We all know that too much stress is bad for our health. But did you know that a recent study found that stress also increases the risk of depression, heart disease and infectious diseases, and increases inflammation throughout the body – which, by the way, increases skin aging as well.
I don’t know about you, but my experience is that when I’m stressed, I’m less likely to eat right, get enough sleep, and the exercise routine is pushed aside. These actions not only affect our overall health, but also our appearance. The skin fails to get the nutrients it needs to repair itself. You know, you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and your skin has that inconvenient acne eruption or a skin flare up.
While it’s hard to escape stress completely, there are steps that will help your skin resist the negative effects of stress.
How Stress Affects Your Skin
People who suffer from conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea know that stress can trigger embarrassing and uncomfortable flare-ups. But, even people without these skin conditions will feel the effects of stress on their skin.
In fact, it has been noted by Dermatologists that stress can aggravate the skin and trigger unexpected flare-ups, which in effect, creates even more stress for the patient.
What happens when you are dealing with stress, your body releases the stress hormone – cortisol – into your bloodstream. This causes an increase in oil production, which in turn can lead to oily skin, acne, and rashes. Research has noted that stress has a negative effect on the barrier of the skin, which results in water loss and the reduced ability for the skin to repair itself. Stress can also increase hair loss and brittle, peeling nails.
How can you reduce the effects of stress on your skin?
Most people already have their own methods to cope with stress, such as listening to calming music, meditation, going for long walks or bike rides etc. So that’s a great place to start to help reduce your stress levels.
In addition, increasing your attention to your skin with the following tips will also help you reduce your risk of acne, flare-ups, and other issues.
- Avoid hot showers and baths. I love hot showers when I am feeling a bit stressed, or soaking in a hot bath – BUT the flip side of the coin is that they strip your skin of moisture. Use lukewarm instead and moisturise immediately after your shower or bath.
- Avoid soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Choose non-soap products that clearly identify natural products and maintains your skins’ natural PH.
- Wear Sunscreen. We all know the dangers of sun exposure, and while some skin conditions can be helped with some sun exposure, too much will cause flare-ups and increase the look of aging. Wear sunscreen, a good SPF broad spectrum Sunscreen, even in winter.
- Eat a healthy diet. Your skin (as well as body) reflects your diet. Eat healthy foods – leafy greens; fruit and vegetables; whole grains; a balanced nutritional diet
- Get enough sleep. Sleep recharges the body and makes it more resilient to stress. Lack of sleep shows up as those ugly circles under your eyes and diminishes a healthy skin glow. Try to regularise your bedtime. Often it will help to do something relaxing before going to bed like yoga or using an essential oil
- Keep your hands away from your face. Even clean hands carry bacteria which can stimulate acne outbreak, especially when you are stressed
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water which will help to flush impurities from your body, which in turn helps keep skin clear
- Exfoliate. You need to get rid of those dead skin cells in order for the newer cells to show through, which increases the glow of skin. Use a natural defoliator and always follow the recommended use.
- Commit to a daily skin-care regimen. Just commit to five minutes morning and night to cleanse, tone, and hydrate. This simple regime can and will make a huge difference!
- Choose products right for your skin type. Age, health, lifestyle and environmental factors – each of us has different skin care needs. It is very difficult to find a one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to the care and treatment of your skin. Choose products right for your skin, products that are gentle and which will keep your skin functioning normally, protecting it from signs of aging and irritation.
Stress can be caused from such simple things like putting on those few extra kilos; not getting enough sleep because of financial or work stress; family or personal issues; moving house, the list goes on. But you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your friends (unless of course, they are the stress factor in your life … in that case, get rid of them!!) and your family, surround yourself with those who love and support you. Take a step back and take time for you AND go and talk to your Doctor if it all becomes too much.
To some degree, I can help you. I can’t run your bath, or give you a massage, but I can help you reduce the effects of stress on your skin.
How? By introducing you to products that are a perfect blend of science, technology and botanics that will allow you to Live Longer, Live Healthier, Look and Feel Younger and Live Wealthier.
Just connect with me and provide me with your details, and we can have a chat together.
Did This Help You? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you commented below and shared on Facebook.
Leigh Rachow at My Lifestyle Choices