Tips To Reduce Stress & Take Care of Your Skin
Unfortunately stress is an inevitable part of life, and its impact can be experienced in many different ways. Stress can affect your health both physically and mentally, and predominantly so when it is experienced severely or chronically. One of the most visible effects can often be on your skin. When stress and anxiety levels are high, your skin can become more sensitive, reactive, and prone to various skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema. Not to mention, stress can further deplete your body’s collagen levels which can contribute to premature ageing of the skin.
In honour of Stress Awareness Month, we will explore the effects of stress on your skin and provide some tips to help.
What Are The Effects of Stress on Skin?
The relationship between stress and skin health is a well-researched one, but what exactly are the common effects?
Stress triggers the ‘fight-or flight’ response, which causes your body to release certain hormones such as cortisol and androgens. These hormones increase your skin’s oil production, leading to excess sebum and acne breakouts.
Stress can accelerate your skin’s ageing process by causing oxidative damage and inhibiting collagen production. Fine lines may appear and your skin may become dehydrated and dull.
Stress is one of the leading causes of rosacea flare-ups for individuals who already have the condition. In a survey of more than 700 rosacea patients, 91% reported that emotional stress caused (or sometimes caused) their rosacea to worsen.
When released in large amounts, cortisol suppresses the immune system and increases inflammation. This is why stress can often cause or worsen inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Stress can sometimes cause hives on the face or body, which are raised, itchy bumps on the skin. This is because when your stress levels are high, your body sends a message to its immune cells, telling them to release powerful chemicals - notably, histamine. Histamine triggers inflammation and the itchiness associated with hives.
How to reduce stress in 5 simple steps:
1) Eat well
Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and intake the optimal levels of nutrients your body needs. Supplementing some essential vitamins can be beneficial if necessary.
2) Exercise regularly
Physical activity is great for stress and overall well-being due to the way it helps your body release feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
3) Reduce caffeine intake
When already stressed, or susceptible to stress, it is advised to avoid caffeine as it stimulates your central nervous system. Caffeine triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline, which can often make you feel more stressed and anxious.
4) Practise relaxation techniques
Deep breathing, yoga and meditation are great ways to help manage or reduce stress. By breathing slower and more deeply, you signal your nervous system to calm down. It has also been proven that spending time in nature is a highly effective relaxation technique that can help to reduce stress.
5) Get enough sleep
Aim for around 8 hours of sleep each night. A lack of good sleep can increase stress levels and cause skin to look dull and tired. (They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!)
Skin Care Tips to Help
1) Cleanse Your Skin Daily
It’s important to properly cleanse your skin twice a day to remove dirt, oil, and makeup that can clog pores and contribute to breakouts. Avoid using hot water when you cleanse - warm water is best.
2) Check Your Products
It’s important to remember, not all skincare products are suitable for all skin types. Choose products that are formulated for your skin type (oily, dry, sensitive, etc.) and avoid using products that contain ingredients that irritate your skin. If you have noticed your skin conditions worsening after use of a specific product, stop using it and have a clear out of any similar products. Now is also a great time to clean your skincare tools such as makeup brushes to prevent bacteria being passed onto your skin. Soak them in water with a mild shampoo.
Use a moisturiser that is appropriate for your skin type to help maintain hydration levels. It is especially important to moisturise if you have dry or sensitive skin. Apply to your face and neck every morning and evening.
4) Avoid Harsh Products
When you are experiencing a flare up, stick to gentle products and avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, or alcohol, as they can irritate the skin further.
Drink plenty of water each day to help maintain hydration levels and nourish the skin from within.
6) Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a major component of your skin. It plays a vital role in strengthening your skin and optimising its elasticity and hydration. If your skin has been losing vibrancy lately, it may be due to stress. Stress triggers collagen loss and can lead to slower collagen production over time. If your goal is healthy, firm, glowing skin, then keeping healthy collagen levels is vital —and supplements are the most effective way to do that.
Here at LQ we have a range of premium high-dose marine collagen blends, perfectly formulated with additional vitamins and nutrients to give you and your skin a long-lasting boost. (Marine collagen can also help with stress-related hair loss.)
7) Vitamin C
Containing an impressive 10,000mg of high quality marine collagen, our LQ Skin, Hair & Nails supplements also provide Vitamin C. Not only is this good for supporting your immune system (which can be impacted by stress), but is also great for your skin. Vitamin C contains powerful anti-ageing properties that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
We are extremely passionate about collagen and all the incredible benefits it can have on your body, inside and out. Visit LQ to shop a range of great tasting, high quality collagen supplements designed to help you age confidently and freely.
Please do note that if you are experiencing high levels of stress, or are struggling with your mental health as a whole, please consider reaching out for professional help.