It’s impossible to avoid everything that can be a skin stressor. Blemishes, lines and wrinkles are normal. There is no reason to be anti-aging, but that doesn’t mean we can’t age gracefully. The most common skin stressors might surprise you, but by being aware of them, might help you maintain that youthful glow a little while longer.
We all deal with signs of aging, even as young as 21 our bodies will start to change. Being comfortable with these changes is important and knowing what your biggest skin stressors are can help to protect against them. Understanding and taking active steps to destress our skin will help us slow those signs of aging and even save us money!
How Does Stress Affect Skin?
Stress affects the body in many different ways. It can attack us mentally, physically and emotionally. Often times stress can lead us to act out in ways that don’t truly represent who we are. Stress can even be shown on our skin as if we are wearing a graphic t-shirt that says “I’m stressed”.
Stress affects the skin because our sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increase oil production in the skin glands which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Additionally, too much stress can affect the way we sleep, which can leave our skin looking dull, puffy or saggy.
Making Problems Worse
Due to stress hormones, if you are an individual that already suffers from acne, you might find that your acne breakouts are much worse at times of stress. Furthermore, stress can lead to obsessive or impulsive behavior which can lead to picking. Picking at acne can result in scars and even more breakouts!
Interferes With Daily Skin Scare
At times of stress we may sleep too much or too little. This can impact our daily routines and skin care regimes. It is important to stay on a schedule and keep your skin care routine as consistent as possible.
3 ways To Ease Stress On Your Skin
Now that we know what stress does to our skin, it’s important to recognize some easy and free ways to combat it. Do your part so that whatever your skin stressors are, they wont take over and leave you in rough shape.
Exercising is a great way to improve your overall health, especially with your skin. When we exercise we release endorphins which help to buffer the effects of stress. They can reduce the amount of cortisol being released and increase blood flow. This can help make the skin look taught and full of oxygen which is important for healthy looking skin.
Additionally, sweating is great for skin. All the blood circulation and heat exertion can leave our skin glistening and healthy. Sweating helps remove toxins and allows for more nutrients to nourish the skin.
2. Breathing & Yoga
Breathing and yoga is an excellent way to destress and connect with your body. It helps aid in blood flow and oxygen circulation which helps get rid of waste. Breathing exercises can help brighten up your skin and improve the health of your skin cells. Additionally, it helps to lower the release of cortisol hormones which can cause mayhem on our skin.
3. Plenty Of Rest
Our skin makes new collagen when we sleep that helps to prevent sagging. Sleep not only helps are body reenergize but also our skin too. More collagen means plumper skin that is less likely to wrinkle. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep can lead to fine lines, puffiness, wrinkles and sagging.
Most Common Skin Stressors
Some of the most common skin stressors might affect you more than someone else. However, they all do their part to wear down our skin and age us faster than necessary. Here are the most common skin stressors and how you can combat them for healthy, younger looking skin.
Neglecting to stay hydrated can cause many different health issues. However, you’ll be able to visibly see these problems on your skin. Our bodies need water to function properly and our skin is no exception. Dehydrated skin appears dull, uneven, patchy, flaky and lines will become more prominent. Too much dehydration will cause creases and wrinkles before they would appear naturally. In addition to wrinkles, dehydration wears down the skin barrier which is our defense against environmental particles and toxic substances.
When we stay hydrated our skin is plump and the protective layer is much less absorbent which helps it stay clear and safe from harmful toxins. Drink plenty of water, at least 3 Liters every day and more if you are exercising. Additionally, you can also drink herbal teas and hydrating foods like cucumber, watermelon, leafy greens and other fruits or veggies. Take it even further by adding electrolytes to your water. This replenishes minerals and helps our body hang onto the water before expelling it as waste.
This one is pretty obvious, but the sun is a huge skin stressor. A little sun goes a long way, as Vitamin D is very important for a healthy body. However, many skin products can make us much more sensitive to the suns rays. For example, retinol, AHAs, Vitamin A and C are all good for our skin but can cause a lot of harm if we aren’t taking care of our skin properly when out in the sun. The sun causes wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, dark spots and even cancer.
It is important to wear sunscreen that has a high SPF and to cover vulnerable areas with clothing or hats. If you love to layout in the sun, wear a nice sun hat or add some shade. Reapplying sunscreen can be a task, so we recommend using a zinc or serum-based sunscreen in the morning, then using a mist or powder to reapply throughout the day.
Fragrances are often very common irritants and can cause many different issues. For example, fragrances, even if they are organic can cause eczema, dermatitis, photosensitivity and burns. Essential oils have many benefits but when they aren’t diluted properly, they can be volatile. It is recommended you do not use any essential oil on your skin directly.
Synthetic fragrances are much worse and contain a whole bunch of toxic ingredients. Even in small quantities, these chemicals are dangerous. When we use products with fragrance every day, we negatively affect our skin barrier. This can cause irritation or even hormonal imbalances which can all appear on the skin.
Comedogenic means that it will clog pores and can lead to acne breakouts. Comedones are another name for pimples and products that don’t say non-comedogenic are often pore-clogging and break out inducing. Some common comedogenic ingredients are sodium laureth sulfate, isopropyl isostearate, lanolin, soybean oil and coconut oil.
Junk food is another obvious skin stressor. It doesn’t just affect our skin but our entire bodies as well. We all love sweets and fried food once in a while and sometimes we deserve it! However, diets that consist of junk food, fried foods and sugars accelerate the signs of aging, trigger inflammation and acne. Additionally, junk food contains large amounts of sugars, saturated fats and trans fats, all of which can spike blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Junk food contributes to oily skin, acne, wrinkles, clogged or enlarged pores and they also dehydrate you. So, eat the cookie or burger, just don’t binge or do it every day!
Exfoliating has huge benefits and can help us achieve soft, glowing skin. Unfortunately, the flip side of this, is to not take your exfoliating too far. We should only exfoliate once or twice a week, depending on how strong the product is.
Our skin barrier is composed of a layer of dead cells and bacteria. This thin layer of cells and bacteria is crucial for our skin’s protection and clarity. Exfoliating removes these layers and although it rebuilds quickly, doing it too much can destroy these vital layers of our skins natural protection.
The layer of bacteria doesn’t actually cause acne but fights the acne-causing bacteria. It also holds moisture and create a shield against environmental irritants like dirt or pollution. We have to keep our skin balanced, rather than stripped because we will see more breakouts, inflammation and irritation.
What To do if These aren’t Your skin Stressors?
Our skin stressors might be worse than those of our friends, but all these common stressors impact us on a personal level. It is important to protect ourselves from the sun, stay hydrated, don’t over exfoliate and have a good diet. However, what if your problem with acne or inflammation is chronic and none of these common skin stressors are your issue? It may be time to seek professional help from dermatologist. Even getting your hormones and blood tested can help you find the answers you’re looking for.Stay Connected