Are you surprised when we tell you that your brain also affects your skin? The brain-skin axis is an interconnected, bidirectional pathway that can translate psychological stress from the brain to the skin and vice versa (Harvard Health, 2021).
Are you stressed out? Your skin can show it! Studies have shown that both acute and chronic stress can have serious negative effects on your overall skin wellness (Harvard Health, 2021).
SKIN CONDITIONS POTENTIALLY RELATED TO YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Stress can disrupt our skin barrier — the top layer of the skin that locks in moisture and protects us from harmful microbes (Harvard Health, 2021). The skin barrier traps moisture and keeps the skin hydrated, while blocking allergens, irritants, pollutants and pathogens from entering. Some signs of a stressed skin barrier can be: redness, inflamed skin, severe dryness, dehydrated skin, irritation, itchiness, stinging or burning sensations when applying products, increased breakouts, and a dull complexion. A compromised skin barrier will also have a harder time to heal and repair itself. It becomes a bit of a vicious cycle! Our skin barrier’s need nourishment and hydration to function at an optimal level, look good and feel good!
There’s a very long list of skin conditions that are associated with severe and chronic stress: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or eczema, alopecia and acne. High cortisol levels not only affect the brain but the skin as well. Studies have shown that stress can affect the strength and integrity of our skin barrier, which can lead to an increase in infection and inflammation of the skin (Harvard Health, 2021). As mentioned above, high cortisol levels = bad! It can also lead to the release of other stress hormones that can increase oil production in our pores, leading to acne and clogged pores. Stress can appear through other skin reactions like dry skin, wrinkles, hair loss, graying hair and eye bags, so keep an eye out on how your skin is doing!
YOUR SKIN STRESSED? HERE’S HOW TO DEAL.
Are you prone to rosacea? Are you experiencing itching? Eliminate any products that may cause irritation! You can also consider using a retinoid, it increases the rate of cell turnover in the skin making it great for a bunch of concerns like healing our skin barriers!
Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. Clarifying cleansers and spot treatments (OUR MULTI PATCH!) are some ways to combat acne and blemishes caused by stress. Time to patch up!
Got dry skin?
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Moisturizers, serums, creams are definitely your perfect tools for fighting dryness. Try products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid which keeps the skin plump, and ceramides which are healthy fats that create a barrier to prevent skin permeability and breakage, locking in that skin moisture. Gotta take care of that barrier!
It's time to brighten you up! Should your skin need a little boost, adding a vitamin C serum to your routine is key! When combined with vitamin E, ferulic, and B12, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. It can also fade dark spots, improve the luster of your skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Definitely a good ingredient to fight stress effects on our skin!
“Stress may be getting to your skin, but it's not a one-way street.” Harvard Health, 14 April 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/stress-may-be-getting-to-your-skin-but-its-not-a-one-way-street-2021041422334.
“The Role of Skin Care as an Integral Component in the Management of Acne Vulgaris: Part 1: The Importance of Cleanser and Moisturizer Ingredients, Design, and Product Selection” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997205/
“About Face.” Harvard Health https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/about-face
“Moisturizers do they work.” Harvard Health https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work
“Understanding the Stress Response.” Harvard Health, 6 July 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response.
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AS MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TO TREAT, CURE, PREVENT, OR DIAGNOSE CONDITIONS OR DISEASES; AND IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW TREATMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS.