For most of us, stress can seem like an inevitable part of daily life. However, what many people overlook in terms of its long-term effects, is the toll stress can take on your skin.
Here are a few factors and fixes to consider:
Stress Effect #1: Hormonal Imbalance – Have you ever wondered why times of stress tend to result in an extra blemish or full on breakout? In many cases, the culprit is increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can trigger excess oil production and impair the skin’s ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria.
The Fix: In addition to incorporating healthy stress management techniques such as movement, talk to a friend or other mindfulness practices, you may find it helpful to create skincare rituals that help you relax and rejuvenate. For example, try an at-home mini facial, to provide a moment of much-needed self care.
Stress Effect #2: Inflammation – Over time, chronic stress can take a toll on all of the body’s systems including the digestive and immune systems, leading to inflammation both inside and out. If you struggle with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis (like myself), you may notice that flare ups are more common in response to stress. Inflammation can also lead to premature skin aging as it contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
The Fix: Although eliminating stress from our daily lives may be challenging, or even impossible, one way to lessen the impact of chronic stress on the body is with supportive habits. Drinking lots of water and eating a balanced healthy diet can do a lot to promote equilibrium internally. You can also support your skin externally with ingredients that target inflammation, such as niacinamide, green tea, ceramides, aloe vera, and others.
Stress Effect #3: Barrier Breakdown – One more common, but lesser known effect that stress can have on the skin is that it can lead to a compromised moisture barrier. This is because internal imbalances can alter the skin’s proper pH levels, as well as inhibit the production of barrier boosting components like hyaluronic acid and sebum. When this happens, the skin can become excessively dry, sensitive, or even irritated.
The Fix: If you’ve been under extra stress and are noticing these symptoms, you may find it beneficial to break from your normal routine and pare down to only products that are nourishing and nurturing. Think lots of moisture, our organic facial oil, and hydrating serums, which will help to combat transepidermal water loss and aid in rebuilding a healthy barrier.