Stress has become a symptom of our busy lives, and unfortunately, it is not your body or skin’s friend. Whenever you’re feeling stressed or tense, your brain releases the stress hormone – cortisol – into your bloodstream. Cortisol affects your blood sugar levels, messes with your metabolism and hormones, dilates blood vessels causing redness and aggravates rosacea, tells oil glands to produce more oil leads to breakouts. Another side effect is your skin can become dehydrated, sensitive and more susceptible to environmental damage which leads to accelerated ageing.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid everything in life that will lead to stress, but you can learn to manage it and correct the problems it can cause. Here are a few stress-related skin problems and their solutions:
Chronic stress increases the hormone cortisol which damages skin’s ability to hold on to water. This loss of moisture in your complexion diminishes luminosity and can lead to breakouts as your oil glands begin to over-produce oil to compensate.
Correct it: Use products with a low pH to prevent further dryness and inflammation. Also begin eating foods full of healthy fats such as avocados and oily fish. Your skin will be glowing again soon!
As mentioned above, cortisol can cause hormonal imbalances which lead to breakouts – the last thing you want to be dealing with before your big meeting at work!
Correct it: Practice deep breathing (take a big breath that fills your belly, hold for few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth) to calm any anxiety before events. Drinking a lot of water and eating a well-balanced diet are important too, since your body can’t handle stress well if it’s not properly nourished.
Stress can cause a chemical reaction in the body which makes your skin more sensitive and reactive. You may also find that when you’re stressed, you breathe in short, shallow breaths and can even find yourself holding your breath for periods of time, which can lead to flushing and redness. The increased blood flow that occurs when you’re under duress may cause capillaries to expand. Stress also triggers flushing known as rosacea, and because stress weakens your immune system, flare-ups may last longer.
Correct it: Breathe in a calming beauty elixir which contains plant extracts like chamomile, lavender or patchouli, to keep you from feeling super-stressed. It sounds simple, but it’s integral to a properly functioning system and lowered stress levels.
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. Cortisol triggers an elevation in blood sugar, which—via a process called glycation—damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that plump skin and keep it smooth. Constant muscle tension also leads to permanent wrinkling.
Prevent it: Be mindful of making certain unconscious facial expressions when you have a lot on your plate, especially when you’re sitting at your desk.
Correct it: Consider booking yourself in for a professional facial where we can discuss the best treatment plan for your skin. A chemical peel, micro-needling, and advanced laser treatments are some possible options when it comes to dealing with fine lines.
Don’t forget to workout daily to decrease tension and keep inflammation in check. Sleep regularly, eat healthily and keep note of times when your skin issues flare up. If you become desperate, see a board certified psychologist and a dermatologist – because your emotional wellbeing is just as important as your physical health.
You can also book in a consultation with Jasmina Vico who will assess your skin’s issues and create a personalised treatment plan.