught from the Saber Tooth Tiger is invoked every morning and afternoon in rush hour traffic or during hectic days at work or a fight with a spouse or friend. When we experience chronic stress, the body is constantly churning out cortisol, and this can have negative physical side effects, causing anxiety, insomnia, increased fat storage (especially around the belly area), poor digestion, inflammation, and lowered immunity (more bouts of illness). Stress also has an impact on your physical appearance and the condition of your skin.

STRESS accelerates wrinkle formation

STRESS inhibits the body’s ability to repair wrinkles

STRESS breaks down muscle tone

STRESS causes skin dehydration

Cortisol is catabolic (meaning it breaks down), so high levels can cause loss of muscle tissue. Cortisol also stimulates the breakdown of our skin. As we age the collagen and elastin fibres responsible for the firmness and elasticity of our skin (anti-wrinkle fibres) naturally deteriorate, but elevated levels of cortisol will not only hurry up this process but also inhibit the body’s ability to repair the collagen and elastin tissue.

Researchers in Finland found that high levels of cortisol reduce the quantity of proteoglycans and hyaluronic acid in our skin. These two chemicals are responsible for hydration of the skin. Too much stress can lead to stressed (dehydrated) looking skin.