November is Healthy Skin Month and we’re focusing on the ways that stress can wreak havoc on your skin. Let’s face it: stress happens to everyone but when you learn to manage it, your skin will be grateful. If you are feeling stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released, causing many skin problems including:
- Acne. Overproduction of cortisol sets the stage for acne flare-ups by promoting oily skin and interfering with your body’s ability to regulate inflammation.
- Dry skin. Stress interferes with the ability of the skin to retain moisture which in turn dehydrates your skin.
- Reduced collagen production. Increased levels of another stress hormone, epinephrine, constricts blood vessels, reducing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin that manufacture collagen.
- Fine lines & wrinkles. Stress hormones increase blood pressure which in turn redirects blood away from the skin towards other organs.
- Under eye bags. Stress can keep you from getting enough beauty sleep which can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, creating a puffy mess when you wake up.
- Redness. When you’re stressed, your body heat rises, causing you to have red, blotchy skin.
Although the side effects from stress can really damage your skin, here’s what you can do to keep your skin as healthy as possible:
If you take the time to slow down every once in a while, you will be less stressed. Meditation, deep breathing and quiet alone time can eliminate stress and the effects on the skin.
Use the right products.
If you see that your skin is flaring up with acne, try a skin cream with natural anti-inflammatories (green tea, chamomile and zinc oxide).
Avoid refined carbohydrates.
Try eating more vegetables, whole grains and beans to maintain proper blood sugar levels, which will keep your skin youthful.
While you are sleeping, your skin repairs any damage that occurred during the day. Lack of sleep puts stress on the skin. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to keep your skin healthy.
Physical activity boosts circulation which in turn decreases toxins and cellulite and creates healthy, radiant looking skin.