Stress and the Skin

Many people in today’s society believe and expect skincare products to be the complete cure-all for every skincare condition.

Now there’s no denying that skincare can definitely help. But, if there is an underlying cause to the skin condition that is not treated, then skincare can only assist so much.

Our world is an ever-changing place, particularly given the current COVID-19 situation. Many of us are also struggling with working from home and the imbalance it puts on the work/life balance.

Stress during this time is inevitable for some, and can often cause havoc on your skin.  

Did you know that stress causes a response in your bodies that can make your skin more prone to sensitivity and reactions?

This is because your body’s defense mechanism kicks in, releasing ‘stress hormones’ such as adrenaline and cortisol. Both affect different functions, including the flow of blood to your skin, inflammation and excess sebum (oil) production. This excess sebum on your skin can often cause a flare up, especially if you are prone to acne or pimples. 

Adrenaline is also known to penetrate sweat which results in dehydration. This can aggravate any underlying conditions such as excess flaking, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis. 

In saying this, we are all different and we all respond to stress in different ways.

Below are ways to improve your well-being, and in turn - your skin!

I start off with my number 1 tip – get outside into the fresh air! No - you don't HAVE to exercise on this one - just get out and smell the roses.

It’s truly amazing what even a short walk in fresh air can do. Look around, and appreciate your surroundings – whether it be the ocean, sky or even just nature. If you stop and ‘smell the roses,’ you’ll reap the benefits and are guaranteed to walk back inside feeling much better!

While, it may be tempting to indulge in unhealthy comfort foods and a glass (or two!) of wine, these are all contributors to skin inflammation, and are in turn doing your skin no favours. 

Distraction from stress can also do wonders as long as you choose a ‘nourishing distraction.’ Activities such as running a bubble bath, diving into a magazine or a good book, or even beginning a new TV series are all ways to relax your mind and body.

Perhaps you have your own stress management in place that has taken a back seat lately (but is actually much needed). Whether it be breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. There's no time like the present. 

All these things can, in turn, reduce your stress and have a positive impact on your skin

This leads to my top tips for stressed skin

When it comes to skin, scorching hot showers are a big no! Heat causes your skin to dilate your fragile blood vessels, cause dehydration and can overall make your skin go red.

Vigorous exfoliating is also not ideal. When exfoliating, do so very gently (always) and only perform this twice a week. Never exfoliate any open skin or acne – always allow time for you skin to calm and heal first.

If your skin is stressed, do not embark on a whole new skincare regime. Too many new things on your skin can become overwhelming and can in fact aggravate your skin even more. Instead, use and enjoy one new product at a time, which will minimise reactions and if you do react, it’s easier to work out where it came from.

My number one skin saviour is my Healthy Glow Face Oil. The key ingredient rose, not only smells divine but is also proven to calm and nourish your skin and ultimately reduce redness. This amazing product can be used alone or under your favourite moisturiser. It's light enough for all skin types and gets rave reviews. Try it here!

If stress is getting on top of you - remember, it’s ok to not be ok. Talk to someone, whether it be a friend, therapist or even your neighbour. I always recommend my wonderful friend and reeeeeally good therapist, Nicole, from The Modern Counsellor. Her website mentions psychotherapy, but we've never done this in any of our sessions - she is just incredible at sorting out the jargon in my head and I always have a spring in my step afterwards! Nicole will listen and do what ever it is that works for YOU.

Ok - off you go, read a book, get outdoors or do whatever it is that makes your soul shine!

 Written by: Anne Marshall

Written by Anne Marshall

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