written by Lauren Wallace.
Stress and anxiety can cause physical tell-tale signs on your skins surface
From time to time, we all suffer from stress. Whether it’s work stress, financial woes, relationship problems, the pressure of social media or the struggle to ‘fit everything into one day’– emotional tension is sometimes an unavoidable part of everyday life.
With everything that is happening in the world right now, we think it’s fair to say that we are all feeling somewhat anxious. And if you ask us, that’s pretty understandable.
These emotions don’t only play out in our emotional conscious though, as they can affect us physically though weakening our immune system, and of course, manifesting themselves through our skin. Those spots aren’t coming from nowhere!
Stress, anxiety and emotional burdens can also trigger and worsen lots of skin conditions, such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. It causes a change in the brain and body chemistry which has a significant effect on that lovely layer that covers our bodies.
During moments of stress, our body produces excess cortisol (often referred to as the ‘stress’ hormone). This excess cortisol wreaks havoc on our immune system, blood pressure and inflames the skin, producing more oil and sebum and causing unwanted spots, blemishes and inflammation.
Read below for four different ways stress is messing with your skin, plus more importantly how to take care of it, and yourself, when your anxiety hits the red zone.
Stress dries out your skin.
If you’re under a lot of stress, your fight-or-flight response kicks in and your body experiences a spike in both cortisol and adrenaline.
Adrenaline is present in our bodies when were about to make a big presentation at work, or say, run a marathon, but what adrenaline can also do is cause us to sweat more, because it activates the eccrine glands (sweat glands).
We’ve all been there before a break-up or a big interview, with adrenaline pumping through our veins and moist glow on our brow, praying for the sweat to stop, haven’t we?
Well, if our bodies think they are under stress, they try to cool us down with that sweat and they work in over-drive to try and keep us protected from potential harm. If we’re not replenishing our bodies with enough water and the right hydrating skincare products, our skin is going to dry out big time.
Stress causes skin inflammation
When you’re really stressed, your body thinks it’s under attack. It forms all these inflammatory markers and inflammatory cells to help treat that impending ‘attack’.
And because these inflammatory cells then increase in number, it can trigger flare ups of skin conditions people already suffer from, like eczema or rosacea or even cause the skin to break out a flurry of blemishes and instigate acne for the first time.
Because your skin is battling harder to try stay at a steady level, it compromises it’s protective and defensive abilities. It’s important to get to the root of what your skin is suffering from, before treating it in any certain way.
Stress hormones can awaken existing skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea
There are many skin conditions caused by stress and anxiety, or even skin conditions that are just made so much worse by being stressed.
When it comes to the skin, too much cortisol weakens the immune system causing an inflammatory response such as acne, eczema or psoriasis to flare-up.
Stress can be the main factor that unmasks these conditions and in fact, many people who suffer from them can pinpoint a stressful period in their life where they first developed.
Stress can make your skin oilier, too
Stress causes the brain to produce a set of hormones (you guessed it - cortisol and adrenaline) that prepare the body for going into a stressful environment.
Along with all the other side effects we’ve already mentioned, stress makes your hormones ramp up the activity of the sebaceous glands, which leads to more oil being produced and blockages in your skin’s pores.
This can lead to acne and if left untreated, becomes a vicious cycle of stress because of acne and acne because of stress.
So, how can I look after my skin when I’m stressed?
When your problems seem to just keep piling up, it can feel like the worst time to be greeted in the mirror by unhappy skin. Whether that’s red, angry and inflamed or dull, tired and a little shall we say, crinkled.
Stress also makes us less likely to keep up healthy habits that are good for both our minds and bodies. We tend to work longer hours, eat more junk food, struggle to sleep well or drink more caffeine and alcohol to try and ‘level ourselves out’.
However, most of the skin damage caused by stress can be helped by focusing on daily moments of self-care! Self-care isn’t just another beauty buzzword, it’s an important lifestyle choice that we all need to try and practice regularly.
Focus on using a three-step skincare routine, including gentle cleansers and hydrating agents like our Anti-Blemish and Scar Repair Serum. Our products all contain our miracle ingredient, Formula 47, which helps them to tackle even the trickiest of skin conditions. They are proven to be gentle and calming on the skin, including lots of anti-inflammatory ingredients that can help with a stressed-out epidermis.
As well as providing hydration to your skin, it’s really important to keep your skin well hydrated from the inside, so drink lots of water or herbal teas.
Try to address the root of the problem or cause of your anxiety and manage your stress levels through techniques such as yoga, meditation or speaking to someone you trust. If you feel like it’s regular help that you need, then therapy could be an option for you.
It’s an age-old piece of advice but a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep can also work wonders for our skin. If you’re struggling to sleep, try not looking at any screens for an hour before bed and making sure you’re in a dark room with the temperature as you like it. Whether you’re a windows open or a windows closed kind of person, a good 8 hours every night will see you right.
If all else fails and cortisol is seriously messing up the messages your nerves are sending through your body a little too much, causing you persistent problems such as hives, fine lines or unclearable acne, consult your GP or a dermatologist for a deeper analysis. Don’t ignore the warning signs!
Hi I am interested in trying anti blemish and scars serum. I’ll really appreciate it if you could send me some samples to try on before purchasing a full size.
if you could send me some samples i would consider buying your products i am 70 yrs old and my husband died of cancer at the end of may and my skin is very stressed kind regards jean barber 4 the coppice burnley lancs bb11 2lt