Does your face seem stressed out? Before you say “no” or roll your eyes because that doesn’t make any sense, consider this – stress has the ability to make your skin produce more oil, cause blood vessels to open up and release hormones that attack collagen. That’s right – stress can make your skin oily, zitty, red and may even cause wrinkles.
If you are suffering from any of these skin woes, there could be many contributing factors, but stress might be a key player. Tackling this beast might be the only thing you need to do to get the flawless skin you’ve always wanted. Plus – reducing stress never hurt anyone!
De-stress to de-zit
Everyone knows excess oil can make you break out, but you might not have known that stress can make your skin more oily. When you are stressed, your brain sends messages to your adrenal gland, which then in turn boosts the skin’s oil production.
When the oil mixes with bacteria on your skin, you have a perfect recipe for pimples. While you can wash your face more during this time to reduce the bacteria, it’s better to get straight to the source and quell the stress. Exercising is a good way to counteract this overactivity of the adrenal gland because of the endorphins released – those lovely hormones that improve your mood.
Rid of stress for no redness
Have you ever noticed how your skin gets red when you have a deadline coming up or something else is stressing you out? Stress can actually cause tiny blood vessels on your face to open, making you look like you’re blushing.
When this happens to you, it won’t help to add another layer of foundation. Instead, take a few deep breaths. This will calm your nervous system and prevent the blood vessels from opening. If this happens to you frequently, you can get long-term calmness from yoga or meditation.
Plus, stress can make rosacea or psoriasis flare up, because it makes your skin more sensitive and reactive.
Aging is stressful – really, though!
Okay, saying you age from stress is kind of misleading. One stressful day at work is not going to cause your hair to turn gray or your skin to wrinkle. But, long-term stress can actually have a detrimental effect on your skin.
You can thank cortisol, the hormone your body produces under stress, for this lovely side effect. When you are stressed out, your body releases this hormone, which attacks collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin firm and wrinkle free). The more stress you’re under, the less firm your skin will get, making it easier and easier for wrinkles to form.
While you can certainly combat this with a wrinkle cream designed to boost collagen production, it might be even better to lower stress and neutralize the cortisol. One of the best ways is to get more sleep. You might be aware that when you sleep, your body releases a hormone called melatonin. Fun fact: melatonin offsets cortisol, so getting more ZZZ’s can make a huge difference. Plus, being well-rested is an obvious bonus to your mood and productivity, so you might have less to be stressed about, anyway.
Aside from all of these physiological aspects of stressed out skin, when you’re stressed out or tied up in other things, you are probably not taking the time to care for your skin. You might hit the hay without washing your face, or maybe you’re not moisturizing. Whatever it is, taking the time to relax and destress can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin.