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Verena Eckstein's Blog

Relax (Your Skin)!

12.10.2020 By Verena Eckstein
Relax (Your Skin)!

An unusual and demanding year lies behind us. The ongoing corona pandemic determines many parts of our lives. People react differently to such extraordinary situations - some brood, spend sleepless nights. Some withdraw. Only very few remain unaffected.

It also does something to our body - and our skin. Of course, when it comes to difficult life situations, the condition of our skin is certainly not the first priority. But viewed holistically, every positive attention that we give ourselves is of benefit to all parts: body, mind and soul. So if you are particularly under pressure, try to create a positive balance. I know it's often easier said than done. And yet it's so important to our health and wellbeing.

From my yoga practice

For me, yoga has proven to be incredibly effective at this point. Brooding and tension of all kinds can quickly be seen on my face. Recently, while practicing at-home yoga, I looked up at the mirror and saw a total stranger staring back at me! Who was this woman with a scowl on her face, a deep wrinkle in her forehead? I was shocked to see what I looked like when I was focused and concentrated. This was yoga after all!

So, I decided to end my yoga practice with one of my favorites—a complete body scan. It goes like this: lying on my yoga mat, I slowly bring attention to each muscle starting with the toes and ending with the head. While doing so I focus on releasing all tension. As I did, I realized I was holding my breath, clenching my jaw, keeping my eyebrows furrowed. As I shifted into the Savasana, the resting pose of yoga practice, I could feel the wave of relaxation throughout my body.

I was reminded of the incredible power in being mindful, of completely being in the moment and aware of body and mind. It helps make us conscious of the tightness with which we carry ourselves - in our muscles, jaw, neck, forehead – and allows us to prevent repetitive expressions from becoming etched in our skin. Especially in times like these, it is important to release some of that tension, for both our mental and physical well-being.

Prevention is the best medicine

The best cream can only help the appearance of our skin so much; how we live and care for ourselves on a day-to-day basis has a huge effect on our skin and mimic. So here are 4 steps to help prevent those squint and frown lines:

1. Mindfulness- release that tension: Take a few minutes every day to do a complete scan of your body. Feel every muscle from head to toe. Where am I holding tension? Am I taking deep breaths? Are my eyes relaxed? My jaw? Is my tongue tensely pressed against the roof of my mouth?

Tip: Now that winter is here, I love taking evening baths while practicing my mindfulness breathing and tension release. I add in about one pound of Epsom salts, and the magnesium from the salts helps my muscles relax even more.

2. Living in sunny San Diego, sunglasses are a must to prevent squinting and unnecessary facial tension. If you notice you squint and wrinkle your forehead while reading, staring at a phone or computer screen, or out in the sun, wearing reading glasses and/or sunglasses can really help relax those straining muscles.

3. Massage your face. In the evening, loosen those tight muscles with a gentle facial massage while washing your face. Not only does it help relax the face, but it is good for circulation. I often start with the pressure point between my eyes, and then stroke in an upward motion toward my forehead. then moving in circular motions along my cheeks and chin.

Tip: The massage is one of the most important reasons for a professional treatment in a cosmetic institute. If you have the opportunity, treat yourself from time to time with a visit to the beautician. Your skin and your well-being couldn't be in better hands.

4. Keep your skin hydrated: A good eye cream (and lip contour care) is a must. The skin around the eyes is thinner and contains fewer sebaceous glands, making it more susceptible to dryness, sensitivities and wrinkles. In addition to this, the connective tissue under the lower eye lids tends to store water and form bags under the eyes. Similar to the eye area, the skin around the lips is thin, delicate and constantly in motion. The lip area moves when laughing, talking or chewing, and tends to forms wrinkles prematurely. Add in external stresses such as UV radiation, dryness, wind and weather - and your eye and lip contour area will be thankful for a little extra support.

Take care, Verena