Meeting the eminent American dermatologist, Dr Howard Murad, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA earlier this year, I was surprised when he told me many skin problems he treats arise due to depression. Yes, like our hearts our skin is an organ that can become sensitive too, often trying to express unresolved internal tension. Chemical changes brought on by anxiety may provoke breakouts, psoriasis conditions or adult acne, which seems to be ever more frequent in its diagnosis.
A great believer in ‘emotional self-care’ Dr Murad is my kind of skin expert. His inclusive approach is not only to treat skin topically, but spiritually too, taking into consideration your inner state to achieve a better performing visage. Because stress rocks your health at the cellular level, Dr Murad has determined, through clinical research that managing it is a critical part to optimising health.
“The stress inherent in an unbalanced life chronically over stimulates the nervous system and causes an outpouring of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress related hormones,” explains Dr Murad. “This hormonal overload taxes all the body’s systems and can ravage the cells.” Furthermore, cultural stress makes it more difficult for the body to repair and regenerate, leading to visible signs of skin ageing.
I’ve selected five of Dr Murad’s softly, softly tactics to help lift modern pressure:
- Smile and laugh at least once a day. These child like emotions actually change our brain chemistry for the better.
- Replace one glass of water a day with eating a raw fruit or vegetable. This is classed as ‘structured’ water, which is more efficient, and has the ability to better penetrate water into our living cells. It will reach every cell in our body including the epidermis more than when drinking water – whether it’s tap or bottled.
- Surround yourself with positivity. Moods are contagious. Envelope yourself with people who demonstrate positive attitudes.
- Splurge on yourself. A massage, facial or manicure can go a long way in making you feel valued and special.
- Write down three good things that have happened to you today, and everyday.
Dolly mixture note: A comfort blanket for winter skin is Murad’s Recovery Treatment Gel, £40.95. The ultimate in redness therapy, it reduces the feeling of sensitivity by fortifying with cooling agents. www.murad.co.uk