It cannot be denied that most of us experience some degree of stress as part of our daily lives, and while we may practice wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation, it can still have a negative impact on our bodies. Stress can slowly begin to manifest itself onto our skin – turning our feelings of internal anxiety into physical, external symptoms. One of the most common places for stress to target is your skin, causing not only your face to feel sensitive, but it can also impact your self-confidence. Knowing how stress can affect your skin is the first step into treating and preventing the problem, so we have put a guide together to help you understand how stress can affect your skin, and how to manage it.

How Stress Can Effect Your Skin: A LasaDerm Guide

Stress refers to the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, so it is safe to say we have all felt stressed at one point in our lives. Common triggers of stress include work, relationships and money problems, but stress is very subjective and can be caused for a variety of other reasons too. Stress can be a powerful emotion which affects how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. Aside from impacting your skin, other signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. If you are feeling stressed, no matter the reason or how severe, it is always important to speak with a loved one, or seek advice from a professional. You can find out more about how to help others suffering from stress and guidance on what to do when feeling stressed on the NHS website.

Unfortunately, the physical symptoms of stress can make us feel even more stressed, so it is important to know how to deal with these symptoms effectively and give yourself the TLC you deserve. The most common skin and body symptoms due to stress include the following:

To help you manage and maintain beautiful skin, even after a stressful day at work, we also provide the following advice:

woman touching skin

Dry, Flaky Skin

Dry, flaky skin is a symptom of stress that can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant to look at as well as causing discomfort and sore patches. If your stress levels are quite high, it is likely that you are not drinking enough water, and potentially replacing it with coffee or fizzy drinks – both of which have negative effects on your body. If you continue to remain dehydrated, your skins natural moisture will slowly dry up and result in your skin looking flaky and lacklustre. With most of us having busy schedules, it can be easy to forget to drink the recommended amount of water, so Self have put together 22 helpful ways to ensure you drink more throughout the day.

If you find that your skin feels sensitive and looks dry, then professional dermatologists recommend the following to treat your dry skin:

  • Be conscious of how you bath/shower – When your skin is dry, you should limit your time in the shower or bath to 5-10 minutes. You should also us with warm water as opposed to hot water and wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Apply moisturiser immediately after washing – You should aim to moisturise your skin within a few minutes of drying off after a shower or bath and washing your face/hands.
  • Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion – Ointments tend to be more effective and less irritating than standard lotions. When looking for an ointment, try to find a product with ingredients such as jojoba oil, lactic acid, urea, glycerin, lanolin and mineral oil.
  • Add moisture to the air – This is easily done by purchasing a Humidifer

Woman using cream

Breakouts

A Stanford University study published in the Archives of Dermatology discovered that college students suffered from acne flare-ups during exam periods, where stress levels were higher than usual. As a result, they concluded that acne severity correlated highly with increasing stress.

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots to appear, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest and upper arms. Whiteheads, blackheads and cysts are all types of acne but can be easily treated with early intervention. Treatment depends on the severity and persistence of the acne itself, but there are many home remedies you can try to reduce its appearance. For example:

  • Healthy Diet – a healthy, well-balanced diet isn’t just excellent for your overall health and wellbeing, but it is argued that people who consume a diet which offers a significant amount of vitamin A and E benefit from a lower risk of severe acne.
  • Tea Tree Oil – a natural antiseptic extracted from the leaves of an indigenous Australian tree, is renowned for its ability to counteract the growth of Propionibacterium acnes. Tea tree oil also works as a moisturising solvent and can be used as a refreshing cleanser.
  • Face Masks – various forms of face masks that can be made with ingredients found in your kitchen cupboards, are also an effective solution for acne flair ups or acne scarring. For example, apple cider vinegar is well known for having the ability to provide anti-bacterial properties. Other types of face mask recipes and how they can help can be found on Healthline.

For more products and advice on acne treatments, take a look at Glamour Magazines helpful article! If these home remedies do not effectively reduce the appearance of your acne, you should consider professional acne and acne scarring treatments. Treatments include LED light therapy, microdermabrasion and hydrafacials, which are all safe and carried out by trained professionals so you can feel confident you are in safe hands.

spots on skin

Rashes & Hives

Both rashes and hives are caused by dysbiosis and result in an unpleasant looking, sometimes itchy, red mark on your skin. When touched, a tingling or burning sensation can occur, making it a very uncomfortable stress symptom to deal with. Stress has also been known to worsen existing skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, so it is crucial you know the best products to use to soothe your skin and minimise the appearance of any rashes.

Treatment for hives normally consists of prescribed medication or antihistamine tablets you can purchase from your local pharmacy. Alternatively, you could use antiseptic healing creams such as Sudocrem which will help soothe any dry skin and calm redness.

rash on skin

Wrinkles

As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, we cannot hide from the fact that chronic stress and exhaustion causes premature crow’s feet, frown lines and under-eye wrinkles. Wrinkles are generally a physical attribute of ageing and appear on our skin as creases, folds or ridges. Of course, none of us wants to look any older than what we are, so there is a vast selection of anti-ageing products available on the market to help us keep our youthful glow. You can find a selection of the best anti-ageing creams on the market by taking a look at Prevention’s article.

For those that have already seen wrinkles appear on their face, this can cause a drop in confidence and eventually, cause more stress. However, there are methods and treatments that can help to give you the pick me up that you deserve, making your face feel and look brighter than ever. For example, LasaDerm has been providing clients with dermal fillers in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers are injected into the face to soften out the skin and add volume. When completed by a professional, dermal fillers can look natural and elegant, giving you a much-needed boost in your confidence. If this is something you are interested in, then please feel free to contact the team to find out more, from here, you can book in a consultation for when lockdown measures have been reduced, and life returns to normal.

wrinkle on face

Hair Loss

When you feel stressed, your body goes into what is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response; this causes your body to produce more hormones to protect your body against any potential threats that your brain may anticipate. These changing hormone levels can affect patterns in hair growth, which can lead to both temporary and permanent hair loss. There are three main types of stress-related hair loss, which are known as:

  • Telogen effluvium – this form of hair loss often appears in patches and is known to be more of a shedding rather than a hair loss, so it is likely that as your stress levels decrease, the hair follicles will begin to grow again. Telogen effluvium hair loss can occur anywhere on your body, not just your head.
  • Alopecia areata – this is more of an autoimmune disease, whereby the immune system attacks the hair follicles. This disease can be triggered by stress, and when the hair eventually grows back, it can fall out again. While this form of hair loss can be a little more permanent in patches, there are medical options that can possibly help with hair regrowth.
  • Trichotillomania – unlike the other two hair loss types, trichotillomania is not the bodies reaction to stress, but in fact your own coping mechanism. Pulling of the hair can become a habit through nerves and anxiousness, and is commonly considered as an impulse control disorder. Depending on how long you have been pulling the hair, the hair follicle may, or may not grow back, making it a more permanent side-effect of stress.

Hair loss can impact your confidence significantly, making you feel more stressed and embarrassed with your appearance. However, there are various solutions to hair loss, such as having hair extensions or hair loss integration systems fitted by professionals such as Lacy Locks, or seeking advice from LasaDerm about our hair loss treatment in Buckingham and the surrounding areas.

Effective Skincare Routines

If stress begins to impact your skin in any way, it’s crucial to have a skincare routine that works for you. Our skin is so important and constantly needs attention, which is why many people have two skincare routines: one for the day and one for the night. A daytime regimen could include any of the following:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Antioxidant serum
  • Eye cream
  • Spot treatment
  • Moisturiser
  • Sun cream

You do not have to use all of these products, but as a rough guide, you should consider using some of them before you start your day. In terms of a nighttime routine, you should use the same products, but you can also add in a hydrating face mask or night cream.

If you don’t currently have a skincare routine and want inspiration, then we recommend watching the video below posted by Kylie Jenner, where she tells you her routine step by step and what products she uses.

Ways To Deal With Stress

The best way to prevent stress from damaging your skin is to target the stress itself. Many people believe activities such as meditation and yoga are extremely helpful at combating your stress levels. The calming nature of both activities gives you the chance to reflect, relax and most importantly give yourself some ‘me time.’ Facials are also a great way to pamper yourself and take you away from the everyday stress of work and family life, such as our beloved GeneO+ facial.

Another brilliant stress reliever is exercise. We all know the physical benefits of exercise, but it also has an extremely positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Exercise increases the production of endorphins; these are essentially your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, which trigger a positive feeling in your body. By lifting your mood, exercise can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety while also improving your sleeping pattern, which is often disrupted by stress.

There is also a wide variety of apps you can download onto your smartphone that aim to reduce stress levels; you can find a range of these on Very Well Mind.

woman doing yoga

Combating Stress A Treatment At A Time

Stress is, unfortunately, an inevitable and unavoidable part of life, especially when the unexpected happens such as the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean that we should let it get the best of us or allow it to attack our skin. With the right products, stress relief methods and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress levels and look flawless while doing it.

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