Why stress is damaging to your skin

Skin Fact: Your skin is largely affected by stress. Stress plays a major part in the health of our skin. When our bodies are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released. This has a variety of effects on our bodies which includes accumulating fat, as well as makes your skin very dry, oily, wrinkled, or full of acne. In today's

Skin Fact: Your skin is largely affected by stress.

Stress plays a major part in the health of our skin. When our bodies are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released. This has a variety of effects on our bodies which includes accumulating fat, as well as makes your skin very dry, oily, wrinkled, or full of acne.

In today’s digital world, it seems that we’ve forgotten how to disconnect from work and social stressors. Performance pressures are everywhere. The flip side of all these so-called tools for efficiency is that we constantly push ourselves to the limits, where we have trained our bodies to ignore the need for personal time. In fact, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association notes that “chronic stress is becoming a public health crisis.”

Chronic stress can negatively impact you in a lot of ways. For one, it is one of the major reasons of many skin problems.

So what happens to the skin when it’s subjected to constant stress?

  1. Wrinkling. When the body is stressed and releases Cortisol, blood sugar levels plummet. This triggers a process called Glycation, an after-effect of stress that hardens and damages collagen increasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Dry skin. This has to do with Cortisol release as well. In this case, Cortisol affects the skin’s production of hyaluronic acid, the skin’s natural moisturizer. Stress also wreaks havoc on the skin’s protective qualities that help it keep hydration levels up. Once these elements are compromised, the skin becomes damaged and dry as an effect of stress.
  3. Skin complexion. When stressed, our bodies also produce adrenaline. This can be helpful if you’re out in the woods running from a predator. But, in daily life, it only can hurt. An adrenaline rush decreases the blood flow to the skin, thus taking essential nutrients (most importantly, oxygen) away from the skin. This allows toxins to build up, and lead to skin problems.

Knowing how stress affects us is important because now we can try to prevent it. Leading a stress-free life is not easy but try some of these tips to reduce your stress level:

  • Yoga – Spend some time alone and reflect on your day.
  • Adequate sleep- This plays a big part in limiting cortisol and allows your skin to repair what has been damaged during the day.
  • Exercise- Boosting circulation and blood flow to the skin results in a radiant complexion.
  • Stay positive – Smile and laugh out loud! It will release endorphins, also known as the “happy chemicals.”

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