South Korea is known as The Land Of Morning Calm both for the picturesque natural beauty of its rivers and mountains that never fails to take your breath away and the relaxing meditation practices that originated in this Oriental land. Although the pace of life in Seoul is as chaotic as in London, it is a scientifically proven fact that those who practice this zen way of life are better equipped to cope with daily stresses and worries. The ancient practice of meditation, as you probably know, has plenty of health benefits: it lowers stress, helps you find inner peace amid the uncertainty of life, cures anxiety and depression and even helps you lose weight.
But what you may not know is that meditation is Korean women’s best-kept secret to a flawless and bright complexion. Science has recently proved that women who meditate regularly have a younger biological age compared to women who don’t practice this ancient ritual.
Meditation works because it lengthens and improves the activity of telomerase, the protective caps at the end of chromosomes. As we age, chronic stress, pollution, unprotected sun exposure and inflammation shorten the telomerase, accelerating the aging process and significantly cutting our life expectancy. The good news is that shortened telomerase can be lengthened again by lessening with the help of meditation your level of stress and the chronic inflammation that burns, unseen, in the deepest layers of your skin.
Inflammation is a silent killer that’s responsible for many auto-immune and metabolic diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s diseases, but has devastating effects on the health of your skin, too.
Inflammation is one of the main causes of premature aging: left unchecked, it promotes the formation of free radicals (the little molecules that destroy your natural collagen and cellular DNA) and leads to the appearance of dark spots. In short, less inflammation translates into fewer wrinkles and a more youthful appearance.
Meditation also decreases the levels of cortisol and epinephrine, two hormones that are responsible for triggering the fight or flight response. Not only this defuses anxious situations, but it also increases the amount of oxygen in your skin cells. This increase in blood flow speeds up the delivery of nutrients to the skin and flushes out toxins and impurities faster. This natural detoxifying process imparts a radiant, dewy glow to the complexion that’s free from blemishes.
Finally, the relaxing nervous response triggered by meditation helps to improve any skin condition worsened by stress, including acne, eczema and psoriasis. One scientific study found that psoriasis suffered who listened to meditation tapes while receiving ultraviolet light treatments for their condition healed four times faster than those who only received the skincare treatment! This is a powerful testament to the power of meditation in triggering the body’s natural ability to heal and repair itself.
What’s even more remarkable is that fifteen minutes a day are more than enough to improve the appearance of your skin. I like to carve out time for meditation at night: after putting my sheet mask on, I sit down in a quiet, silent space and focus on my breath for the next fifteen to twenty minutes. As I do so, I can slowly feel all the stress that I’ve accumulated during the day melt away, which in turn helps to keep my complexion radiant and flawless.
Breathe in, breathe out…