Can Yoga Make Your Skin Glow?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

How yoga may benefit your skin

Yoga can’t magically transform your skin. It won’t make that pimple or those dark undereye circles instantly vanish. And yoga can’t actually reverse the signs of aging. But practicing yoga can make you feel better, and it could help improve your appearance, too.

Decreases stress levels and improves your sleep

Research has shown that practicing yoga can decrease your stress levels, reduce anxiety and even help you sleep better. What’s more, when you’re better rested, your skin can appear more vibrant. While you’re getting your Zzz’s, your body’s skin cells are repairing and recovering from stressors.

May also decrease inflammation
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Some other research also suggests that practicing yoga may also decrease inflammation, notably stress-induced inflammation. Inflammation can lead to fatigue and depression, among other symptoms, which may show up on your skin.

So, practicing yoga may have positive effects on your skin because it decreases your stress levels and helps you sleep better, with all the benefits that entails.

Increases circulation to your head and face

Some poses can spark a quicker, short-term glow by increasing circulation to your head and face. Other poses may not necessarily promote the same specific effect, but they may help you slow your breathing, calm down, and feel your stress levels ebb away, which can still have a positive effect on your appearance.

Yoga poses for skin glow

Let’s look at a few yoga poses that you can try to help get that glow:

Forward Fold
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Also known by its Sanskrit name of Uttanasana, Forward Fold will promote circulation of blood to your face and head for a very simple reason: because you’ll be leaning over.

This is a good pose to start with, since it’s an easy pose to do, even for beginners.

Downward-Facing Dog

Whether you call it Downward-Facing Dog, Downward Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, this inverted pose is another one that will get the blood flowing toward your head and face.

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose, or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana, is similar to Downward-Facing Dog. Your legs and the lower part of your body are in the same position, but rather than having straight arms with your palms on the floor, your arms are bent.

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Essentially you’re leaning forward and balancing on your forearms, with your head or forehead resting on the floor. Once again, this pose encourages circulation that can make your face look pink and, yes, perhaps a little glowy.

Cobra Pose

Also known by the Sanskrit name Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose may also help boost your skin’s appearance. The idea is that the pose may encourage you to open your chest, breathe more deeply, and take more oxygen into your body.

Shoulder Stand

You may also see this pose referred to as Supported Shoulderstand, Sarvangasana, or Salamba Sarvangasana. Since it’s an inverted pose, it’ll send more blood flow to your head.

Note: If you’re a beginner, this pose may be more challenging for you. It may also put some strain on your neck, so if you have neck or back issues, you may want to skip this pose.

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Of course, there are other ways to boost the quality of your skin and help you look your best:

  • Wear sunscreen. You still need to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis to reduce your skin’s exposure to the aging effects of the sun.
  • Embrace moisturizer. Moisturizer acts as a protective barrier for your skin and can help keep it feeling (and looking) soft and supple. You’ll want to pick a moisturizer designed to meet your skin’s specific needs, of course. Choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer for dry skin, but go with a lighter, water-based formulation for oily or combination skin.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water each day to help your skin stay hydrated. It’s good for the rest of your body, too.
  • Rest. Are you getting quality sleep on a regular basis? A lack of sleep can emphasize fine lines, cause eyelids to look swollen, and make dark circles look more pronounced. In fact, one 2015 study found that poor sleep was associated with increased signs of aging, and a 2017 study found that people viewed others who weren’t getting enough sleep as less attractive.
  • Change your sleeping position. Elevate the head of your bed, or put a couple of pillows under your head at night. This can help decrease the likelihood that you’ll wake up with circles and bags under your eyes.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up for your skin, you might try a few yoga poses.

In the long term, think of yoga as just one of several tools at your disposal to help you maintain the health of your skin, body, and mind.

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