Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Stress can impact many aspects of health, including our skin. When the mind decides something is stressful, the sympathetic nervous system engages.
Our senses go on alert, heartbeat increases, and the liver responds by producing glucose, which boosts energy. The energy opposes the speed of the digestive and immune systems to provide more energy proportions to the muscles. When the perceived threat of stress doesn’t go away, free radicals, atoms with unpaired electrons that multiply by taking over healthy cells, increase production. This oxidizes the skin and accelerates its aging process. Remember: Your skin is ONE big organ.
Many different skin conditions are triggered by stress - acne, rosacea, tired eyes, and fines lines. These reactions occur because your body goes into a ‘fight or flight’ survival response, releasing a boost in adrenaline and cortisol levels. Adrenaline effects your skin by sending your energy into overdrive, and creating an imbalance in the cell production of your skin. Cortisol, a hormone increased by stress, decreases hydration and increases inflammation.
Simply going for a walk, breathing deeply, or relaxation exercises (i.e. facial, massage, acupuncture, meditation, etc) help to calm the adrenaline boosts.
On a clinical level, using fragrance-free products can help balance the hormone production secreting through the skin. Peptides, Vitamin C’s, and Vitamin A’s are also great ingredients. The goal is to find a healthy balance of hydration and a pH of around seven.
One of my personal favorite products is Yon-ka Paris’ Lotion (Toner) made with the 5 essential oils (lavender, geranium, rosemary, cypress, thyme) of Yon-ka Quintessance. This balances tone, hydrates, and reduces inflammation - all good things! Hydropeptide's exfoliating, anti-aging cleanser is also yummy and invigorating with a natural grapefruit scent.