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HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR SKIN?

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

With modern days' problems, many of us would feel stressed out, fatigue and when you are under mental, physical or emotional pressure, psychological stress arises. Psychological stress happens when a person experiences pressure that exceeds his or her own adaptive power.


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How Stress Affects Your Skin?

Research has shown that stress could introduce negative impacts on the skin’s health and trigger a number of neuro-inflammatory conditions such as acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, etc. As the largest organ of the body, our skin plays important roles in maintaining homeostasis between the environment and internal tissues, acts as a barrier and immune functions. ​The skin is the primary sensing organ, is more susceptible to external stressors including temperature (heat, cold), pain, mechanical tension and produces stress hormones in response then sends those signals back to the brain. Stress affects the skin mainly through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This causes the production of the primary stress hormone, cortisol and actecholamines, hormones in the fight or flight response. Skin mast cells are the central player of the skin stress responses, respond to cortisol through receptor signalling, trigger a number of neuro-inflammatory skin conditions. The skin consists of 2 main layers: epidermis (protect moisture and from harmful microbes) and dermis. An intact epidermal barrier is essential for healthy skin as psychological stress could disrupt the epidermal barrier, delay its repairing process and result in inflammation, skin irritation and conditions. That's how stress affects your skin.


How to manage stress-out-skin?

While you can’t avoid stress completely, you could try to handle them in the best way possible.


Here are a few things that you could try to de-stress your mind and skin.

#1 - Take Care of Your Skin even when You Are Tired or Stressed

The aim in looking after tired, fatigue and stressed out skin is to reduce inflammation and repair the skin’s damaged barrier. Look for restorative skincare ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, ceramides, amino acids. Invest in a good moisturiser to lock in hydration. Follow a simple skincare routine to restore balance in our skin.


#2 - Relax with Mask

Wind down after a busy workday with a wash off mask or sheet mask. These take around 15 to 20 minutes, lying on the sofa or bed, with your favorite music on, and closing your eyes for a couple of minutes to truly relax your mind, body and skin. Look for soothing ingredients, hydrating ingredients such as centella asiatica, mugwort, honey, aloe vera, etc. Put your phone away too for a truly relaxing period.


#3 - Essential Oils or Scented Candles

Scents such as lavender, bergamot, chamomile have the effect of relaxing and calmness on well-being. A few drops of essential oil into the diffuser or light your favorite scented candles could really lift up your mood and help your mind, body relax.


#4 - Exercise Regularly

Find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing i.e yoga, Pilates, stress alleviating aerobics, stretching, swimming, aqua aerobics or water jogging to stretch fatigue muscles and tissues.

Exercise improves the blood circulation as heart rate increases, could help keep our skin healthy, promotes production of collagen and. new skin cells.

Also, while exercising, our body releases mood regulating hormones such as. endorphin, dopamine, serotonin.


#5 - Get Enough Sleep

Stick to a healthy balanced diet and sleep at a fixed time would benefit your skin in many ways against stress. Sleep is the time our body repairs itself. A good night's sleep will prepare our body, mind and skin for the next day against stress. Try to not check your phone before bed and turn off notifications for quality sleep.


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