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How Stress Impacts Your Skin

How Stress Impacts Your Skin

Are you feeling stressed? A look at your skin may reveal your mental state! Breakouts, redness, and flare-ups are skin conditions that may all be caused by your stress levels.  

The fact of the matter is our bodies are programmed to respond to stress. For example, you might go into an interview and find yourself sweaty and flushed. Why? Your body is sending out a physical response to your mental stressors.

The same goes for your skin. While stress can affect your hair, nails, energy levels, etc., it often displays itself most clearly on your skin.

How Does Stress Affect My Skin?

Your brain and skin maintain a two-way street of communication. What is happening in your brain affects your skin and vice versa. But what exactly is happening below the surface? 

When you experience stress, your brain triggers hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to pump over time throughout your skin. Cortisol sends the message to your skin glands to produce more oil. And we all know what more oil can mean: more clogged pores, acne, and breakouts. 

Stress can also cause inflammation. Your body cues inflammation when it recognizes a threat. While inflammation may be helpful in the case of a wound, you might not appreciate the redness and swelling that comes from a stress response. Stress inflammation can also cause chronic conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema to flare up. 

Whether it’s temporary breakouts or chronic conditions, stress can make it harder for skin conditions to heal.

Our 5 Best Practices to Lower Stress & Help Your Skin Glow

Just because stress is a part of life, doesn’t mean you need to be ruled by it! Here are 5 ways you can help manage your stress and keep your skin clear and healthy. 

1. Stick To Your Skin Care Routine

Even if you don’t feel like it, be more loyal to your skincare routines during times of stress.  Continue habits such as washing your face, applying nutrient-dense toners/serums, and hydrating with moisturizers. These practices will help keep your skin clear and help you feel refreshed.

2. Exercise Often

Like a tide that raises all boats, exercise produces many benefits to your skin and mental outlook. A run or walk around the park generates endorphins that help you feel better and cope with your stress.  On your skin’s level, exercise flushes out toxins and nourishes your skin cells. Prioritize exercising multiple times a week or daily if possible.

3. Prioritize Sleep

It’s easy to string together short nights when dealing with deadlines and other stressors. But your body (and skin) needs a chance to regenerate and heal! Sleep clears your mind and improves your cognitive processes. Aim for seven to eight hours each night. 

4. Take A Breather

It’s important to step away from life’s stressors from time to time. Pinpoint activities that relax and re-energize you. For some that may be getting out in nature, reading, painting, listening to music or podcasts, etc. Does your schedule feel too busy? Even ten minutes can be enough to refresh and clear your mind.

5. Talk About It

Stress is easier to carry and work through when shared. Find a person you trust like a close friend or therapist to confide your struggles. Talk to a doctor about treatment options if you need help managing your stress. Putting words to your mental loops and considering other perspectives can bring clarity and reduce mental strain.

Take the Stress Off of Your Skin

Stress is a part of life. While everyone experiences it, you don’t have to let it take over your life or your skin!

At The G Spa, we can help identify the underlying causes of your skin issues. We craft treatment plans and skin care regimens that take into account your overall health and beauty goals. Call us today at (805) 682-4772 to learn more or speak with one of our experts one-on-one.

With healthy habits and concerted effort, you can succeed in maintaining your healthy state of mind and beautiful skin. 

dr kathleen griffin, medical spa santa barbara, skin, the g spa

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