The Holiday Season is the most wonderful time of the year, right? Maybe not for your skin! We all handle life’s stressors differently, whether it’s at work, home, or school. The holidays can be extra stressful for some of us due to financial strain, end of year deadlines, and the expectations we put on ourselves to make the season special for others. Unfortunately, this added stress can take a severe toll on the health and appearance of our skin. Our skin can’t tell the difference between physical, emotional, psychological, or environmental stress – so it reacts the same to them all.
Five ways stress can cause chaos for our complexion:
#1 Stress = Inflammation.
Many skin conditions worsen with inflammation. When we are under stress, inflammatory cells can instantly trigger flare-ups of rosacea, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The longer the stress persists, the more prominent our skin’s symptoms will be.
#2 Stress + Adrenaline = Dry Dehydrated Skin.
When we are stressed, we experience a rise in our adrenaline levels. Adrenaline stimulates our sweat glands, causing our body to lose water and become dehydrated while attempting to cool itself. If you are not consistently replenishing your body with more fluids, your skin will suffer the effects of dehydration and become tight, flakey, and itchy.
#3 Stress + Hormones = Irritated Skin
Cortisol and adrenaline are two of our body’s primary stress hormones. When hormone levels rise it increases heart rate, blood pressure, and even sugar levels in our bloodstream. When an overabundance of cortisol is in our system, our immune system can be weakened. This weakening causes our body’s inflammatory response to kick in, which can escalate the occurrences of acne, eczema, and psoriasis flare-ups.
#4 Oil + Oil = More Oil
When you suffer from acne and oily skin, stress can be your worst enemy. Stress can increase certain levels of testosterone in our bodies, therefore producing an overabundance of skin cells. These skin cells combined with excess oil can clog pores, causing acne conditions to worsen, and bacteria levels on our skin’s surface rise.
#5 Stress = Aging Skin
Collagen and elastin, are fibers in our skin that keep it plump, elastic, firm, and tight, they can also be severely compromised by stress. Inflammation destroys these fibers at an escalated rate leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and overall thinning of the skin. It’s essential to adjust your lifestyle to avoid premature aging of your skin’s health, function, and appearance.
Tips to combat the signs of stress on your skin:
We can’t avoid stress in life, however, we can control our reaction to it!
- Work with a Licensed Esthetician who can recommend appropriate skincare for you to monitor and adjust your regimen as needed.
- Drink plenty of water, especially in the winter months.
- Using a topical retinoid, like Tretinoin, to keep follicles clear of dead skin cell build-up.
- Adjust your lifestyle to decrease stress by incorporating meditation, exercise, and deep breathing exercises.
- Become self-aware. Train yourself to recognize when you are responding negatively to stress and create an action plan to moderate your response.
Have you found that your skin suffers when you’re stressed? Whether with a relaxing monthly hydration skin treatment or by recommending the proper skincare to address your skin concerns, the Advance Practice Estheticians at Skin Artisans can help. Call (952) 767-3163 to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your skin’s unique needs!