You may notice that your skin breaks out right before an important event. Or that your skin looks sallow when you’re anxious.
Both mental and physical stress can have negative effects on the skin
It’s been shown that stress (both emotional and physical) causes a chemical response in the body that leads to increased skin sensitivity.
Stress triggers the production of cortisol (known as the “stress hormone”). Cortisol and other hormones can cause your sebaceous glands to produce more oil – leading to breakouts, acne flare-ups, and even oily hair.
In addition to causing skin problems, stress can exacerbate existing problems. Psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea can all be aggravated due to stress. Rashes, hives, and fever blisters are also often associated with stress. Sadly, these skin conditions can be the cause of embarrassment and stress – leading to a vicious cycle where the stress of the condition can actually worsen the condition, which then increases stress, etc.
Stress can affect your ability to care for your skin properly
The body’s response to stress is just one factor in how stress can affect your skin. When you’re in a stressful situation – especially something that causes you to be stressed for a long period of time – you may not care for your skin as well as you would otherwise. It may be time constraints, or poor eating or drinking habits – but if you’re not taking proper care of yourself, it’s likely to show on your skin.
How can you reduce the effects of stress on your skin?
Reducing the amount of stress in your life is, of course, one of the best things you can do for your skin, as well as for your overall health. But eliminating stress is almost impossible, so there are some things you can do to diminish its effect on your skin.
- Practice stress reduction techniques. Breathing exercises, meditation, or even positive visualization can have a positive effect on your stress level.
- Adequate sleep is a must. Many times, stress is accompanied by sleep deprivation. While it may seem impossible to sleep when you’re stressed, a lack of sleep can exacerbate the problem. See a doctor if necessary to get the tools you need for adequate sleep. It’s so important for your skin and your overall health.
- Physical activity can have a positive impact. Dance around to your favorite song, go to the gym, or just take a walk around the block. Even just a short burst of exercise can go a long way to reducing stress.
- Take time for yourself. This may seem an impossible task, but it’s so important. Do something for yourself – even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Take a bath, read a magazine, listen to some music you enjoy – just do something you love. One of our favorite recommendations for reducing stress is to pamper yourself with a Bel Mondo mask. Not only are Bel Mondo masks soothing, but they contain healing skin care ingredients that address many of your skin care concerns.