By Katie Kaps, HigherDOSE
As I write this article, I'm consumed by stress! But hey, I live in New York so I'm supposed to be, right? Stress can come in many forms, whether it's business, relationships, an illness, or just being irritated about waiting for the subway. New Yorkers are particularly prone to a stressed out existence given the high cost of living, work hard/play hard lifestyle, cramped quarters, tough winters, frustration with Tinder, etc.
The problem with stress is that it just might be the #1 beauty enemy on the planet. When you're stressed, your body releases the flight or fight hormone cortisol, which does terrible things to your skin and overall physical health. Here are a few examples:
· Stress is bad for your skin.
Excess cortisol decreases blood flow to the skin, which starves your face of nutrients and oxygen. This can result in skin irritations, sensitivity, excessive oiliness, acne, rashes, wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes and other imperfections. Moreover, stress makes the barrier of the skin more vulnerable to external factors and slows down recovery time. As a result, disorders occur in the cell membrane. That accelerates water loss and thereby leads to excessive drying of the skin. The fine lines and the loss of shine become more visible. This means stress can cause acne and wrinkles in the same face – yikes!
· Stress ages you and makes you sick.
Studies have found that work-related exhaustion can have a harmful effect on critical DNA in the cells. Research demonstrates that individuals with the most job stress tend to have shorter DNA sections known as telomeres. When telomeres become too short, the cells can die or become damaged. Those who do not experience work exhaustion have longer telomeres. Telomere shortening has been linked to Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and your body aging faster in general.
There are many other examples of the harmful effects of stress on beauty and health but I’m pretty sure the above is convincing enough. So how do you prevent stress from ruining your skin? The answer can’t be found in makeup, expensive skin creams, high heels, or blowouts. An inside out approach is required to deal with the root cause of the issue. Finding natural ways to lower stress might be the ultimate secret to lasting and sustainable beauty. No trips to Sephora required.
Once of the best ways to reduce stress/cortisol naturally, safely, and easily is frequent use of the infrared sauna. While in an infrared sauna, cortisol levels remain relatively stable, however upon finishing off your session, cortisol levels generally drop quite drastically – resulting in reduced blood pressure, lower heart rate, and efficient burning of calories. The infrared sauna heats your body directly, as opposed to a traditional sauna which is a lot more of a harsh and intense experience to sit through for anywhere above 20 minutes, making the session itself more relaxing and the tangible benefits more noticeable afterwards too!
Reduced cortisol from using an infrared sauna will make your skin look better and your body healthier. But beyond the superficial physical benefits, there are spiritual benefits too. Going through life calmer and more relaxed will help improve your relationship with yourself and others, as well as enable you to focus on what you care about with a clear head. And this is perhaps where the most profound form of beauty is found – in the energy that you bring to the world. When you put out good vibes, you will attract more good into your life. Now that’s beauty!
Our company, HigherDOSE, is on a mission to get New Yorkers beautiful and buzzed (in a relaxed way), by offering infrared therapy in a non-traditional spa setting. We recently opened our headquarters at 21 E. 1st Street (on the lower level of The Alchemist’s Kitchen) where we offer infrared sauna sessions, refreshing beverages, and wellness events.
P.S. I took a break while writing this article to use the infrared sauna and now I feel much better!
Visit our website www.higherdose.com to book an appointment, and start your journey of achieving beauty from the inside out.
Katie Kaps is the Co-Founder and President of HigherDose, along with co-founder and CEO Lauren Berlingeri. After launching her career in investment banking, Katie left Wall Street for Silicon Valley in order to pursue her passion for startups. With past roles in venture capital, working as second in command at The San Francisco Marathon, and leading strategy & international expansion at Tough Mudder as they grew from 20 employees to 150, Katie brings a unique mix of early-stage company experience to the team. Katie is known for her ability to take startups to the next level.