How to Age Gracefully (Does Stress Cause Wrinkles? Find out how to deal with aging)

Your skin is like your 13-year-old son. 

Hang on with me here...

Think about how your 13-year-old has changed in the past year. (Or if you know my family, think about MY 13-year-old). Let's say that in the past several months, he's shot up to about 5'9".  He has a hidden arsenal of jokes ready to pull from when he feels the need to break up a quiet space. His passion for all things digital makes him the go-to guy when you need to know tomorrow's weather or directions to the nearest gas station on a busy highway. Are these traits intrinsic, part of the natural process of growing up, or genetics? Or are they extrinsic, the result of his lifestyle, his new-found passions, and the people he's influenced by? They're both. And it's the same for your skin. 

Intrinsic aging: the natural aging process plus genetics. Your skin thins, it dries out and you'll see wrinkles develop. Sorry, ladies. That's unavoidable.

Extrinsic aging: the external result of environment and lifestyle that affect the skin... too much stress and poor nutrition, for example. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, has been known to break down the collagen in your skin, causing premature wrinkles. You can control this!

So it makes sense to control as much of the extrinsic aging as you can. 

Here are some suggestions by Stacey Karen of to make that aging process less stressful (and even fun!):

  • Free radicals can accelerate aging (resulting in wrinkles, uneven skin tone and pigmentation). Applying or consuming antioxidant-rich products can protect the skin against pollutants. Consume more berries and greens. Apply chia seed oil to your face. 
  • Avoid too much sun exposure
  • Use an oil cleanser instead of soap containing harsh chemicals. She recommends rosehip seed oil and jojoba oil.
  • Another cleanser idea: use hydrosols mixed with glycerin and a natural preservative
  • Try a gua sha facial massage

Those are just a few of her many suggestions. Find recipes for cleansers, toners, serums, masks, exfoliants, eye creams, and anti-aging tools in her ebook Anti-Aging Skin Care: The No-Fuss Guide to DIY Skincare for Mature Skin

Stacy is a family herbalist, botanical skincare formulator, and holistic health practitioner with 16 years of experience creating herbal preparations and natural body care products.

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