It’s inevitable that we face stress in our daily lives and small amounts of stress can be beneficial to us. However, chronic stress or over-stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health — and that includes our skin health.
We explore how stress affects your skin health and share tips on how to manage your stress so you keep looking great.
What stress can do to your skin
In times of stress, your body enters the ‘fight or flight’ and hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released in your bloodstream. While this helps you cope better with the source of your stress, it can hurt your skin health.
The negative effects of stress include:
- Increased oil production: Cortisol can increase oil production in your skin and your face. This leads to clogged pores, increasing the occurrence of acne..
- Impaired skin barrier function: Your skin barrier can be impaired with higher levels of cortisol in your body. This makes you more vulnerable to sources of irritation, leading to outbreaks.
- Inflammation: Stress can trigger inflammation in your body, which worsens skin conditions such as eczema.
If you’re in a constant heightened state of stress, you may thus experience acne break-outs happening more frequently as well as flare-ups of any existing skin conditions you have.
Tips to Manage Stress for your skin
You can protect your skin health by learning effective ways to cope with stress. Coping productively with stress also helps to boost your mental health, so that you’ll continue to look great and feel great.
- Focus on your breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help to calm your mind and lower your stress levels. A simple breathing exercise you can do is the 4-7-8 method. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and breathe out slowly for 8 counts. Try repeating this a couple of times, until you feel better.
- Set aside time for self-care: Stress may be the result of busy schedules and neverending days. As much as possible, carve out some time every day for yourself to do something relaxing. It can be reading a book or going on a long walk. What’s key is to give yourself some time to unwind.
- Find an exercise you love: When you exercise, your body releases a chemical called endorphins, which can help to boost your mood. It’s much easier to get moving when you find an exercise you enjoy, so try out different types of fitness activities until you find something that clicks for you. Better yet, grab a friend to exercise with for double the fun.
- Prioritise quality sleep: On top of many other health benefits, sleep is essential in mood regulation and maintaining skin health. Ideally, you should get at least 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep every night. One way to improve your sleep quality is to have a consistent sleep routine, which includes sleeping and waking at the same time every day.
With good stress management techniques, you’ll boost your skin health and get that healthy, glowing complexion.
In addition to this, knowing your skin profile can also help with improving your skin health. Get a free skin report along with personalised recommendations on the Doctor Anywhere app, with the new My Skin Coach feature. All you need to do is download the DA app, answer a few questions about your lifestyle and take a selfie.
It may take a while for changes in your lifestyle or routine to have a positive improvement on your skin. Be patient and continue practising these good habits, your skin will thank you in the long run!