Skin Fitness: Daily Routines for a Radiant AppearanceApr 28, 2023 ● By David J. Sautter
Photo credit DavidL/peopleimages.com for Adobe Stock
While many of us work out to tone our muscles, we may be neglecting the largest organ in the body: our skin. Every day, it is exposed to a variety of irritants, including ultraviolet rays, air pollution, extreme weather and highly processed foods. Stress can also cause skin irritations and conditions. To serve its important functions and look healthy, our skin needs a fitness regimen. With a few daily routines, lifestyle modifications and coping strategies, a radiant appearance is within reach.
Skin Conditions Exacerbated by Stress
Acne: When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the production of pore-clogging oils, which can lead to the formation of acne. Stress also triggers inflammation, which can worsen existing acne.
Premature Aging: Stress can accelerate the aging process by reducing the skin's elasticity and causing wrinkles and fine lines. It triggers the production of free radicals, precipitating damage to collagen and elastin fibers, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and supple. When they are damaged, the skin becomes saggy.
Chronic Conditions: Stress can trigger or worsen skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, which are characterized by inflammation, dryness and itching.
Lifestyle Tips to Combat Stress and Improve Skin Health
Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for skin health. It also helps reduce the impact of daily stress. Aim for no less than seven hours of shut-eye each night.
Exercise regularly. Getting our bodies moving is essential to reduce stress levels and improve skin health by increasing blood flow, nutrient delivery and oxygenation to the skin.
Eat a healthy diet. “An anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits, veggies and healthy fats like those from seeds and nuts will help to keep skin healthy,” says Jennifer Scheinman, a registered dietitian and nutrition coach. “Foods rich in omega-3 fats like salmon and walnuts are great for skin health since they have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and the fats help to keep skin moisturized.”
Practice stress-relieving techniques. Engage in activities that help manage stress, such as yoga, meditation or deep-breathing exercises.
Apply skin-care products designed for the person’s skin type. According to Dr. Trevor Cates, author of Clean Skin From Within and Natural Beauty Reset, “The most important care tip is to find skin care with mild acidity [4.5 to 5.4 pH] and natural actives [plant-based extracts] that support the skin microbiome. A healthy skin microbiome means less chance for breakouts, blemishes and premature aging.”
According to Dr. Anne Marie Fine, author of Cracking the Beauty Code, “Air pollution has been demonstrated to prematurely age the skin and cause age spots. This is why you want to make sure to consume antioxidants and use antioxidant-containing, clean, skin-care products.”
Best Ways to Improve Facial Toning and Skin Health
Red-light therapy devices use infrared light to stimulate collagen production, improve circulation and promote healing. This reduces wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and other signs of aging.
Microcurrent facial tools use low-level electrical currents to stimulate facial muscles, helping to tone, reduce puffiness and promote a youthful appearance.
Lasers designed for home use offer a safe way to treat various skin issues such as wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage and pigmentation problems. They can also help even out skin tone by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin.
Gua sha is an ancient Chinese technique that involves gently scraping the surface of the skin with a special tool to increase blood flow, promote healing and reduce puffiness and inflammation.
Oxygen treatments infused into pores using a special device can help nourish skin cells, decrease inflammation, reduce wrinkles and improve overall complexion.
Facial acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into specific points to stimulate energy flow, which may improve circulation, reduce tension and promote smoother skin.
Facial Massage reduces wrinkles by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. It promotes circulation, drainage and toning.
David J. Sautter is a certified personal trainer specializing in fitness nutrition and sports conditioning, as well as a professional fitness writer. Learn more at WriteFit.com.