With tax season upon us I can't help but be reminded of stress and how it impacts the systems of the body and our skin. Hey, stress happens to us all, but since we can't avoid our jobs, bills, taxes, or life, the best thing to do is learn to manage the stress.
Here are a few stressful skin facts and a few
stress FREE remedies to keep in mind this Spring.
When a person is stressed, cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, increases. This causes skin to produce more oil.
Stress also causes dehydration, or lack of water in he skin. When your heart rate and breathing rate are increased, you lose more fluid. Being dehydrated further raises cortisol levels.This starts a chain reaction, where skin's barrier function is compromised, leading to more dehydration, increased cortisol and so on.
Dehydration also prevents the enzymes in the skin from doing their job of naturally exfoliating skin. The condition that results is called excess keratinization. The combination of excessively oily skin and excess keratinization causes acne.
Wrinkles and sagging
Extra cortisol depletes B and C vitamin stores. Vitamin C is required for collagen formation and B vitamins support cellular oxygenation and circulation. These are prime factors in wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
Stress makes it more difficult for skin to protect itself and heal because it reduces the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss and an inability to repair damage after injury.
Stress increases blood flow, which over the long term, leads to rosacea, because the capillaries are inflamed and can be further exacerbated by oiliness or dehydration or both.
Keeping our largest organ in shape is critical to maintaining overall health. This is one of the reasons why Oleander facials include lots of massage and are generally an hour long. Identifying stress and addressing it is part of my job. Since I can't see you all the time, stress management is your job as well - not just for your skin, but for your overall health and well-being.
Sleep plays a big part in limiting cortisol. During sleep, our skin repairs what has been damaged during the day. A lack of sleep puts stress on skin, so making sure you have at least 7 hours of sleep is a must for healthy, stress-free skin.
Physical activity boosts circulation, which battles the effects that adrenaline can have on the skin. In other words, physical activity helps your complexion, and, when there is more blood flow to the skin, there are also fewer toxins, and thus less cellulite, and more alive, healthy, radiant-looking skin.
Taking the Time to Relax
It's time to chill. If you take the time once in a while to slow down, take some breaks, relax, and try to take things not too seriously, you will be not as stressed. I love to make a cup of tea, drop some peppermint and lavender essential oils into a bath and apply my favorite IMAGE Skincare masque. Meditation, deep breathing, and quiet alone time can be just the thing to eliminate stress, and the effects that stress has on the skin.