May 29th 2020
As a mother of two young men, I would be lying if I said that I haven’t been triggered by all that has recently transpired in the news. Between the unjust acts of racism, senseless violence and updates surrounding the Coronavirus, I feel stressed. My mom always has had the ability to read my life, by looking at my skin. While stress starts out as a chemical reaction in your brain, the results showcase itself physically. Stress affects our skin in a variety of ways. Listed below are three ways that stress can wreak havoc on your skin and what you can do to combat it.
1) Acne: When we are stressed our bodies produce excess levels of cortisol, “the stress hormone”. The extra cortisol that your body produces causes an increase in sebaceous gland activity; more oil and sebum. The end result is elevated levels of oil produced and acne breakouts.
2) Inflammation and Eczema Flare-ups: When your mind senses that you are stressed, it slows down digestion in the gut. The longer the stress lasts, the more of an impact it can have on your digestion. This in turn can lead to a leaky gut and cause inflammation all throughout your body. Inflammation is your body’s response to a perceived threat to your health. As a result of internal inflammation, the skin responds to stress by eczema flare-ups which include patches of dry, itchy and inflamed skin. Persons who suffer with psoriasis and rosacea might notice that stress are triggers for them as well.
3) Skin Dehydration: When you’re stressed, certain healthy habits instantly take a back seat; namely sleep, skincare and healthy eating. Failure to maintain an overall wellness routine results in your skin being dehydrated and looking dull.
The issues we experience as the side effects of stress can be lessened by focusing on daily moments of self-care. Skincare products that include aloe vera, chamomile, oatmeal, and rosemary extract all work to soothe and calm stressed out skin. Also taking some time to address the root cause of the stress works well to reduce its effects of the skin, body and overall wellness. Implementing some of the activities listed below into your schedule will help you cope with stress and prevent it effecting your skin.
- Get a good's night sleep of at least seven hours
- Spend some time outside and go for a long walk
- Read a book
- Call a friend or family member
- Play your favorite tunes
- Practice deep breathing exercises
Bottom line, your skin is an outside reflection of what is happening on the inside. Stress contributes to acne, eczema flare-ups, skin sensitivity and a weakened skin immune system. In addition, stress can also prevent us from engaging in healthy habits. We may sleep less, eat fattier foods and drink sodas, caffeine and alcohol more. If we build into our routine activities that will help us to feel calm and rested during stressful times, our skin will thank us.