How does stress effect your skin and body?
High stress levels in the body impacts on our health resulting in issues like high blood pressure, a weakened immune system & mental health impacts translating to depression and or anxiety.
However, did you know it is also responsible of causing skin to age at an accelerated pace?
Stress causes hormonal changes in our bodies that cause numerous skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, hives, itching, and even thinning of the skin.
It undermines the health of skin in less obvious ways too, including re-directing essential nutrients from the skin to our vital organs such as brain, heart and lungs. In the case of pro-longed/chronic stress your skin is deprived of essential nutrients for extended periods of time. Renewal of skin is compromised and slowed appearing dull and greyish.
Water levels in the skin are also undermined causing dehydration. This will eventually cause skin to sag and form wrinkles and fine lines due to the lack in proper hydration. Stress also releases free radicals which greatly increases oxidative damage to vital cellular structures in the skin, effecting proper function to maintain youthfulness.
There are 3 factors related to stress and skin health-
People exposed to continuous stress tend to eat poorly, exercise less, sleep irregularly, smoke cigarettes and over consume alcohol. All of which impact the aging process.
Stress and acne-
Stress causes skin issues to flare up regardless of what you’re prone to. In the case of acne, stress causes the body to release cortisol (a hormone that tells glands in your skin to produce more oil) which can throw off other hormones in your body resulting in acne on the face, neck, chest, back, even arms.
Some people can experience anxiety induced stress from their appearance, causing them to pick or squeeze acne they may see on the skin. However this will result in scarring and the spread of bacteria, leading to more stress & anxiety from new skin problems.
How can I reduce stress to help my wellbeing, health and skin?
Everyone is different, so many things are available to help assist with coping. Let’s face it completely ridding stress is near impossible but managing it by using different techniques to reduce stress and reduce damage to the skin and body i.e.- exercise, spend time with friends and family, take ‘me’ time (get a massage or read a book), practice meditation/breathing exercises, have a quality facial etc. These tips will all help decrease stress levels and increase coping ability.
Remember it’s not only your skin, but also your heath and general well-being at stake. Take a deep breath and relax.