Everything You Need to Know About Stressed Skin
Modern life is stressful. From work to family life to neverending to-do lists, we're all affected by stress at some stages of life.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of health problems, and in the skin, it manifests in dullness, acne, itchiness and premature ageing.
Stressed skin makes us look worn down and exhausted, so how do we bring that radiant, glowing and healthy complexion back? Keep reading to find out.
What Causes Stressed Skin?
Constant stress, feeling overwhelmed, and experiencing pressure throws our entire body out of balance. Stress releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your blood and body and affects the immune, digestive and other systems, including the skin.
Stress illustrates perfectly how the mind and the skin are intimately intertwined as it can lead to such serious conditions as acne and eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, etc.
When your mind is out of balance, your body and skin are out of balance too. What's worse, when you're stressed, you might neglect your self-care routine, which can aggravate skin issues even further.
Ironically, stressed-out skin can lead to self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression, keeping up that endless cycle.
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How To Tell If Your Skin Is Stressed?
But how can you tell if you have stressed skin? Self-awareness and noticing even the subtle changes can help you identify the problem and seek solutions.
Here are some of the most common symptoms and signs of stressed skin.
Hives, redness and other skin irritations can appear due to stress as our bodies release histamine in stressful situations.
Over time histamine can lead to skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.
Stress and skin are closely related, and you might have noticed that our skin tends to break out in highly stressful periods or days of our lives.
Acne can affect even people who generally have no problem with pimples or oily skin, and that's ‘Thanks’ to the stress hormones released into our bloodstream.
You know how Presidents and other leaders age a decade in only a couple of years? That's because of stress. Research has shown that the hormone cortisol causes skin proteins collagen and elastin to break down, leading to premature ageing, fine lines and dull, saggy skin.
Dull and Dehydrated Skin
Both internal and environmental stress like pollution can cause your skin to look dull and lifeless. Stress inhibits the natural skin renewal processes and makes our complexions dull.
Stress and high cortisol levels can also impair your skin's barrier function, and a healthy skin barrier is essential to protect you from bacteria and other irritants.
Another enemy of a glowing and beautiful complexion is dehydration. Chronic stress increases the hormone cortisol, which decreases the skin's ability to retain water and leads to flakiness and dryness.
One of the signs of a stressed skin is puffy eyes. Stress fills our nights with worry and thinking about that neverending mental to-do list, and we wake up with puffiness and under-eye bags.
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How To Deal With Stressed Skin?
First of all, let's address the cause of stressed skin first - the stress and overwhelm yourself. Unless you change the circumstances, you can't expect significant results.
Hydrate. Stress slows down natural oil production and makes skin dry, so drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day and use hydrating skincare.
Exercise. Release energy to reduce stress and tension. Get your heart rate going with regular and consistent exercise. This will lower your cortisol levels, increase blood circulation and stimulate endorphins, meaning fewer breakouts, a stronger skin barrier and healthier skin.
Self-care. Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy, even if you only have 10 minutes. Don't neglect your skin even in the most stressful situation, and take care of it with high-quality skincare.
Meditate. Take a walk outside, and try breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to reduce stress and gain perspective.
Sleep. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night is ideal. Limit your daily exposure to electronics during the day and especially at night.
Massage your face. It will help release face tension, soften, relax, lift and firm your facial muscles, alleviate stress and tension, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and boost circulation.
Take a break from coffee. Caffeine can elevate your cortisol levels and increase stress. Take a break!
Eat more antioxidant-rich foods. Citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, fish, tomatoes and leafy greens are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that can ease skin issues caused by stress.
Skincare for Stressed Skin
Besides doing the work to reduce stress and get your mind and body back to balance, properly selected skincare can contribute immensely to improving your skin's health and a radiant complexion.
Here are the best products for stressed skin.
Dullness and Dryness
As we already know, stress can cause the skin to look dull and your face to lose volume. And, yes, there are the fine lines and wrinkles too!
To remedy the situation, regularly exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and prepare your skin for your hydrating moisturisers and skincare designed to boost radiance.
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Kakadu Plum boosts a high Vitamin C content and helps combat free radicals caused by environmental pollution and sun damage, restoring the skin's balance and improving the appearance of fine lines and dull complexions.
If your eyes look puffy in the morning, make sure you get enough water. You can reduce the puffiness by using chilled cucumber or rose water to make compresses (5 minutes are enough) or ice cubes to roll under the eyes gently.
You can also invest in a high-quality depuffing eye cream or serum.
Redness and Irritation
Blushing may be cute, but a red blotchy, and itchy face is not. Add a gentle, calming natural moisturiser to your daily routine to calm the skin down. Skincare with Niacinamide, Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Cucumber can help reduce redness.
Stress and oily skin may lead to acne, so always cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser that removes the excess sebum but protects the skin barrier. Lemon Myrtle, Papaya, Coconut, Acai and Grape Skins are great ingredients in facial cleansers.
Rosacea, Eczema and Psoriasis
Rosacea causes redness, blotchiness and bumps on the face. Stress exacerbates this condition because it reduces the skin's ability to protect and fight inflammation and affects the skin barrier.
Eczema and psoriasis can also be triggered by stress leading to breakouts and itchy, dry skin patches.
Use skincare products with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin, and calm down redness.
Our Anti-Pollution Defence Trio combines three powerful protective skincare products to reinvigorate and balance a stressed-out complexion. Rich in antioxidants to combat free radicals, our anti-pollution products work to purify and heal the skin gently.
The set includes a gentle yet highly effective Revitalising cleanser, Balancing moisturiser and Vitamin C brightening serum.
It's important to choose skincare products that are right for your skin to keep it youthful and glowing. Take a 2-minute skin type quiz designed by our team of skin experts to know how to take care of your skin in the most optimal way.