We all experience stress to some degree, and it’s a natural part of life and our biology. Unfortunately, it can wear on our bodies in different ways, and one of the most apparent for many is breaking out on the face and other parts of the body. As if the stress itself wasn’t bad enough!
Stress causes hormone levels to change and skin to become more sensitive to external and internal factors. Plus, it can become more difficult for skin to heal and repair. Levels of cortisol go up in the body during times of stress. As a result, skin glands overproduce oil, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts, among other skin issues. Cortisol can also make rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis worse, and possibly trigger rashes.
Another unfortunate reality of stress on the skin is it can wear us down and affect energy levels, potentially leading to ignoring one’s proper skin regimen. Not being consistent with cleansing and moisturizing will make skin issues worse. Plus, having many breakouts on the face can affect how we feel about ourselves, which adds even more stress, perpetuating the problem.
So, what can you do?
While it’s not possible to eliminate all stressors in our lives, and experienced by our brains and bodies, there are several things you can do to help.
Maintaining a proper skincare routine is a solid first step. It’s important to use good quality products because ones that are packed with detergents and cheap chemicals will exacerbate the problem. Keep your routine simple with brand new SK II skincare products that contain active ingredients like Pitera™ which is naturally derived from the sake fermentation process. Or select a brand that uses charcoal, like Erno Laszlo’s daily cleansing and moisturizing sets, to draw dirt, oil, and impurities out of clogged pores. Always cleanse and then moisturize every morning and night.
Changing your habits is also essential. A plant-based diet and lots of water is the best for healthy skin. Eating a wide variety and different colors of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds provides all the nutrients the body needs, plus a wealth of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re active, and spread consumption throughout the day and evening. Exercise regularly to keep your body in a healthy condition and sweat out toxins. And get an adequate sleep for healthy skin: this will combat stress and lower levels of cortisol, plus help regulate hormones.
In terms of de-stressing, take the time to think about what causes upsets, pressures, and stress in your life. Develop strategies that can help your personal situation by realizing which activities, habits, and stress management tips are the most effective for you.
Taking care of your skin, eating well, exercising, and getting lots of sleep also feels good because you’re actively taking a hold of your lifestyle and health. Make time to do things you enjoy and rest when you need to. You’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively if you maintain a good work/life balance, so don’t think that breaks and relaxation are a waste of time! Add in activities targeted to help stress and support mental health like meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, massage therapy, and others.
Visit a doctor or mental health professional if you feel depressed, anxious, or continually stressed-out. They can help you develop strategies that work for your personal circumstances.