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Stress and Skincare – How They are Connected

We all know that stress can affect your body and mind, but what about your skin?

As it turns out, when you’re feeling stressed, it’s possible for your skin to show it. Multiple sources and studies highlight the link between stress and skin problems, including how stress can worsen certain conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. 

Before you start feeling stressed about stress itself – and potentially wreak more havoc on your skin – you should know a couple of things. With the right products and a few practical skincare tips, you can minimize the effects of stress on the skin and keep your complexion looking as balanced and worry-free as possible.

How Does Stress Affect Your Skin?

Scientists are calling it the “brain-skin connection,” pointing out that the complex relationship between skin health and stress has been something that humans have documented for centuries. 

Anytime you are under mental, emotional, or physical pressure, psychological stress kicks in. Your brain perceives this emotion, triggering the release of stress hormones that activate a wide variety of physiological changes. Basically, your brain is interpreting the psychological stress as a “red flag,” so it kicks your systems into high gear to help you deal with whatever challenge you’re facing.

Biologically speaking, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing – because, in terms of survival, there are times when stress is essential to keeping us safe, healthy, and alive, however, if you’re regularly experiencing excessive stress, that puts your body in a constant state of stress response. 

As your body’s largest organ, your skin immediately perceives and responds to stress. So, it’s not surprising that you can literally see stress showing up on your skin.

Skin Conditions Related to Stress

There are a handful of skin conditions that stress makes worse, including several that fall within the category of inflammatory issues:

Once you understand that stress activates cortisol and other biological components, which then set off multiple immune responses in the skin, it’s easier to see why stress and skin health are so connected.

Stress and Aging Skin

Even if you aren’t dealing with breakouts, dermatitis, or other stress-related skin conditions, that doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being affected. 

Stress can disrupt your skin’s epidermal barrier, which is the top layer that helps your skin retain moisture and block environmental stressors (like bacteria). It can also slow down the natural processes that help your skin repair and heal itself. 

All of this translates to less hydrated skin, more easily irritated, and more prone to wrinkles. So, if your goal is fresh, glowing, and youthful skin, stress can be a major obstacle.

What is Anti-Stress Skincare?

You might be thinking that, even though you now know that stress impacts your skin, that only adds to your stress – because living a completely stress-free life isn’t possible for most of us. Instead, it is key to learn how to help stressed skin and find ways to hydrate, calm, and soothe it.

Sometimes referred to as “anti-stress skincare,” the practice of supporting your stressed-out skin can make a big difference in its appearance and overall health. Anti-stress skincare products list ingredients like ceramides, oils, antioxidants/adaptogens, and niacinamide. 

There are several products on the market that can provide added support for stress, such as Stress Adaptogen by Nutrafol. This product contains three adaptogens that help the body adapt to and balance incoming stress, and is available for purchase at Affiliated Dermatology.

Your top priorities for treating stressed skin should be:

  • Hydration and moisture retention 
  • Nourishment
  • Soothing
  • De-puffing
  • Minimizing irritation/inflammation
  • Treating breakouts if needed

By supporting your skin’s natural protective barrier, you can help it fight back against the visible signs of stress more effectively.

Get Your Stressed Skin Back on Track with Help from Affiliated Dermatology

Turning to a professional is the best way to resolve stress-related skin concerns for so many people. At Affiliated Dermatology, we can devise a tailored treatment plan that addresses your specific challenges and issues. Using products, in-office treatments, and other methods suited to your goals, our dermatology professionals will help you get your skin back to a place of zen.

Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our Valley-wide dermatology offices today!

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