Caring For Skin During National Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month

Stress can affect the whole body, including hair, nails, and the skin. For National Stress Awareness, we’re exploring the link between stress and skin health. We’ll look at external stressors, internal dietary stressors and how exactly they affect skin and overall well-being.

STRESS AND THE SKIN

Under stress, the body releases cortisol, a hormone that (in excess) can cause tissue breakdown in the body, negatively affecting the cellular matrix (the integrity and appearance of the skin.

This stress-related tissue breakdown can also affect our gut health, one of the most important aspects of overall health and wellness. If our gut health is compromised it can onset skin concerns such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It can even trigger hives and flare-ups of fever blisters. High levels of stress will also rob your skin of precious antioxidants and phytochemicals – the micronutrients responsible for that glow. More commonly, stress causes systemic inflammation and acne breakouts in patients.

DIETARY STRESSORS

Stress can also affect your daily dietary choices. If you’re rushing to meet deadlines, for example, you may reach for more readily available foods containing hydrogenated fats and high levels of refined sugar which cause wreak havoc on the skin.

Excess consumption of refined sugar affects the skin through a process called Advanced Glycation End Products – or the very apt acronym ‘AGE’! Excess glucose in the bloodstream (insulin resistance) can bind to the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing damage and accelerated aging through a process called glycation. Glycation results in dehydrated and thinning skin that struggles to repair itself, showing up on the face and the body as age spots, dullness, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Lack of sleep is another skin stressor – whilst we are asleep our bodies rest, repair and detoxify, and without adequate sleep, we see premature aging, fine lines, greyness and loss of vitality in the skin.

THE BODY CONNECTION

Did you know? Stress can be the reason behind your bloating as well as brain fog, tiredness and fatigue. All of which creates a cyclical pattern of compromised well-being and skin health.

SKIN HEALING

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for handling stress and skin healing. What we often recommend is incorporating effective stress management techniques daily, such as workouts, breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

And for skin’s sake, try and resist the urge to sleep less and reach for caffeinated products that only dehydrate the skin from within. Also, we always recommend not neglecting your skincare regimen while stressed when you probably need it most – doing so can aggravate the skin. It is always most beneficial to seek a professional assessment as well, so be sure to come in for a thorough consultation to address any onset skin concerns with proper care. We also offer our Comprehensive Wellness Analysis for a customized dietary and skincare plan with tips on lifestyle modifications for stress relief.

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