As if the events of 2020 weren’t challenging enough, experts are now saying that there’s another impact of the pandemic: its ability to cause what’s known as stress aging.

What Is Stress Aging?

Researchers have long known about the link between increased stress and increased signs of aging, which can come about in a few different ways.

Stress can negatively impact our sleep schedules and our ability to stay asleep. Simply put, the less sleep you get, the older you look. One study published in 2010 found sleep-deprived people had under-eye circles, swollen eyelids, and more wrinkles.

Stress also increases the body’s cortisol levels, which can reduce collagen and hyaluronic acid production. Collagen is a protein that helps keep the skin supple and taut and hyaluronic acid works as a natural hydrator to keep it moisturized and plump.

So, in addition to the pandemic, those long nights at the office, hectic meeting schedules, or constant family drama (read: stress) can leave your skin dry and with more fine lines and wrinkles.

But the good news is that there are many ways you can reduce your stress and help your skin keep its youthful glow.

Consider Your Diet

Eating too much sugar and carbs can damage the skin’s collagen production. Reduce your sugar and carb intake, and focus on whole grains, fresh fruits, and leafy green vegetables.

Drink Plenty of Water

Hydrated skin is youthful skin. Consider the 8×8 water rule, or drink roughly eight 8oz cups of water daily. Stay on top of your water consumption so that you never experience the first sign of dehydration: thirst. More water means a better chance of fighting back against signs of stress aging.

Move Your Body

Not only does exercise make you feel better, but it also helps you look better. Activities like running, walking, dancing, or swimming increase blood circulation to the brain and endorphin release. Most importantly, they also help to curb stress levels!

If that 6am gym session seems out of the question, consider that exercise also increases the flow of oxygenated blood to the skin, which makes it appear healthier and younger.

Get Enough Sleep

You may have bad dreams, but stress hormone (cortisol) levels are also generally much lower during sleep, which helps to balance collagen and hyaluronic acid production. In addition, during deep sleep, the body releases a hormone that stimulates the growth of new skin cells.

Sleep is an all-around health and well-being booster, so turn off that TV, stop scrolling, and get some shut-eye!

Engage in Stress-Reducing Activities

Calming activities like meditation, yoga and deep breathing have been proven to decrease cortisol production and reduce stress. They’ll help you feel younger and healthier from the inside out, and your supported skin will glow as a result.

Elevate Your Skincare Routine

Combine the skin-enhancing powers of stress reduction with an at-home spa session! Age-defying eye masks and face masks deliver potent doses of the nutrients your skin needs to look its best.

Start by setting the mood: light candles, draw a bath, turn on music, or incorporate anything that makes you feel calm and centered. Next, cleanse your face, neck, or wherever you want to mask. Apply your mask, relax, and let the serum work its magic.

For a youthful glow, use KNESKO’s anti-aging collagen face masks. KNESKO masks use revolutionary GEMCLINICAL™ polypeptide technology to deliver age-defying ingredients deep into your skin to hydrate, firm, lift, and reduce signs of aging.