Better Breathing? Better Skin?
Craving that clear, radiant complexion most often seen on models or yogis on retreat in Costa Rica? Same!
According to dermatologists, breathwork professionals, self-care practitioners, and yoga teachers, luminous skin is achievable through focused breathing.
Besides better skin, deep breathing can help reduce stress levels, calm the mind, and improve overall mental health.
Below, we show you the benefits of breathing for skin heath, how to breathe properly to reap those benefits, and a few skincare products to enhance the effects.
WHAT EXACTLY IS BREATHWORK?
We all breathe. But are we breathing in the most effective way? Most of us unfortunately are not, which is a shame because taking more deep breaths enables more oxygen to enter your lungs and more carbon dioxide to get out.
The simple act of breathing is connected to your nervous system, meaning it has a direct response on your stress levels.
"The nervous system is broadly composed of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)," explains Pragya Bhatt, Bengaluru-based yoga teacher. "The SNS is responsible for our fight-or-flight reaction, which is what is active when we are rushing against danger, deadlines or stress. Today, most of us are always in a high-stress mode, and the PNS is dormant."
Because most of us do not breathe from our core, we do not get to enjoy many of the benefits of deep breathing offers.
WHY BREATHING TECHNIQUES CAN IMPROVE SKIN
Deep breathing, which involves inhaling from the core and exhaling gusts of breath, provides a rich supply of oxygen to the blood which invigorates your cells and tissues. As a result, you should feel an energy surge and a pick-me-up that reduces stress and prevents cortisol-induced breakouts.
"Since beginning breath work years ago, the texture and appearance of my skin has greatly improved," says breathwork expert Ashley Neese. "I often hear comments that my skin looks luminous, and I partly attribute that to some of the skin-related benefits I’ve received from consistent practice, including improved digestion and flow of lymph in my body, as well as reduced stress and anxiety levels."
By stimulating the lymphatic system, you eliminate the toxins and improve blood circulation, which results in beautiful, glowing skin.
Another expert claims adopting deeper, more consistent breathing patterns can clear up a host of skin issues ranging from acne to rosacea to dull skin.
That's because deep breathing exercises help reduce both stress and inflammation, which all shows as luminous, beautiful skin.
"Consistent practice reduces inflammation in the body and the skin after three months,” says Neese. "Clients that go on to practice for years have a noticeable youthful quality [to their complexions]." Sounds good, huh?
HOW TO PRACTICE BETTER BREATHING
Enjoy all the skin and health benefits of deep breathing by giving it a try for yourself. Don't worry, you'll pick it up quickly.
Step 1: Sit in a Comfortable Position
You can practice breathing exercises anywhere -- on your bed, on the bus, in the salon, or on your balcony. To begin with, choose a place that's comfortable and where you have peace to practice your breathing without interruptions.
Step 2: Inhale, Exhale
Next, inhale through the nose deeply and then exhale through the mouth quickly. Repeat five times. The long, deep inhale allows more oxygen to enter your lungs and deactivates that stress hormone that comes into play when you're not breathing right.
The short exhale will signal to your brain that your body needs to activate, causing your heart rate to increase and the blood flow to get going. Essentially, it's getting you ready for the day to come. So this is a technique we recommend trying as soon as you wake up in the morning to start your day.
Step 3: Lie Down and Inhale, Exhale
In the evenings, the goal is to soothe the nervous system and prepare your body for deep sleep -- something that's very important for skin health, as sleepless nights can lead to puffy eyes, dark circles, and dullness.
Lie down on your bed or on the sofa, then inhale and exhale through the nose only. Nasal breathing gives your lungs more time to extract a larger amount of oxygen.
For every inhale, make the exhale two counts longer and repeat the process for 10 minutes. This technique will help you relax and unwind by telling your brain that things are more peaceful than the several minutes prior.
PAIR YOUR BREATHING WITH THESE SKINCARE PRODUCTS
A skincare routine in itself is an excellent way to add structure to your life and give you a few moments to yourself -- let's just call it a self-care moment.
To see drastic improvements in your complexion, try pairing deep breathing exercises with skincare therapy. In other words, practice your inhaling and exhaling as you apply your skincare products.
Here are some products to try for luminous skin.
Truly's Vegan Collagen Bundle
The go-to anti-aging routine that can help fade fine lines and wrinkles.
Inside, you'll find a cleanser, serum, face mask, and body cream all formulated with powerhouse ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and vegan collagen for glowing, youthful skin.
When applying these products, make sure you're not only paying attention to your breathing, but to the sensations and scents of the products themselves.
Truly's CBD Jelly Baby Bundle
Clear up your blemishes with this 5-step anti-acne skincare routine. It features a facial cleanser, body cleanser, toner, serum, and body mask, made with breakout-banishing ingredients like salicylic acid, CBD, and glycolic acid for a super smooth, clarified complexion.
Truly's Face and Boobies Night Routine
This night-time beauty routine features an overnight face mask, an overnight chest mask, and our iconic boob polish for a relaxing, skin-rejuvenating sleep.
These products rely on superstar ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, and collagen for smoother, tighter, refreshed skin.
When it comes to skincare, it's often the simplest of things that work the best -- like drinking plenty of water, for instance.
Breathing is easy, free, and allegedly effective, so why not try it?