May 02, 2023
Let's be real... who isn't dealing with stress these days?
Stress can appear in many different ways, whether it's a loss of appetite, physical aches and pains, exhaustion, or trouble sleeping. But did you know that anxiety can affect your skin, too?
In fact, it can even cause premature aging and stress-induced wrinkles. Here, I'll run you through everything you need to know about anxiety, its effects on your skin, and some practical solutions for combating it.
Whether you're stressed about your job or an upcoming event (hello, wedding season!), your stress could be taking a toll on your skin. After all, your skin is your body's largest living organ. So it makes sense that the results of stress can show up there. And stress can manifest differently on everyone's skin.
Here are some of the ways it could be affecting yours.
High-stress levels can cause an increase in the production of stress hormones, like cortisol, which results in fatigue. Cortisol also causes part of your brain to release corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is believed to stimulate oil release. This increase in oil production can result in clogged pores and lead to acne.
Cortisol also breaks down collagen - the protein that keeps your skin looking elastic and youthful. So, when you're stressed out, and your cortisol levels increase, your body's levels of collagen decrease and can cause potential wrinkles to form.
You've probably noticed puffiness under your eyes after a sleepless night - and we're guessing the reason for your poor night's sleep was due to stress. Research shows that stress caused by sleep deprivation causes reduced skin elasticity, which can contribute to the appearance of bags under your eyes.
The outer layer of your skin contains proteins that keep your skin cells hydrated and act as a barrier to protect the skin underneath. Unfortunately, stress can negatively impact how this outer layer functions and how your skin retains water. The consequence? Dry, itchy skin. Stress can also trigger other skin conditions, like psoriasis and eczema.
Completely eliminating stress from your life isn't a realistic goal - but fortunately, there are ways to manage daily stress and fight stress-related signs of aging. Plus, many of the afflictions we discussed can be easily managed with the right products. Think of a moisturizing mask for dry skin or topical retinoids for acne breakouts.
Follow these five steps to manage stress and improve your skin's well-being.
There are a lot of ways to handle stress in your day-to-day life. So get creative and find something that works for you. It could be a guided meditation app, a weekly yoga class, therapy sessions, or regular spa appointments.
Exercise can be great for your skin - and your stress reduction! Exercise releases dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that make you feel great and boost your mood. Start with something simple, like a walk around the neighborhood, or check out fitness studios in your area until you find a class you're excited about. Build movement into your schedule to keep your mind, body, and skin in good shape.
Regular consumption of drugs and alcohol can cause stress and take a serious toll on your skin. Be mindful of your drinking habits, and you just might see an improvement in your skin's health.
If you reach for a glass of wine when stressed, consider swapping it with a hydrating drink or nourishing snack. Think a glass of lemon- and mint-infused sparkling water or a bowl of seasonal fruit.
A great skincare routine can be a preventative measure for stress-related skin conditions. And if you start noticing the effects of stress on your skin, be proactive and add a new product to your regimen. Consider retinol creams, hyaluronic acid, targeted eye treatments, and hydrating moisturizers.
Are you looking for more support in your skincare journey? Join me in the Christine Byer Beauty Club. I offer a 14-Day FREE preview with full access to everything in the Club. Get personalized support for your skincare questions, and score exclusive access to savings and the opportunity to win a FREE consultation. If you don't find value in your membership, cancel within 14 days at no charge.
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