Work, family and numerous responsibilities result in high-stress modern lives. We know stress can surely affect our mentality, but it can also affect our skin by aggravating skin problems, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, hives, excessive sweating, hormones and oil excretion. It can be a terrible cycle, with stress causing skin problems and skin problems causing stress.
Your stressed emotions can have a powerful effect on your skin. In fact, a new field of medicine, called psychodermatology, has evolved that focuses on the correlations of the mind-skin connection.
Extended periods of stress and emotion take a major toll on the skin's ability to balance and function properly. With essential nutrients being drained during stressful periods, the skin is harmed from dehydration, fluid imbalance, and the lowered renewal of healthy skin cells, causing it to look dull and sagging. This nutrient deprivation puts the skin in a state of imbalance.
As skin breaks down under harsh stress, the skin's barrier function is disrupted. This barrier is the oily layer that seals in moisture and is a protective shield from the environment. Excessive dryness, being more prone to wrinkles, and being more susceptible to harmful substances develop due to the skin's barrier being compromised.
In other people, stress causes their body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which tells the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.
Although it is impossible to avoid stress completely, there are ways to handle it better. Here are a few tips that may help clear your mind and your skin.
- Don't neglect your skin. Continue your daily and organic skin care regime.
- Get regular exercise -- it's good for your body, mind and your skin.
- Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy -- even briefly each day.
- Practice stress management techniques, such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or visual imagery.
- Stay well-hydrated.
- Get regular sleep -- seven to eight hours each night is ideal.
- Talk to someone you trust, to share, vent, relieve and consol your mind and theirs.
For glowing and healthy skin, help yourself and lower your stress! Welcome to Natural Beauty!
WebMD, LLC: Effects of Stress on Your Skin
Ocean2view: Effects of Stress on Your Skin
Department of Health and Human Services: "Stress and Your Health"
American Academy of Family Physicians: "Psychodermatology: The Mind and Skin Connection" and "Stress and Skin"
Acne Resource Center: "Does Stress Cause Acne?"