By Jessica Teves
Stress may not always be caused by a life-changing event like a wedding or a new job (or pandemic), but can be simply caused by little things that go unnoticed. While we may not be aware of these events building in our body, the body does not overlook these subtleties. Over time, stress can have a big impact on your skin. Stress and worry, whether you’re aware of it or not, trigger the body to react in a fight or flight mode (or sympathetic response). While this may be useful when experiencing real danger or for those that work best under pressure, the burst of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones released during times of stress can have a negative impact on the skin, causing facial stress.
While the body is experiencing stress, there is an increase in levels of cortisol that suppress the immune system and redirect essential vitamins and minerals, prioritizing vital bodily functions while giving less attention to the needs of the skin. This erratic disruption of hormones can be interpreted as inflammation by the body. This facial stress will often cause flare-ups in skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis causing further skin inflammation.
Other signs that become apparent on the skin during times of stress and fatigue include a dull complexion, dehydration and overstimulated sebaceous glands that may lead to unexpected breakouts. Over time, chronic stress and consistently elevated levels of cortisol cause the body to maintain a catabolic process in which the body breaks down cells and stops repairing tissue. This decreases the production of collagen and elastin, which ultimately leads to skin tension lines and wrinkles.
Our skin is often an indicator of what we are experiencing internally. When your skin is stressed, it is best to use gentle products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to restore the skin’s hydration and barrier function. You can also use mild exfoliators like the Sanitas Gentle Refining Mask or the CosRx Green Hero Calming Pads to help prevent congestion. As always, the most important thing is to wear SPF daily to prevent further irritation from the sun.
When it comes to stress, though, products are not the only solution. Taking time out for yourself is the key. Find what helps you go into a restful, parasympathetic mode. Breathe deeply. When stressed, we often tend to take more shallow breaths, depriving the skin of much-needed oxygen and increasing our anxiety.
Redirect your focus to things you’re able to control that don’t involve picking at your skin so that any skin inflammation or conditions do not continue to worsen. Instead, treat yourself to the Sensitive Skin Facial at Silver Mirror: the best facial experience to unwind from a busy day. It mainly focuses on soothing and restoring moisture loss. You can also add a targeted enhancement ‘Just the Eyes’ that will give instant improvement with the use of Purelift device. For a home self-care treat, you can also give yourself a light pressure massage with a hydrating and antioxidant-rich Revision DEJ eye cream reducing the most visible signs of fatigue, eliminating puffiness, dark circles, and fine tension lines around the eye area to help relieve your facial stress. If you feel yourself getting stressed out about stress, take a moment to acknowledge it and intentionally relax and reset. Even if it’s only for a few minutes!