We've all been there - deadline looming, a million things to do, and the anxiety builds to a point where stress is simply unavoidable.
Stress can all take its toll on us––and especially our skin.
Today, we'll be discussing how to address stress so you can look and feel beautiful inside and out!
Understanding How Stress Affects Your Skin
When stress hits, your nervous system flooded your body with adrenaline and cortisol.
Back in caveman times, this was a good thing. It's what kicked everything into overdrive so you could outrun a hungry lion (or tiger or bear. Oh my!).
Unfortunately, your body reacts the same way to modern "threats" such as a never-ending inbox, piles of unpaid bills, and computer crashes.
Those excess stress hormones can lead to inflammation and a host of other problems that can cause health issues if left unchecked–– including skin health issues.
Stress also affects the way blood circulates throughout your body which means a decrease in oxygen supply to your skin.
Now, layer in the hormonal imbalances that come with the emotional rollercoaster ride of stress. And voila! Wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes start to appear. Oy!
It’s a big headache .. which is the last thing you need because you’re already stressed.
But not to worry. We have some tips for how to feel less stressed and show your skin some love.
So take a deep breath, put on some calming music, and let's nerd out about skin care.
Physical Effects of Stress on the Skin
Here are some ways stress can affect your skin:
- acne breakouts
- dry patches
- oily skin
- fine lines and wrinkles
- dark circles under the eyes
It's like stress is a cruel jokester, playing a prank on your precious skin.
Remember awareness is key. Since you now know your skin is taking the hit from stress too, you can do something about it.
Consider these 4 tips to keep your skin in good shape.
- Use an exfoliating mask to keep those breakouts at bay. With a chemical peel such as the Musaclean Exfoliating Peel, you can continue to clear out that inbox while the mask does its wonders. Multi-tasking at its best!
- Ensure you remove all your make-up and cleanse your face every evening––no matter how tired you are. With this oil cleanser, removing make-up is relaxing as well as good for your skin health.
- Keep your skin hydrated. Learn more about the importance of skin hydration.
- Drink more water and eat less sugar––as tempting as a glass of wine and a pint of ice cream are. If you need something sweet, try eating fruit, such as a banana.
Fun fact: Bananas are natural stress relievers and good for morale! It's true. Bananas stimulate the production of serotonin, which improves your mood and reduces anxiety. So if you need a little morale boost, try a banana.
Psychological Effects of Stress on the Skin
Stress can also interfere with your sleep.
A good night's rest is essential for a healthy skin barrier. After all, it's called beauty sleep for a reason. (Need a quick refresher? Read this blog post).
Plus, insufficient sleep affects your ability to think clearly and make good decisions––including healthy eating choices.
In fact, research has shown that we choose high-calorie foods when we're sleep deprived ... leading to weight gain. Oh stress, is there no end to your cruelty?
So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed or burned out, take a pause. A few minutes focused on de-stressing will help restore your spirit. And enable you to tackle those stressors with confidence.
Here are five ways you can dial down stressful feelings:
- Take a deep breath
- Try meditating
- Go for a walk
- Do some yoga
- Take a relaxing bath if you can carve out the time
Whether it's meditating for ten minutes or doing some yoga stretches, you'll find that reducing stress will lead to better skin and a happier you.
So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, give these tips a try and put your best face forward.
More ways to reduce stress
Stress-related symptoms can be a real pain in the neck (literally!). Stress is an inevitable part of life.
But it doesn't have to rule your life. Remember the adage about the oxygen mask on a plane. Prioritize your mental health and well-being, and take time for yourself.
Try taking a hot bath, reading a book, or watching your favorite comedy. Sometimes a little laughter is the best medicine.
Science has shown the many benefits of laughter––including relieving stress, reducing pain, and boosting the immune system.
In fact, one minute of giggling is equivalent to 45 minutes of relaxation!
And remember, if you continue to feel stressed, please seek the help of a professional. A therapist or mental health professional can help you develop a plan for managing stress for the long term.
Remember, self-care isn't selfish.
Small steps can have a big impact on reducing stress. And reducing stress can improve mental and physical (including skin) health.
Remember, improving your skin from any form of damage isn't always easy or quick, so focus on prevention and the tips provided above.
Importantly, if you continue to struggle with stress, please speak with a mental health professional. He or she can provide you with meaningful tools and advice to treat your condition.
Everyone deserves better health: both emotionally and physically.