The Impact of Stress On Your Skin

Stress is literally taking a toll on your skin!

Stress is common. So common, that April is National Stress Awareness month! Between work and worrying about “grown-up things” (you know, managing finances, paying bills, relationships, etc.), life can become stressful. Throw in a global pandemic and it’s enough to make even the most zen individual feel anxious and stressed out.

We all know that unmanaged stress wreaks havoc on our physical health, but did you know that stress also dramatically impacts your skin? This week, we’re going to take a look at how stress affects your skin and give you a few tips on how to manage the stress in your life.

The Mind Skin Connection

Your body and mind are connected. When you are feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, these psychological conditions can cause existing skin issues to flare up or create new skin conditions. 

Stress and Adrenaline

As humans, when we feel stressed, our sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into our bodies. This excess cortisol produces increased oil production in your skin glands, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. 

Stress and Inflammation

Psychological conditions also cause increased internal inflammation. When the human body perceives a threat, the immune system sends out a response to handle it – inflammation. Under normal circumstances, inflammation helps protect and heal our bodies from microbes and wounds, but when our body is under stress, it can cause the immune system to overreact and send out an inflammatory response. Internal inflammation can cause a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis flare-ups.

Stress is a Collagen Killer

Stress creates a spike in cortisol levels. Also known as the fight or flight hormone, cortisol is commonly referred to as “a collagen killer.” Although collagen production naturally decreases with age, constant stress speeds up the degradation process and manifests as premature signs of aging (i.e., fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity).

Key Take-Aways

Unmanaged stress impacts the skin in a variety of ways:

  • Increased adrenaline leads to excess cytokines which trigger our pro-inflammatory response. Inflammation can lead to acne, eczema, and rosacea. Prolonged exposure to inflammation in the body can also cause premature wrinkles, sagging skin, sallowness, and ruddy skin.
  • Stress causes the brain to release a neuropeptide called ‘substance P’ which triggers sebum production to increase and pores to dilate. This combination leads to oilier skin which causes acne breakouts.
  • Stress spikes cortisol levels which manifest as premature signs of aging (i.e., fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity).

Collagen Queen’s Corner: Tip of the Week

Take time each day to relax. Set an alarm on your phone for 15 minutes. Find a quiet place to sit. I recommend going outside if you have the chance so you can listen to the spring birds. As you relax and decompress, focus on one small thing you’re grateful about. This simple gift of time will work wonders to decompress and lower your stress levels. 

How to Treat Stressed Skin

When you are stressed out, it’s important to focus on quality skincare. In particular, antioxidants, peptides, and humectants are best to de-stress the skin.

  • Antioxidants: Vitamins B, C, and E (to name a few) help fight free radical damage.
  • Humectants: Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid (HA) restore moisture.
  • Peptides: Help calm and soothe the skin

Most importantly, find ways to calm and manage your stress levels. Take time each day to inhale, exhale, and repeat. Simply breathing can significantly reduce stress levels and help you deal with everyday stressors. If you’re seated for long periods of time each day, stand up and take a brisk five-minute walk. Even a short walk can help get your blood flowing and enhance tissue hydration.

Rejuvalift Aesthetics

At Rejuvalift Aesthetics, we understand how the hustle, bustle, and daily grind can wear you down. And while it’s wearing you down, it’s also impacting your skin. We’re here to help! As Long Island’s first Cutera Luminary Site, Mindy is ready to help you to apply some spring cleaning techniques to refresh, revitalize, and rejuvenate your skin. 

Schedule your 100% no obligation free consultation today!