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March 6 2024 Studio 16

Beauty and Your Health Part 2: How Stress Can Affect Your Skin

This is Part II of a Series on "Beauty and Your Health", see Part I: "How Stress Can Affect Your Hair & Scalp" here.

“Just relax. Don’t stress so much.”

…Easier said than done. 

Stress—both good and bad—is a normal part of our lives. We may feel the effects of stress throughout our body if our to-do list is long, if we’re tired because we were up half the night tossing and turning, or even when planning something exciting like a wedding or vacation.

But we can also feel stress if we’re worried about big things like our jobs, our relationships, our health, and our families. And sometimes we might even feel stressed about how much stress we have. It can be a vicious cycle. 

Whether by blushing, flushing, turning white, or breaking out into a cold sweat, you’ve probably experienced the direct connection that exists between your emotions and your skin. 

Stress can affect your body in all kinds of ways, and your skin is no exception. Since your skin is your largest organ, it only makes sense that stress can impact the look, feel, and health of your complexion.

What Does Stress Do to Your Skin?

Before we dive into what stress can do, let’s talk about the two different types of stress:

  • Acute stress is a quick surge of stress we feel from time to time under certain circumstances. 
  • Chronic stress is ongoing, constant, and long-lasting.

Any stress isn’t great, but it’s the chronic stress that will get you. Too much stress for too long delivers a constant injection of adrenaline and cortisol into your system, which can start to affect your health and well-being—and your skin.

230307-1One of the most common effects of stress on your skin is breakouts. Those dreaded stress-related breakouts you get? They’re absolutely a real thing. While stress doesn’t cause acne directly, the release of cortisol can sometimes trigger an overproduction of oil in your skin, leaving you with telltale blemishes across your face and body.

Prolonged periods of stress can also show up on your skin in other ways. You may start to notice more fine lines and wrinkles pop up, especially around your forehead. Or, you may also notice pronounced dark circles under your eyes, especially if you struggle with sleep or aren’t drinking enough water. 

Also, stress can have a greater impact on people who are predisposed to skin conditions like:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Alopecia
  • Rosacea
  • Vitiligo

In short? Stress can truly take its toll on your skin.

Skin TLC: Taking Care of Your Skin

Letting stress melt away? We wish it was as easy as just telling you to stop stressing out. That just by taking a single deep breath or commanding yourself to not feel stressed anymore, you could breathe a sigh of relief or even improve your stress-impacted skin. 

Unfortunately, stress is going to creep into our lives occasionally for one reason or another. And while we can’t make it go away just by wishing it, we can learn to ease the feeling and the effects of it.

When your stress starts to show on your face, here are some things you can do to make sure you aren’t adding the need for more concealer to the list of things stressing you out.

1. Don’t Skip the Skincare Routine

We get it. When you’re under stress, your first instinct is always to simplify and take things off your plate. Your skincare routine can never be off your plate, though. Just keep it simple when times are tough: a gentle facial cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Also, utilize cold water and a soft towel when washing your face. This can help preserve the natural oils in your skin.

2. Watch What You Eat

230307-2What we put in our body shows on our body in a variety of ways. While stress may have you reaching for the wine and chocolate, it’s best to stick with lean proteins, fruits, and veggies. 

3. Keep Hydrated

Speaking of what you put in your body, make sure part of that is water. Water will help flush out the toxins in your body and leave your skin better hydrated. Skip the cocktails and choose water or natural juices instead. Alcohol can dry out your skin and the antioxidants present in fruit and vegetable juices can regenerate and protect your skin.

4. Find Ways to Manage Your Stress

Instead of treating the symptoms, try to treat the root cause. Try practicing meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness techniques. Treat yourself to a professional massage for an hour. Find ways to manage the pressures of life by being good to yourself. Find some time to exercise as well. This will help properly oxygenate your skin and give you a healthy outlet for stress relief.

​5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

230307-3There’s not much that can’t be improved by drinking water and getting enough sleep. If stress makes your skin look unwell, not getting adequate sleep on top of that might make people throw around words like “haggard.” How much should you be shooting for? The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults get a minimum of seven hours a night. 

6. Leave it to the Professionals

Take some time to pamper yourself at Studio 16 and enjoy the variety of skin services we provide. Our services include top-quality Aveda products and stress-relieving rituals that will leave you feeling refreshed and calm.

You don’t have to let your stress show on your face. Schedule a consultation today to discuss how we can help soothe your skin, whether oily, dry, or somewhere in between, and let us help wipe the stress off your face. 

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