With Autumn rolling in and life returning to normal after your Summer break, stress may start to creep back in with the grind of your daily routine kicking into full swing. We all feel stress from time to time. However, did you know stress can affect the appearance of your skin?
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It serves as a protective barrier, helps with temperature regulation, provides immunity, movement and growth, and serves as a water resistant layer.
Just like your other organs, it’s important to take care of your skin. Although we don’t always cause it ourselves, stress and anxiety can have a negative effect on the appearance and function of the skin. In fact, stress is known to affect all components of the skin, from its appearance and texture, to its elasticity and more.
Your mind, body, and gut are all closely associated and interact intimately with one other. For this reason, when the brain perceives stress, it can eventually lead to inflammation throughout your body.
Stress effects on skin
Cortisol regulates blood sugar and reduces inflammation so we naturally produce this in our bodies, however, chronic stress leads to constant increased levels of these hormones and this can have a negative effect on your skin health. Cortisol causes increased oil production in your skin glands, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Stress can also be a factor responsible for flare ups of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity and premature skin ageing.
Psychological stress can slow wound healing by up to 40%, which could be a factor in slowing the repair of acne lesions, along with the slower reparative capacity in older adults. Incorporate breakout clearing formulas designed for adult skin that address dehydration and skin sensitivity as well as clearing breakouts.
Product pick for stress induced breakouts and hyperpigmentation - 3% Niacinamide + Alpha Hydroxy Acid Rescue Serum
You may find during periods of stress your skin is more intolerant to your environment and products you use regularly may sting a little. Simplify your at-home regimen, sticking to the basics and avoid anything too active such as alpha hydroxy acids. Introduce products to calm and soothe the skin and fortify the protective barrier to reduce negative skin responses.
Product pick for stress induced skin sensitivity and premature ageing – Collagen Boosting Matrixyl 3000 Super Serum
Responding to stress
The best remedy here is to mentally reduce your stress levels and try to live a more balanced lifestyle to enhance your wellness. Exercise is a great outlet for stress (yoga or long walks in nature are just some examples) and triggers the release of the happy hormone, endorphins. It is also a good way to balance out your hormones in general and will increase circulation to your skin.
Alongside an active lifestyle, ensure you eat a diet rich in colours and a good amount of fibre (this is key to your gut health which is the epicentre of your immune system). Vitamin D is also an important way to manage the strain so take a supplement during the colder months when you are less likely to get enough sunshine. We have a great blog here for tips on meditation to help deal with stress and anxiety as happiness really is a state of mind.
Finally, always prioritise sleep! The well rested have a powerful immune system which will help fight disease and they age better. Giving yourself a non-negotiable, eight-hour, sleep opportunity every night is one of the best commitments to self-care you can make. This means being in bed for up to 9 hours allowing your body time to assimilate the day’s activities, relax and enter the sleep zone.
Did you know our body repairs itself best between the hours of 10pm to 2am? During this period, the body will experience a peak of growth hormones (this aids skin health), which will be lowered if sleep is delayed so get to bed early to maximise your anti-ageing sleep! A simple bedtime routine can include a warm bath or shower and your skincare routine.
Your skincare routine should be something you enjoy and taking the time to focus on yourself reaps mind, body, and beauty benefits. We believe in the power of skin care as a self-care ritual to enable you to dedicate downtime to focus solely on yourself. Skin-Love + Self-Love is at the heart of why we are here for you.