Dealing With Stress & Your Skin
Constant stress causes an excess of adrenaline leading to higher levels of cortisol which is also known as the stress hormone. As we know, the skin is the largest organ in the body so if a stress hormone is pumping its way through your bloodstream you know it is going to have an effect on your skin!
Cortisol will not only increase your oil production, it will also change the consistency of your oil to be thicker and heavier, something your pores are not used to and can cause clogging, congestion, and breakouts.
Inflammation is your body's healing response to any type of wounded state and your body will view chronic stress just as this. Your body will begin inflammation as a healing response to stress impacting your immune system, and if the stress is constant, the inflammation response will be as well. If your immune system is compromised, your skin can easily become reactive and cause a flare up of a number of different types of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and most commonly acne.
Some other skin conditions you may develop that can be due to psychological stress are bags under the eyes and an impact on your skin’s barrier function which can negatively affect its water retention and lead to dry skin.
Luckily there are some things you can do to alleviate stress and improve your health, calming your body's response. Some of my favorite methods and recommendations for stress management and stress relief are:
Even five minutes a day of exercise will help your body and your mind. Sweat has amazing benefits for our skin as it acts as a natural exfoliant and helps level out the pH of our skin.
At least 8 hours of sleep a night has been proven to greatly reduce our stress levels. Feeling well rested will make you feel ready to take on your day and take care of your skin. Remember to wash your pillowcases at least once a week!
While it might immediately feel good to hit up McDonald’s for some fries as a stress reliever, processed foods often contain unhealthy levels of added sugars, sodium, and fat. As much as you can, try to avoid stress eating and stick to a whole-food diet high in nutrients to help your mind and skin stay healthy.
I know it can be challenging to keep up with your skincare routine during the holidays as you might be traveling or feel too tired. But it is really important to keep consistent with your routine!
Consistency is key with skincare (and really everything in life). In case you need a refresher, here is a basic AM & PM skincare routine you can follow:
|Night Time Moisturizer
* Sometimes I replace my SPF with my moisturizer if I am feeling more on the oily side. If you are feeling dry and like you need the extra moisture, layer it on baby).
** Double cleansing is a method I highly recommend you practice and this literally just means to wash your face twice. You can use the same cleanser or a gentle cleanser as your first cleanse and then a more active cleanser as your second cleanse.
But basically the method of cleansing twice is actually one of the biggest age defying skincare methods you can practice as the first cleanse will remove dirt, makeup and pollutants from the day and the second cleanse will be more active and effective at actually getting down and cleaning your skin.
Last but certainly not least, during stressful months it is especially important to make sure you take the time to visit your esthetician. Again, consistency is key and during these holiday months the weather tends to be a bit more dry so it is REALLY important that you get that deeper exfoliation in, plus, take that hour and a half for some ‘you’ time, you deserve it ;)
So the moral of the holiday skin story is, don’t freak out.
It is normal for your skin to go through some changes due to higher stress levels and seasonal change! Just make sure you remember there are things you can do about it and try to focus on lowering your stress and anxiety and take care of yourself!
Have a great holiday!