Exploring The Stress And Skin Connection
All feelings are fluid, felt in ebbs and flows. Occasional fluctuations of anxiety and stress are normal, and part of daily life. But when left unchecked, stress can set the standard for the coming year, impacting your body, mind and, of course, skin. When made peace with, it can be managed. There are many ways to manage stress. Think of regular self-care rituals, nurturing friendships, conscious living, tools to get organized, movement: they can all help to cultivate peace of mind. Yet, when things inevitably all get too much, as they can from time to time, our bodies, minds and skin pay the price. Today we’ll explore the link between stress and skin, how and why it causes reactivity, triggers preexisting conditions and realistic ways to dial down your unease for a fresh start this new year.
The science behind your stressed skin
Why is it that during periods of anxiety, our skin suffers? What’s going on inside that triggers perhaps this visual representation of what we feel within? It all starts with the alert of skin mast cells. These tissues are part of the immune system and release hormones and an inflammatory response during times of perceived stress. This then leads to a series of reactivity in the form of stress breakouts, stress-induced psoriasis and other long-term conditions, just to name a few.
“It all starts with the alert of skin mast cells. These tissues are part of the immune system and release hormones and an inflammatory response during times of perceived stress.”
You’re likely familiar with cortisol, aka the stress hormone, which is usually to blame for those acne flare-ups during times of worry. It can disturb the balance of your natural sebum production, increasing oil levels and, in turn, spots. Cortisol also causes greater inflammation in the skin, worsening preexisting conditions like rosacea, psoriasis and dermatitis. Prolonged stress affects your body as a whole, weakening the immune system and making your skin more prone to sensitivity and irritation.
It all becomes a vicious cycle. While stress can never be eliminated, it's critical to look after your mind, body and soul to calm these bodily responses. More than ever, we're convinced that the right skincare routine is a crucial part of the puzzle when it comes to achieving healthy skin. But the road to finally reaching calm, healthy and glowy skin is related to so many aspects, and starts by checking in with your mind and body. Soothe stress first.
Common struggles of a face in distress
- Acne and breakouts, perhaps an increase in painful, cystic hormonal spots
- Worsening of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis
- Dryness and dehydration
- Redness, irritation and sensitivity
- Dullness and lack of glow
- Texture changes and slower healing
“The road to finally reaching calm, healthy and glowy skin is related to so many aspects, and starts by checking in with your mind and body. ”
Realistic ways to soothe your stress and skin
Get your body moving
You've heard this before: exercise really will make you feel better. While it might feel like a slog to get your body moving at first, once those endorphins start kicking in, we promise you’ll feel the stress melting away. Think about it - have you ever regretted a workout, or felt worse than when you started?
Meet your body where it’s at each day. If you’re not a natural runner or keen on intensive HIIT classes, a simple walk in nature for an hour (or whatever you can spare) each day does wonders for the body and mind. Walks allow for a lot of reflection, meditation and creative inspiration - give them a try!
A daily allowance for rest and self-care - whatever that looks like for you
Self-care is highly individual. It can take some time to tune into what truly helps you rest and restore. Rest, for example, is commonly denoted as sleep, whereas it could also be curling up on the sofa with a book or spending the day experimenting with a new bread recipe. Lean into whatever quiets your mind and lets your shoulders drop a little. While skincare can’t eliminate your stress struggles, a regular, tailored regimen can certainly soothe its symptoms and isolate time to unwind with a calming ritual. When treating stressed-out skin, it’s important to stick to a minimalist routine that nourishes without overwhelming. Our entire range has been created with reactive skin in mind, formulated to comfort and support, using the gentle power of natural rosehip during times of high stress.
“A regular, tailored skincare regimen can certainly soothe stress symptoms and isolate time to unwind with a calming ritual.”
The Stressed Skin Edit
The Double Cleansing Ritual
The Balancing Facial Cream
The Rosehip Oil Serum