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Too Much Stress? Many of us are familiar with this state of being. But there’s more to stress than meets the eye… because our ‘internal’ stress can cause some very external signs. Here are some causes, classic signs and beauty tips to help you counteract it:
- Everyday stress can play havoc with your skin, due to the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol (known as ‘the stress hormone’), into the body.
- If we stop eating correctly or doing enough exercise during stressful times, it will show on our skin – the skin is a reflection of the health of the body.
- When we are stressed, the body’s digestive system becomes more acidic, as the blood is directed away from the digestive system, this create unbalanced digestion, which in turn leads to skin problems, such as dryness, oiliness, blemishes and dullness, or sometimes a combination of all of these issues.
- A lack of essential fatty acids causes skin dryness, rosacea, irritation or eczema and psoriasis as the demand on the prostaglandin system is too high.
- The prostaglandin hormonal system of the body controls the body’s physiological functions, including the nervous system and the skin immunity. When our bodies are placed under undue stress, all the hormones go to the primary nervous system, this leaves the secondary skin immunity suffering – causing the skin to suddenly react to products, increased dryness or irritation, flair up of eczema or dermatitis.
- Stress causes us to not sleep properly and we know sleep is nature’s beauty secret!
- Sometimes when we are stressed, we tend to drink too much alcohol in an attempt to relax, which causes additional dehydration to the skin and body
- Severe stress can cause temporary hair loss, resulting in bald spots appearing on your head, synthetic chemical shampoos can exacerbate the condition.
- Stress can have a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury.
- The skin takes longer to recover from any irritation during periods of stress.
- Rapid weight loss through extreme diets or stress can have a devastating effect on the skin.
- Ongoing stress can cause long-term skin damage at a cellular level, leaving the skin looking up to 10 years old than it truly is.
- Increased cortisol triggers an elevation in blood sugar, which – via a process called glycation – which damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that plump the skin and keep it smooth.
- Constant facial muscle tension leads to permanent wrinkling.
Identifying skin stress :
- Lines and wrinkles (worry and frown lines), can become more evident, caused by dryness and dehydration with stressed facial expressions causing deep, dynamic lines that last far beyond the stressful period.
- An oilier skin due to the increase in oil production.
- A sudden outbreak of stress-related acne can also be caused by your oilier skin and an imbalance of the cortisol hormone.
- Skin may become pale and drawn, and lose its natural radiant glow.
- Dark rings or bags under eyes from lack of sleep.
- Lack of exercise causes a lack of blood circulation, resulting in a dull lifeless skin, as well as not allowing the lymph to circulate, resulting in a build-up of toxins under the skin, causing swollen bags under the eyes or general puffy and dull skin appearance.
- Headaches and muscle tension are common symptoms of stress.
- You suddenly react to products you may have been using for years.
- A sudden outbreak of eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis or irritated skin conditions.
- Brittle, peeling nails are a common side effect of stress.
- Stress can also cause hives and other types of skin rashes and even trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.
- Increased skin redness caused by the expansion of capillaries as stress weakens the skin’s immune system.
How can Living Nature help:
- A time for extra skincare and TLC to help negate the negative effects of stress.
- Manuka Honey Gel is extremely effective in helping to control acne flare ups.
- Apply pure Manuka Oil onto individual acne spots or fever blisters.
- Deep Cleansing Mask can be used as a spot treatment on individual pimples or papules to help to dry, and assist the healing.
- Use a toning gel with your moisturiser twice daily, to help replace hydration.
- Living Nature’s Firming Eye Cream can help restore the skin around the eye area.
- Use a good protective moisturiser during the day or night cream to help restore the skin’s barrier function.
- Applying your moisturiser while your skin is still slightly damp helps the skin trap and retain the moisture.
- Use Living Nature shampoo and conditioner to assist with healing stress related spots of baldness.
- Use Living Nature Body Oils to relax in a warm bath, allowing the essential oils to relieve your muscle tightness, aches and pains, or get someone to give you a good back or neck massage.
- Massage Ultra Rich Body Cream into the nail cuticles twice daily to restore brittle, peeling nails, or massage a thick layer into the nails and hands and sleep with cotton gloves on to enhance penetration.
- Avoid harsh detergent type soaps by using Living Nature’s Nourishing Body Wash for the body, Purifying Hand wash for the hands or either of our two cleansers for the face.
Use Skin Revive Exfoliant at least twice a week to help stimulate cell renewal and encourage healthy elastin and collagen production. Follow this with an Ultra Nourishing Mask or Hydrating Gel Mask treatment to restore the skin’s natural moisture balance.
Additional Tips to help de-stress the skin:
- Exercise can help to get the blood circulating around the body, bringing fresh oxygenated blood to an area, moving lymph to detoxify the body and helping to heal the skin, resulting in a healthy glowing skin.
- Exercise also helps release endorphins in the body that can actually reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables and drink a lot of water to regain control on your inner health, thereby affecting your outer skin health in a positive way.
Swap alcohol for green, leafy vegie juices.
- Remember to chew your food well as this helps to alkalise it before you ingest it.
- Avoid taking very hot showers or baths and this can make your skin condition worse.
- Do 5mins of deep breathing exercises daily, allowing the body to take in a lot of fresh oxygen.
- Take 15mins a day to do something you enjoy, like reading, meditation, or visual imagery.
- Get at least 8 hours sleep a night.
- Even if you don’t feel like smiling, try to manage it as often as you can…it can actually improve your mood and induce relaxation!