You don’t have to be vain to have noticed the effects the pandemic has had on your face. After all, this past year, we’ve all seen more of our own mugs on camera than we ever could have imagined happening in our lifetimes.
When the rampaging coronavirus went into full swing, and everything locked down, we suddenly became pros at video calls and Zoom meetings. We had to.
Video calls helped us stay in touch with friends and family, so we didn’t go stark raving mad in isolation. And for some of us, it also served as a way to continue our work at home.
But that means you also got super familiar with every blemish, line, and perceived imperfection on your face. And if you’re like a lot of folks, you watched as those imperfections grew.
It was like someone hit the fast-forward button. Your face was aging right before your own… and everyone else’s… eyes.
The stress of the past year has really taken its toll on our skin. In fact, it’s so common folks have even coined a new name for it… Zoom Face. Or, as I like to call it, Pandemic Face.
Don’t panic. You can essentially reverse the hands of time taking years off your face. I’ll explain precisely how. But first, let’s take a quick look at what’s behind that aging.
Chronic stress takes a toll on your skin
Chronic stress takes its toll on our skin in several different ways.
First of all, your body makes cellular repairs and pumps out damage-fighting hormones when you’re asleep. But anxiety can disrupt your sleep patterns robbing you of precious slumber.
And a lack of shut-eye will eventually show up on your skin. Dark circles, puffy eyes, and deepening wrinkles can all be caused by not getting enough rest.
Ongoing stress, like we’ve all been living with for over a year now, triggers your body to pump out the stress hormone cortisol. And a constant trickle of the hormone hinders the manufacturing of collagen, the basic building block of your skin.
Collagen is a protein that’s responsible for the strength and elasticity of your skin. Our bodies naturally produce less collagen as we age, leading to thinning and wrinkles. But an excess of cortisol can fast-forward that process.
Plus, cortisol inhibits the production of hyaluronic acid. Your body naturally produces this clear, gel-like substance that retains moisture and is found in your eyes, connective tissues, and skin. Hyaluronic acid is essential for a supple, well-lubricated, and youthful-looking face.
And studies show psychological stress affects the overall functioning of your skin barrier. These disruptions can lead to moisture loss, accelerating the production of those wrinkles we love to hate.
Love how you look with this Five-Point Babyface Plan
But don’t worry. You CAN overcome Pandemic Face and put the brakes on accelerated skin aging.
With my simple Five-Point Babyface Plan you can roll back time’s aging effects on your skin, restore moisture, add elasticity, and help reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles…
Yup, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Your body repairs and regenerates your cells, systems, and organs while you sleep… and that includes your skin. For maximum skin cell growth, aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep a night.
To get there, start by reducing your overall exposure to blue light, especially in the evening. Help keep your circadian rhythm in sync and trigger your body to begin ramping up your melatonin levels by shutting off all the electronics and reducing artificial lights at least an hour before bed. And if you’re still having trouble slipping off to la-la land, check out my 6 tips to silence your brain when you can’t sleep for more help.
During the pandemic, many of us turned to “comfort foods.” In other words, we did a lot of high carb, high sugar, and ultra-processed nibbling. And, over time, that can harm your skin.
A steady diet of these foods ironically leads to a by-product called AGEs or advanced glycation end products. AGEs are bad news for your skin, damaging collagen and connective tissues.
The more junk you eat, the faster AGEs are produced, and the more hits your skin takes. Ditch the junk foods and replace them with more antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods. (Here are four to get you started.)
Making sure you sneak in some exercise most days of the week (daily if you can) delivers TRIPLE the benefits. First of all, it’s a natural stress reliever. Second, moving more during the day will help you sleep better at night, leading to healthier skin. And finally, exercise naturally boosts blood circulation, and studies show it can have anti-aging effects on the skin.
Plus, research shows facial exercises work, too, adding fullness and reducing the appearance of aging. Click here for six you can try today.
4. Stress reduction:
Exercise can do a lot to relieve stress. But don’t stop there. This past year has been a doozy for all of us. Introducing some extra stress relief into your life will have tons of health benefits, not the least of which is helping improve the appearance of your skin.
You can try simple deep breathing exercises, give meditation a try, or get even more active with something like Tai Chi or Yoga. I suggest checking out YouTube for some instructional videos. Or look for a free app for your smartphone.
Both topical and oral supplements can help restore your skin to a more youthful appearance. Plus, they can help slow future facial aging to a crawl.
For topical approaches, hyaluronic acid, retinol, and alpha-hydroxy acids can all help accelerate skin renewal, boost collagen production, and reduce the appearance of aging. But don’t overdo it. Start slow and consider alternating these products with more soothing topicals that moisturize your skin. It’s a good idea to get the advice of a dermatologist or esthetician too.
For oral supplements, studies show collagen, green tea, and garlic can help fight skin aging and wrinkles.
Give these five steps a try, and within weeks, you could be looking for an excuse for another Zoom meeting to show off your new babyface.