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Zen and the Art of Radiant Skin: The Powerful Connection between Skincare and Meditation


Take a look anywhere on social media these days and before long you’ll see something encouraging you to meditate. From posts about classes, to apps promoting guided meditations, to machines that can help achieve similar results without learning to meditate, there is all kinds of talk out there about going inward.


We here at 10 Degrees Cooler support this wholeheartedly. Both of our founders, Andreea and Cameron, are daily practitioners of Transcendental Meditation who regard their practice as something they can’t (and don’t want to) live without. “My meditation is a twice-daily gift I give myself,” says Cameron. “It centers me. It focuses my attention on what truly matters. And I even get some of my best ideas when I’m meditating. I also know that I could be something of a hothead before I learned to meditate nearly four years ago — prone to reaction before properly assessing situations. Now pause and perspective are immediately available to me in a way I wish I had had them all my life.” He adds, with a laugh, “Even my heart rate and blood pressure, when I get them checked at the doctor, are better than they ever were before I began my meditation practice.”


Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries and has gained popularity in recent years. It has been known to have numerous benefits, including reducing stress, improving mental health, and increasing focus and productivity. But did you know that meditation can also have a positive impact on your skin? In this blog post, we’ll explore how meditation affects skin conditions and why it’s an effective tool for achieving healthy and glowing skin.


Stress and Skin Conditions

Stress is a major factor that contributes to skin woes such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. When we are stressed, our body produces cortisol, a hormone that triggers the fight-or-flight response. This response increases blood flow, heart rate, and breathing, which is necessary for survival in dangerous situations. However, when cortisol is released continuously due to chronic stress, it can lead to inflammation, which is linked to various skin conditions.

Stress can also affect the immune system, which can make the skin more vulnerable to infections and other skin issues. Additionally, stress can disrupt the skin's natural balance of oil and water, leading to dry, itchy, or oily skin.


Meditation and Stress Reduction

Meditation has been proven to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. When we meditate, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's rest and digest response. This response lowers heart rate and blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, and slows down breathing, helping the body to relax.

Studies have shown that regular meditation can lower cortisol levels in the body, which reduces inflammation and helps to regulate the immune system. By reducing stress levels, meditation can help to reduce the severity of skin conditions and prevent flare-ups.


Meditation and Skin Hydration

Dehydration is another factor that can contribute to skin problems. When the skin is dehydrated, it can become dry, flaky, and itchy. This can lead to inflammation and make the skin more prone to acne and other skin conditions.


The cortisol released by stress can lead to dehydration, so reduced cortisol from meditation helps you stay better hydrated (drinking plenty of filtered water helps with that too, naturally). The aforementioned activation of the parasympathetic nervous system that comes with meditating helps to regulate bodily functions such as digestion, blood flow, and, yes, hydration. Since keeping your skin hydrated is essential to your glow goals, meditation is a powerful tool to help you reach them.


Meditation and Skin Aging

As we age, our skin naturally loses collagen and elastin, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Stress can also contribute to the aging process by promoting inflammation and damaging the skin's natural barrier. Ergo, stress can lead to the formation of those unwanted wrinkles and age spots.


Once again, we see that the stress reduction from meditation and its activation of the parasympathetic nervous system can help slow the aging process. (Noticing a trend here? Stress reduction! Stress reduction! Stress reduction!) Meditate, reduce stress, slow the aging process and you will help keep your skin looking youthful and radiant.


Meditation and Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Stress is a major factor that can trigger acne by promoting inflammation and increasing the production of sebum, the oil that clogs the hair follicles.

Yet again we find that the stress reduction and promotion of relaxation from Meditation can help to reduce acne breakouts. In addition to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, meditation can promote the production of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. This can help to reduce inf lammation and regulate the production of sebum, which can prevent acne breakouts.


In addition to reducing stress levels, meditation can also promote healthy habits that can help to prevent acne. For example, regular meditation can help to improve sleep quality, which is essential for healthy skin. Lack of sleep can disrupt the skin's natural balance, leading to acne breakouts and other skin issues.


Conclusion

Meditation is a powerful tool that can have a positive impact on skin health. By reducing stress levels, promoting relaxation, and improving hydration, meditation can help to prevent and alleviate various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and aging. Incorporating meditation into your daily routine can help to improve your skin health and promote overall well-being.


If you're new to meditation, it can be helpful to start with short sessions of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable. Although, as mentioned above, we’re partial to Transcendental Meditation (TM) there are many different types to try (such as guided meditation, breathing exercises, or mindfulness meditation) to find the one that works best for you.


It's also important to note that while meditation can be a helpful tool for improving skin health, it should not replace medical treatment for skin conditions. If you have a skin condition that is causing you discomfort or is not improving with meditation and self-care, it's important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider.


In conclusion, incorporating regular meditation into your daily routine can have a positive impact on your skin health and overall well-being. By reducing stress levels, promoting relaxation, and improving hydration, meditation can help to prevent and alleviate various skin conditions and promote healthy, glowing skin.

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