Stressed Skin Here’s What to Do

Your skin is a truly fascinating organ, and it’s one which requires balance in order to remain looking and feeling healthy, radiant, and rejuvenated. We’re all aware of the impact of factors such as pollutants, sun damage, and poor lifestyle choices on our skin, but were you aware that stress plays a major role in causing skin damage?
 
Although invisible, stress may in fact be the primary culprit behind no shortage of skin concerns and conditions. Indeed, if your skin hasn’t been looking its best lately, or has been prone to unexpected breakouts, it’s well worth considering whether or not stress is playing a part in your skincare issues. This is especially true in the difficult times we’re living through right now – the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a wide array of anxieties in people right across the globe, and our skin may just be paying the price for this heightened level of stress and worry.
 
One of the main issues with this is that, in our busy, fast-paced modern lives, stress is almost impossible to avoid completely. We’re constantly bombarded with deadlines, worrying news on our televisions and in our newspapers, pressures of keeping up with money issues, relationship problems… the list of potential stressors and triggers is almost endless! However, what this tells us is that, if we can’t remove the potential for stressful situations, we can instead learn how to handle stress more effectively, and not let it impact our skin.
 
We all respond to stress differently, and everyone’s body and immune system responds to stressful situations in their own unique way. If you are noticing signs of stress on your skin, and your skincare regime isn’t bringing about the results you’d hoped for, it’s probably time to look a little more closely at how to tackle stress in order to stop it from doing any more damage. In this article, we’ll be looking at the impact of stress on the skin, and giving some great tips and tricks for treating stress-affected skin that bring real results.

How Does Stress Impact The Skin?

As mentioned, in today’s modern world, there is a long, long list of potential stressors that all of us face on a daily basis. No matter what is causing you stress, the impact on the skin is noticeable and often extremely harmful, causing issues such as:

Premature Aging of the Skin

That’s right: stress can make you look old. It does this by affecting the body’s natural collagen production, which is what helps to keep skin looking plump, bouncy, and wrinkle-free. Your collagen levels naturally decrease with age (which is why so many anti-aging treatments, moisturisers, serums, and elixirs feature additional collagen to bring into your system) but stress will speed up this process considerably. The result? Tired looking skin, more fine lines and wrinkles, and a loss of firmness and bounce.

Acne Breakouts

Acne is generally caused by hormonal imbalances, which is why so many teenagers – experiencing the first major flushes of hormone production – are so prone to breakouts. As adults, this can be caused by stress, which interrupts the normal hormone signals and prompts an overproduction of sebum in the skin. Your pores become dilated and clogged, which leads to acne and other related issues.

Dry and Inflamed Skin

Stress, along with making you feel exhausted and irritable, also triggers increases in adrenaline, which in turn leads to your skin initiating an inflammatory response. This results in redness, irritated and inflamed skin, and dryness. Just what you need when you’re feeling overwhelmed!

Treating Stressed Skin with New Skincare Rituals

If your skin is beginning to suffer from the impact of the stressors and triggers in your life, your first port of call should be to reassess your skincare regimen and rituals, in order to ensure that your skin is able to heal itself and start looking radiant once more.

The best way to do this? Take a long hard look at the products you’re currently using on your skin, and assess whether or not they feature the active ingredients and formulations you need to tackle the effects of stress. Stressed-out skin calls for antioxidants, which deplete the free radicals that cause premature aging, and peptides and humectants which work hard to de-stress your skin.

Look out for skincare treatments rich in B, C, and E vitamins, each of which are powerful antioxidants which will help fight free radicals, as well as humectants such as hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful hydrating ingredient common in anti-aging serums. Peptides are increasingly used in skincare treatments, as they will calm and soothe your skin, and help even out your skin tone and reduce any inflammation or redness which has arisen.

Taking a couple of extra minutes per day for your skincare ritual can also help, as by mindfully taking care of your skin, and really indulging in the moments of luxury that a good skincare treatment can bring, you will naturally begin to destress yourself. You deserve those moments of bliss and self-care… and good skincare is always a treat to our senses that allows us to depressurise, and start feeling good about ourselves.

Tackle Stress With Mindfulness

Of course, all the skincare treatments and beauty rituals in the world won’t count for much if you’re still suffering from stressful situations. In this sense, one of the best things you can do for your skin is just to step back, assess your lifestyle choices, and find ways to deal with stress as and when it arises. You might want to try:

Meditation and Yoga

These ancient, time-honoured techniques have been developed over thousands of years, and bring proven de-stressing benefits that are enjoyed by millions worldwide. Learning how to quieten your mind, use deep breathing techniques to let go of anxiety, and improve your circulation with a handful of held poses can make a world of difference. Give it a try!

Exercise More
Many people find that just 30 minutes at the gym, a short jog, or a relaxing walk in the countryside is all they need to let go of stress and start feeling better about themselves.

Don’t Allow Stress to Build Up

Have you ever felt stressed about feeling stressed? If so, you’re not alone. Stress, if left unchecked, will compound itself and build up, often causing serious health issues that aren’t simple to overcome. It has a nasty habit of trapping you in a vicious cycle, especially when it comes to your working life or relationships: you become unproductive and irritable because of stress, which leads to even more stress when things start going wrong.

We all have different ways of handling this kind of situation, but the best thing is just to step back, take a deep breath, and stop putting so much pressure on yourself. When we step away from situations and stop allowing them to control every aspect of our lives, we often see the bigger picture… and that leads to us putting our problems into perspective. If you’re able to take a day off work or enjoy some ‘me time’, you might find that this is all you need to take a bit of the weight off your shoulders.

Bringing a bit of mindfulness into your life, and spending a little more time on daily self-care can make a world of difference, and not just to your natural, beautiful glow. Your mind and body will thank you for it, and your skin will start healing itself and looking great once more!

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