ARE DE STRESSING SKIN PRODUCTS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
Every month it seems there’s a new ‘ awareness day’ and, this week it was Stress Day… as if we need reminding! Most of us are a little stressed every single day and when you are under pressure it’ will be written all over your face as your skin is a good barometer of the level of stress you’re under.
Frequent breakouts, particularly in the chin and jaw area, are one of the first signs your skin is stressing; other signs could include flaky, dry patches, unusually oily skin or a dull, tired looking complexion. Stress can also bring on mysterious rashes or flare-ups of pre existing conditions. That’s because it can throw your immune system as well as your skin’s defences out of whack.
When we’re stressed we also tend to frown, clench our jaw and purse our lips, all of which can accelerate the development of wrinkles and worry line. A healthy diet and exercise usually go out of the window too, replaced by junk food, smoking and drinking. The bottom line the more stressed you are, the worse your skin will look.
Luckily, anti stress skincare is the latest buzzword and the big high street beauty brands are targeting stressed skin by incorporating the latest de-stressing technology in their products. From smart new calming creams to moisturisers and masks to wipe about tension it’s almost like having your own personal ‘shrink’ on your dressing table.
French pharmacy brand Vichy has recently launched Idealia, a range of products containing their new revolutionary compound called LR-247T to help ‘ life proof ‘the skin from the damaging effects of modern life. The formula, they claim will transform the appearance of skin quality, affected by our environment and regular excesses including fatigue, stress, cigarette smoke or an unbalanced diet.
The Life Serum £31 targets overworked and stressed out complexions while Skin Sleep £26.50 claims to be capable of mimicking the effects of a good night’s sleep so that you wake up looking rested and younger. Vichy isn’t the only brand to identify stressed skin. Rosina’s Fountain of Youth (£45 rosinaslotionspotions.com 02074364441) will help calm down reactive skin, while Lancôme’s Hydra Zen Neurocalm range include an Anti Stress Moisturising Cream (£39.50) containing an exclusive plant complex enriched with Rose de France, to smooth signs of strain
So what’s different about these new anti ageing creams? The main thinking behind them is stressed skin looks older so anything that can put the bounce back skin will make it look younger and plumper. Since stressed skin is usually dehydrated, using a good serum and moisturiser regularly is like giving the complexion a drink But be realistic, a pot of cream won’t get rid of your actual stress, – you will also have to tackle the root of the problem too. Here’ how –
There are many things you can do to get rid of any anxiety that wreaks havoc on your skin. Here are some practical ways o reduce overall stress and help your skin at the same time.
*Exercise – Working out releases endorphins, which can help to banish all that anxiety.
*Rest – A good night’s sleep allows your skin time to repair and gives your worried brain a break Choose the right night cream, it should not only anti-age your skin but help you relax, too. Make your going to bed routine technology free working before bed or using a laptop or smart phone will give ‘wind up’ signals to your brain and start the stress process going again.
*Relax – Meditation, relaxing yoga, self-hypnosis and other stress-reduction techniques are helpful for emotional well-being. Deep breathing may also help keep rashes at bay, or from developing in the first place. So, next time you feel your stress level rising, place your hand right above your belly button. “Every time you inhale, you want your hand to rise; with each exhale, it lowers. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths periodically throughout the day.”
*Change your diet – Increase vitamins A, C and E and cut down on sugar and fast food. Spencer Hayler is an expert in how stress affects your diet and can do a special blood test called a Lorizian test to see what you are sensitive to – for more information contact 0207 436 4441
*Aromatherapy can be a useful tool for reducing stress. Fragrance and smell have a very strong impact on the brain so work scent into your daily life. Essential oils are made up of very small molecules, so they can penetrate deep into the skin to combat aging, but their aromas also act on the deepest parts of the brain, which control our moods and emotions. Look for oils such as frankincense which can help quieten the mind and relaxing oils such as sandalwood and lavender.
*Spend time massaging in oils or creams deep into the complexions Facial massage improves circulation and helps eliminate toxins from the complexion. Try pressing the area between your eyebrows known in Ayurveda medicine as ‘the place of stillness’ with your index or middle finger for 10 seconds, then repeat. You can slowly rotate or pulse the pressure of your fingers at each location for deeper effect.”
AT THE CLINIC
*HydraFacial – Hollywood’s favourite facial used by Beyoncé and Eva Mendes – helps encourage fresh healthy clean skin from the inside out by using vacuum suction to remove toxins, bathing skin in serums before finishing with LED light therapy to wake up sluggish skin cells and stimulate collagen from £100 – contact 01788572007
*Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a highly effective treatment for rejuvenating skin. First, an exfoliating mask is used to slough off dead skin cells and prepare the skin. Then a special red light is used for up to 45 minutes to boost cell renewal and tackle any pigmentation or spot. Cost £100 per treatment
THE PHILTRIM MAKEOVER
Have you checked your philtrim lately? Could it do with a makeover? For those of you not familiar with this part of the human anatomy, it’s the groove just above your upper lip and just below your nose, situated between your nostrils and it’s the latest area under the anti ageing spotlight which can knock years off you.
As we age, this area flattens and lengthens so that the distance from your nose to your top lip gets longer and it can make an incredible difference to the lower area of your face. Short and well-defined philtrims are considered a sign of femininity and fertility and will also makes the face look more youthful but too little distance can make the mouth look weird. To improve treatments to re-establish shape and plumpness are now being used to pad out thinning philtrims and lift the area higher. Dermal fillers and fat grafting will immediately improve the structure of the top lip area but thread lifts can also be used. Done correctly a philtrim makeover can knock years off you and make the face look softer and younger. Treatments cost from £500 (0207 436 4441 for more into)