Psst, Your Stress Is Showing

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While some of our best work at the office is accomplished under deadline, we are worse for wear because of it. The stress that allows us to excel under pressure actually takes a major toll on our health, and also our appearance. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times exposes just how much stress is affecting our beauty.  

"The wear and tear of stress can show up in every part of the body: individual cells, bones, skin. You can even see it in photographs," the article states. They point to a Dutch study from 2012 that asked volunteers to guess the age of nearly 300 people from photos. "People with high levels of cortisol almost always looked older than they really were. The researchers estimated that each tiny increase in cortisol—each micromole per liter, to be exact—aged a person by about half a year." 

It's no wonder injectables and fillers are so pervasive—they can fix the classic signs of stress on the face, wrinkles and the "11s" (the two vertical lines between your brows). While injections and topical anti-aging skin-care products can do some good to erase the signs of tension, you still have to worry about the way stress is affecting other parts of your beauty. Grinding your teeth, gum disease, inflammation of the skin, thinning hair and weight gain is all a cause of a high stress lifestyle.

So what can you do? Obviously eliminating stress out of your life is easier said then done and just thinking about how stressed you are can cause even more stress. The best ways that science has found to relax is to exercise. Working out everyday, or at least five times a week, will force your body's physiological systems—all of which are involved in the stress response—to communicate much more closely than usual and more effectively.

Another way to distress is with essential oils and aromatherapy. A few studies in past three years show that inhaling lavender can be used to lower cortisol, the hormone that causes inflammation in the skin, gum disease and weight gain. Salt is another unlikely stress-buster

How do you de-stress? Read on to learn how the stars de-stress.