Every loving mom knows how wonderful and fulfilling motherhood is, but they also have first-hand experience with the stress and demand that comes with it. And the several challenges of raising and caring for a family can take their toll on your physical appearance and emotional well-being, often leading to wrinkles and stress lines. Various research shows the effect of stress on the skin. According to some studies, high levels of perceived stress have a more rapid decline in skin barrier function, which can lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. So, is motherhood stressing you out often and wrinkling your skin? Then use these 12 tips to prevent stress lines and wrinkles.
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1. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water during the day.
Busy moms usually go through the day forgetting to drink water until they feel very thirsty. But this habit can easily encourage stress lines and wrinkles to start forming, especially when the challenges start getting to you. Regardless of how occupied your day is, you need to drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated and supple, reducing the formation of wrinkles and stress lines. When you leave your body dehydrated, your skin can become brittle and dry, making you more prone to wrinkles. Drinking loads of water also helps to flush out toxins from your body. Most toxins come from consuming too many unhealthy snacks and drinks to power you through your day. These toxins usually contribute to premature aging, which shows wrinkles on your face. Staying hydrated also improves your skin health and makes it more resilient to the effects of the daily stress of a mother.
2. Incorporate Retinol into your skincare routine.
Dermatologists have highlighted the immense benefits of Retinol and other over-the-counter retinoids. Retinol has been proven to help smoothen out stress lines, fine lines, and wrinkles. It is considered one of the most effective ways of stimulating skin cell turnover, which is even more crucial as you age. For moms older than 30, the aging process has already begun, slowing down your skin cell production and making you more prone to wrinkles. Combine this with the stress of motherhood, and it’s easy to see why many mothers start seeing wrinkles early. Retinol can help your skin cell reproduction rate and minimize stress lines and wrinkles.
3. Add more antioxidants to your diet.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential, as it helps you deal with the stress of being a mom. And one thing you should add to your balanced diet is food sources rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants can protect your skin from free radicals and slow down the natural wrinkling process while helping to reduce stress lines. Some antioxidant-rich foods include oily fish with high omega-3 and fatty acid content, black beans, black plums, cherries, pecans, granny smith apples, red kidney beans, prunes, artichokes, and berries.
4. Wear sunscreen every day.
You already know sunscreen’s important if you spend much time outside during hot seasons. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin and lead to early wrinkling while encouraging stress lines to appear. And that’s why you must wear sunscreen (preferably one with an SPF of at least 30) daily if it’s hot outside. But don’t limit yourself to the hot days. Whether it’s winter, cloudy outside, or you plan to spend your day indoors, experts advise wearing sunscreen to help prevent wrinkles from developing.
5. Find relaxing activities to help you reduce stress.
You must avoid stress to make you less prone to stress lines and wrinkles. That may be easier said than done as a busy mom, but you need to find ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life, and you can try various options. Consider getting help. That could mean hiring a babysitter, house help, or a cook to help ease the workload on you. Consider asking a family member, friend, or loved one to put in some mommy-duty shifts for you so you can take a break. And during your breaks, engage in relaxing activities like reading, drinking a hot cup of tea, sleeping, going for a walk, visiting the spa for a rejuvenating massage, journaling, listening to music, etc. You can also consider yoga, daily exercise, meditation, or breathing exercises to help you manage stress.
6. Use gentle skin products.
Your skin may tolerate harsher beauty products when you’re younger. But stress can weaken your skin, making you less tolerant of skin products with harsh chemicals. To be safer, it’s best to use only gentle skincare products, regardless of how tough you believe your skin is. From makeup cleansers to body lotions, ensure that none of your products contain chemicals like BHA, BHT, PEG compounds, artificial fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, dibutyl phthalate, and DEA-related ingredients.
7. Use high-quality anti-wrinkle creams and anti-aging products.
Thankfully, many beauty brands now produce anti-wrinkle creams specially formulated to prevent and smoothen wrinkles, stress lines, fine lines, etc. All you have to do is apply a small portion of your preferred anti-wrinkle cream under your everyday cream. It’s best to opt for a product that also offers a moisturizing effect. But as mentioned previously, you must ensure that none of the products you pick contains harsh ingredients. You can also turn to anti-aging products like vitamin-c-rich moisturizers for similar results. You can purchase specially made anti-aging products or focus on skincare products packed with ingredients like peptides that help soften or reduce stress wrinkles.
8. Stop smoking and drinking.
This is it if you need another motivation to quit smoking and drinking. These habits can damage your skin long-term, including encouraging wrinkles. You might also want to avoid second-hand smoke, which can damage your skin and cause premature aging. Alcohol is also a diuretic that causes your body to remove fluids from your bloodstream through your renal system. Your body will quickly become dehydrated if you drink alcohol often, making it easy for wrinkles and stress lines to develop. Your best bet is to avoid drinking, but if you have to take in alcohol, be sure to drink loads of water too.
9. Get enough rest
You now know how important resting is to dealing with stress lines and wrinkles. Sleeping is one of the most effective ways to rest, as it helps your skin to repair and rejuvenate. Regardless of how busy, packed, or stressful your days are as a mom, put prime importance on sleeping. Experts advise getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, but you can also incorporate quick snooze times into your daily schedules. When you sleep, your body produces collagen, a protein type that adds elasticity to your skin and helps reduce stress lines and wrinkles.
On the contrary, insufficient sleep leads to decreased collagen production, leaving your skin tired, dull, and wrinkled. Also, your body releases human growth hormone (HGH) when you sleep, which helps to repair and rejuvenate skin cells. Getting enough sleep also helps you to combat stress responsible for stress lines. It leaves your skin youthful while adding a touch of glow to your appearance.
10. Reduce your intake of sugar.
Sugar breaks down elastin and collagen – two protein types that give the skin shape, structure, and firmness. When sugar breaks down these proteins, your skin looks dull, dry, saggy, and wrinkled. And as if that’s not bad enough, excess sugar in your system can also lead to acne breakouts. So, reduce your sugar intake drastically. Also, stay away from processed food, soda, carbonated drinks, etc., as they can also cause inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. Instead, eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
11. Consider professional treatments
For many moms, professional treatments are the best options for dealing with stress lines and wrinkles. Some of the options available include Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport. These treatments are great for smoothing stress lines by helping relax muscles. Thankfully, such treatments are becoming more available for many moms. Other types of professional treatment for stress lines and wrinkles include PRP micro-needling, radiofrequency, resurfacing lasers, and prescription retinoids. PRP micro-needling stimulates collagen production to prevent stress lines. Micro-needling is also used to stimulate hair growth, attributing to the rising trend in the use of prp for hair loss treatment.
Radiofrequency uses a skin-tightening laser to deliver radiofrequency energy into the skin’s deeper layers to stimulate collagen production. Resurfacing and microscopic lasers can change your skin’s surface by encouraging elastin and new collagen growth. But be sure to speak to an expert before committing to any of the procedures mentioned. For example, if you’re considering Botox treatment, you can speak with professionals like Botox expert Arash Akhavan, MD.
12. Wear sunglasses when heading out.
The skin surrounding the eyes is very delicate, so the edges of the eyes are usually the first to show signs of wrinkling and fine lines. So, wear sunglasses anytime you’re heading out during the day. Pick a design or size that covers the skin around your eyes. And be sure your sunglasses can protect you from the harsh UV rays. Sunglasses are not just for fashion; they serve a purpose.
Featured Photo by Fernanda Latronico: https://www.pexels.com