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If a fountain of youth existed, it would definitely include a remedy for saggy skin as most of us have yet to learn how to defy gravity. From the time you are born to old age, the look and feel of your skin changes dramatically. In fact, skin changes are probably one of the most visible signs of aging next to the whitening or graying of your hair. As you move into your 20’s and beyond, your skin becomes drier, thinner, more sensitive, and less toned.
So what’s behind all of those unwanted changes in the appearance of your skin?
Believe it or not – STRESS! Stress from a variety of sources can negatively impact overall skin function. Here’s why…
Skin is the first thing that comes in contact with the outside world. It is the first line of defense, shielding our fragile internal organs from anything that might cause harm. Each time the skin comes in contact with either external or internal stressors (e.g., sunlight, pollution, metabolism, illness), it sustains microscopic damage to the cell membranes, DNA and tissue structures. As we age, the cumulative damage from stress makes it difficult for skin cells to carry out their day to day functions and leaves us with loose, wrinkled skin.
Let’s take a look at the many functions of the skin.
Skin – Your Outer Layer
When we talk about body organs, we think of the brain, heart, and lungs – all of which are inside the body. But there is actually one that we wear on the outside of our body – the skin. Skin is the largest organ, weighing about 8 pounds in adults and covering roughly 20 square feet when stretched out. And though it’s true that we’d fall apart without it, acting as a cover for our internal body is just one of the skin’s many important functions.
Some of its other functions include:
- Acting as a shield, protecting your internal body from exposure to harmful agents.
- Regulating body temperature and fluid balance through sweat.
- Detecting and relaying changes in the external environment through sensations of touch, heat, cold, and pain.
In essence, the skin is largely responsible for protecting our internal body which means that compromising the function of the skin could eventually have a negative impact on other body systems.
So what is it that compromises skin function? As mentioned above, one of the major culprits is STRESS.
Stress & Your Skin
If you remember from the article Stress & Your Health, the cells in your body work best when the environment surrounding them is kept constant. Stress (from either external or internal sources) disrupts the environment around the cells and if not kept to a minimum, can challenge the body’s ability to correct the disruption. This places the cells under stressed conditions (i.e., OXIDATIVE STRESS) and interrupts their ability to function normally. Over time, cell malfunction leads to a disruption of entire body systems; In this case, high stress loads may negatively impact your skin cell function eventually leading to things like – changes in skin texture, loss of skin tone, loss of moisture, and thinner/more delicate skin.
Sources of Stress
Exposure to both internal and external stressors can lead to an increase in free radical production. Though a certain amount of cellular ‘signaling’ by free radicals is a good thing, excessive free-radical activity can lead to cellular damage. This cellular damage is what is responsible for the physical changes in our skin that we see over time and can also make it difficult for the skin cells to carry out their everyday functions. Therefore, keeping oxidative stress to a minimum is important for maintaining a youthful appearance as well as for protecting the internal body systems from the outside world.
Boost Your Skin Health
Here at LifeVantage, we recognize that maintaining the health of your skin is essential for achieving more youthful-looking skin and for keeping your internal body protected. To help protect you from harmful free radicals, we recommend using Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer—a dietary supplement that supports the body’s internal defense system. To help mitigate any visible effects of skin damage caused by oxidative stress, we recommend trying TrueScience—a four product beauty system with enhanced Nrf2 technologies, each addressing specific skin care needs.
For additional ways to keep your skin looking and feeling young, check out the article The Quintessential Skin Care Routine for Every Skin Type.