Can Anxiety & Stress Affect Your Skin?
Modern-day life can be stressful, and raised stress levels can wreak havoc on the body. Not only can stress cause emotional turbulence, but because of the brain skin connection and all the other changes in your body brought about by stress, it can also cause skin issues too!
Being in fight-or-flight mode and experiencing feelings of emotional distress can have a huge impact on our brain and body chemistry, causing our bodies to produce stress hormones like Cortisol. This hormone is known to affect our immune cells and the immune system as a whole, which among other things reduces the skin's ability to defend itself.
5 ways stress affects your skin health
You shouldn't underestimate the impact stress can have on your skin and your skin stress response may manifest itself in a variety of ways, but here are 5 common skin-related conditions related to stress.
- Your body is not repairing itself as quickly as it normally does, which means blemishes take longer to heal.
- The immune system may go AWOL, which leads to skin becoming more itchy. If you have skin conditions such as eczema you might find that these can worsen.
- Your skin barrier function is impaired leading to skin being more dry and dehydrated, which can accelerate the occurrence of signs of skin aging.
- Overactive sweat glands and an increase in sweat and sebum production can lead to more bacteria on the skin that may cause spots.
- Cellular turnover is slower than normal, and without the healthy production of new skin cells, this can cause the skin to appear lacklustre and dull.
The link between your skin's health and your stress levels is a bit of a catch 22 - the worse our skin looks, the more it can impact our mental wellbeing, which can make our skin health even worse. So, what can be done?
5 Easy Ways To De-stress And Calm Your Skin
To prevent your skin from showing the signs of stress, try adding some of these steps to your skincare routine.
- Protect the skin from any other potential threats such as UV light.
- Hydrate yourself and your skin. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption. I’m addition moisturise your skin with Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin and polyglutamic acid.
- Add a gentle exfoliant such as low level lactic acid or fruit enzymes to regenerate the skin and bring back radiance. This will also help with congestion and bacteria. We recommend our FaceGym's Electro-Lite Gel Cleanser featuring biotech enzyme, derived from papaya, and pore-reducing Hydroclay that team up to refine the skin’s texture and impart maximum radiance.
- Be gentle and try not to exacerbate the situation by using products that are overly strong or by picking spots.
- Try to practice mindfulness and meditation that can help you manage stress better. A moment of self-care such as a bath can also be a chance to breathe deeply and relax.