The Truth About Stress: How Stress Affects The Skin
By Danielle Bagworth
We all know that stress is bad for us, but it’s difficult to avoid. Stress can impact lots of areas in your life, for example your skin. If you have problematic skin it may be caused by stress; the reason for this is that when you are stressed, it causes a chemical response within your body, leading to your skin becoming increasingly sensitive. This means that it takes longer for your skin to heal, which is never good.
Stress also causes your body to release cortisol and other hormones which communicate with your sebaceous glands, telling it to produce more oil. Therefore, it can intensify any current skin problems that you are having, and be responsible for introducing new ones.
Stress Can Cause
1. Dull Skin
When you are stressed, your body produces epinephrine which works against the skin. It decreases the blood flow to the surface of the skin, which means that there is not enough oxygen reaching the skin. This leads to a dull complexion. Compare this to the glow you have after you have been working out, which is when all the nutrients are pumping to the surface of the skin. A lack of them leads to sallow skin, explaining why your skin may look tired and pasty.
2. Dry Skin
An increased level of cortisol in the body can disrupt the protective barrier of the skin, which causes more water to escape from the body. This then leads to the skin feeling dry and damaged.
3. Lines and Wrinkles
As previously mentioned, when you are stressed the body releases a hormone known as cortisol and this causes the sugar levels within your blood to increase. The high rate of blood sugar then promotes glycation in the skin which damages the collagen. Collagen is responsible for the skins elasticity which is what makes your skin look plump and youthful, therefore, a lack of collagen can lead to the formation of lines and wrinkles in the skin.
How To Prevent Stress
Apart from having a good skincare routine, there are a few other methods that can help you to reduce your stress levels – so let’s count to ten and find out what they are:
You should try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, so when you wake up in the morning you will feel completely refreshed and well rested. Ready to face the world after a great night’s sleep, you will be able to deal with stressful events that may occur throughout your day – and I can think of a handful that happen to me every day!
2. Take a Break
It can often be difficult to say ‘no’ to people and your ‘to do’ list just keeps getting longer, but it is important to take time out for yourself. Plan out your day but factor in some time to take a break whenever it’s possible. Just 5 minutes to yourself can be helpful. During this time, it’s good to get some fresh air, perhaps go for a walk; anything that helps you relax.
3. Give Yourself a Reward
After all of the hard work you do, you need to ensure that you treat yourself – it might feel naughty, but I promise you’ll feel happy afterwards! This not only gives you something to look forward to but it can also help to reduce your stress levels. One of the most luxurious treats that you can do is visit a day spa. You can completely unwind and de-stress with a facial or a massage, making you feel rejuvenated and ready for the next few weeks – ready to tackle anything that comes your way!
Exercise is great for reducing stress, it releases ‘feel good’ endorphins which, in turn, can reduce stress levels. I know for some, me included, even the thought of exercise can cause stress – but just 20 minutes a day can make a big difference, so try and be a bit more active and you’ll notice a change.
There you go, stress is never good for you but if you’re careful, you can find ways to combat it.
Good luck, and don’t stress!
About the Author:
Danielle Bagworth is an expert in skincare and avid lover of relaxation. She recommends Eden Hall for their rose infused steam room and soothing facial.