Breathe (and Bend) Your Way to Better Skin

How to get glowing from the inside out

Photograph: Istockphoto

"Stress causes your body to distribute nutrients inefficiently. And because skin, even on good days, is the last part of the body to ‘get fed,’ when you’re stressed it is essentially starved—and ends up looking drab," says Michelle Demus, program director for Pure Yoga Studios in Manhattan. 

Demus advocates changing that through exercise because not only does physical activity reduce stress, it also boosts circulation to the skin, giving you a rosy, natural glow. Demus finds yoga particularly effective, especially the inversion poses such as the shoulder stand (as seen in photo). "Yogis call it nature’s Botox," says Demus. 

Not yoga-inclined? Try placing your legs up a wall with a pillow beneath your hips for support. Hold for up to ten minutes. By inverting, you reverse the effects of gravity and relieve stress, ays Demus. 

Can’t get vertical? Simply spending five minutes daily doing deep breathing exercises can yield radiant skin. "Most of us do not breath deeply enough for optimal health. With shallow breathing, we diminish our oxygen intake and the amount of carbon dioxide expelled from the body, leading to a build up of toxins in the body. Breathing slowly and deeply in and out through the nose will increase the oxygenation of blood upping rejuvenation of the skin."

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