We often look to address skin concerns from the root of the problem, turning to allergies, diets and irritants. However, there is one key component that is often overlooked: lifestyle. More specifically: stress. When I began developing perioral dermatitis (a beautiful combo of acne and eczema that resulted in a bumpy rash around the mouth area) I tried to figure out the root cause and eliminate it. When it comes to lifestyle factors, this can be much more difficult than just cutting out dairy or villainous gluten.
In Adina Grigore’s Skin Cleanse, she goes into the epidemiology of how and why stress affects our skin. She explains that tension in the body leads to an increase in stress hormones, which can lead to an increase in oil production and thus more breakouts. She also explains that when cortisol levels (stress hormones) are elevated in the body, this leads to an elevation in blood sugar, which then leads to damaged collagen, creating elastin which can lead to “worry lines” and wrinkles. She also describes how being unhappy leads to increased stress hormones and we become less likely to take care of ourselves.
Some suggestions to remedy this include meditation (just one 20-minute meditation session can reduce stress), as well as exercise (beyond the endorphin boost, evidence shows exercise can thicken the dermis and while thinning and firming the stratum corneum/outer layer of skin). Exercise is also a proven way to lower cortisol levels, ultimately reducing stress.
Stress permeates every layer of our society - from work, to home and personal relationships. It is something I have struggled to control my entire life, and my skin has always reflected this. The moment something stressful comes to mind, I can quite literally feel the itch associated with a flare up. When I was working in the law firm, the second something stressful would happen (which at times could be constant) I could see and feel the tell tale eczema patch spreading on my arm. Meditation and exercise are incredible ways to reduce and control stress, but we also want topical treatment for our skin issues and tools to help us combat stress throughout the day.
In developing Inner Glow, I wanted to replicate the deep breath you take when you finally reach a destination - whether physical or mental - of relaxation. For me, this was when I took a deep inhale of the warm spring air at the farm. The smells always relax my mind and body, and I didn’t have a flare up all summer. I wanted Inner Glow to mimic that moment of relaxation, so that we could incorporate it into our daily busy lives, as unfortunately we cannot all transport to the farm every time we need to relax. While the skin soothing ingredients of Inner Glow are aimed at treating and calming our skin, the all natural aromatherapy is intended to calm the mind, creating a full mind-body stress treatment.
For the a deeply relaxing treatment, apply 5 drops of Inner Glow to your hands, rub together, and hold in front of your face for a few deep breaths, then apply. Repeat a many times necessary throughout the day to maintain a relaxed and stress free mindset.