You know at some gut level (like when you catch the reflection of your face frowning in a window) that stress doesn’t help your appearance. Now science is detailing the myriad ways the stress hormone cortisol literally gets under your skin, leading to dryness and other signs of ageing (including, yes, those worry lines).

Take time out for yourself and try to avoid stress as much as possible. Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, you tend to break out more? This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, making the skin even more oily.

Cortisol also triggers an elevation in blood sugar, which—via a process called glycation—damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibres that plump skin and keep it smooth. Constant muscle tension also leads to permanent wrinkling.  Stress weakens the skin’s protective barrier, making skin more vulnerable to infection and dehydration.

8 simple ways to help you fight stress:

1. Run a bath with a few drops of the wonderful Caudalie Divine oil, to soothe aching muscles.
2. Drink a cup of green tea, which contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant.
3. Breathe in evenly through your nose, letting your abdomen expand. Breathe out slowly and evenly through your mouth, taking about twice as long as you did to inhale.
4. Take a deep breath and laugh your guts out. “Laughter yoga” can make you happier – and healthier.
5. Take the time to do something you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, taking a cooking class or going for a walk with a friend.
6. Take a lunch break; don’t just keep working while you scarf down a bagel at your desk. Read a novel, go to the park or try a new restaurant.
7. Play your favourite music, classical music especially makes for excellent stress relief.
8. Bust out the moves – if you don’t like the gym, try our yoga and Pilates classes, you can also try dancing is fun and it makes for a good workout, too.

Practice stress management techniques like breathing exercises, yoga and meditation. The more you meditate, the more you radiate!

And finally, book a relaxing Caudalie facial at Embody. Few other pleasures compare to a good facial; beauty therapists and even some medical experts believe that your complexion will improve as much as your mood. It is proven that people who get facials have softer, healthier skin and less stress. 

For more information and to book, speak to reception or check out our range of men and women’s facial treatments.

Ricardina is originally from Portugal. From a young age she knew she wanted a career in beauty so immediately after finishing her A Levels she trained as a beauty therapist and soon gained her CIDESCO diploma. Her first position was with Estée Lauder during which time she progressed her training further by qualifying in lymphatic drainage massage, deep tissue massage and shiatsu. She has also completed an Honours degree in nutrition and is a qualified make-up artist. Over the years she has worked with many beauty and spa brands including ESPA, La Prairie, Phytomer, Crème de La Mer and Sisley.

In 2003, after almost 14 years with Estée Lauder, Ricardina accepted the prestigious position of Spa Manager for La Prarie in Cascais on the coast near Lisbon. She moved to England at the end of 2010 where she worked as a senior beauty therapist for Urban Retreat at Harrods before joining the team at Embody. For Ricardina, being a beauty therapist is hugely rewarding, and one of her greatest pleasures is meeting new people and seeing them leave her treatment room feeling happy, relaxed and refreshed.