Stress. Ugh. It’s everywhere. It’s exhausting. It’s inescapable. Did you know stress has a direct impact on skin health? 🤯 We’ll be the first to admit that stress can get the best of us sometimes. Having to balance commitments, a career, a healthy lifestyle, and social life takes a serious toll on the skin. Our skin is continually telling our story. It eavesdrops on our thoughts and stresses, responds to what we feed it internally and topically, and even lets us know when something is out of balance. We must take these as signs to tune into what you and your skin may be in need of.
Simply put, stress is a physical response to a feeling, situation, or event that interferes with your sense of well-being. The factors or emotions that cause you to feel anxious, tense, or afraid are called stressors. Perception of stress is based on individual response -- What may be stressful for one may be thrilling and challenging for another.
For skin specifically, unmanaged stress can wreak havoc, leading to new or increased acne breakouts, rosacea, visible signs of premature aging such as lines and wrinkles, and increased hypo & hyperpigmentation.
People are spending money on creams, facials, and cosmetic procedures, but if the stress is still there, it will always show on your face!
Acne: Excess cortisol production is one of the main symptoms of stress. This can turn into trouble for our faces. When there is an abundance of oil, any prone skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or eczema will often flare-up. Another side effect is blockages in the pores and acne breakouts.
Dull, Dry Complexion: Stress sends the body into survival mode by directing most of the blood to the vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain. It makes sure the most necessary organs are equipped to withstand the stress. Unfortunately, that rationing of blood flow comes at the expense of your skin, which gets less circulation leaving you washed out. Restricted blood supply to the skin also means the cells renew themselves less quickly, leading to dry, flaky skin.
Inflammation: When your body is stressed, it often releases histamines, which can cause irritations like itchiness, bumps, rashes, and hives.
Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Stress can have a big impact on your body’s largest organ. Constantly making certain facial expressions, like furrowing your brows when you're stressed or pursing your lips, can lead to deeper wrinkles in these areas over time. Anxiety, crying, feeling down, and a lack of sleep can cause deeper lines around the eyes, forehead, eye area, and mouth.
The first thing is being aware that your body is under stress. Since stress is a part of life, what matters most is how you handle it.
1. Don’t neglect your skin. Keep up with a regular skincare routine.
2. Get quality sleep every day. You should aim for 7-8 hrs.
3. Utilize the "power of no" to recommit to yourself and your goals.
4. Practice mindfulness to help you slow down.
5. Podcasts can be a great inspiration and source of motivation.
6. Avoid or minimize caffeine found in coffee and tea.
7. Reduce screen time at night. Blue light from your phone and laptop can disrupt your sleep cycle.
8. Get regular exercise – it’s known for reducing stress levels.
9. Drink more water. Without water, your skin can’t function at its best. If your skin doesn’t get enough water, not only will it become dry, tight, and flaky, but it will also become even more prone to aging.
10. Invest in “ME TIME.” Prioritize doing one thing you love every day.
Stress will always be a natural part of life…but we have to understand & acknowledge that we have a significant degree of INFLUENCE in determining whether our stressors will have a long-lasting detrimental effect on us, or not. Are you ready to STOP stress from being the BIGGEST villain in your life? Your skin (the largest organ in our body) depends on it!