Updated: May 26, 2022
This is not a myth. Stress is often called a civilization disease. Its significant impact on our physical and mental well-being appears among people of all geographies and across various generations. We can often hear about its implications on our skin. How much truth can we find in this statement? To get the correct answer, we might need to dive deep into the research. Let's get us started!
How does stress affect your skin?
There is nothing shocking in the fact that psychological stress affects our skin in a negative way. However, not many of us had a chance to understand the underlying genesis of this relationship. Stress highly increases the concentration of so-called stress hormones including corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), cortisol, and epinephrine. It happens via two pathways - a central one involving the central nervous system and a peripheral one, which concerns peripheral tissues like the skin. Both of them contribute to the weakening of the skin's natural protective barrier, consisting of the lipid mantle, pH, and microbiota, in an equal way. Our skin ends up being less resilient which leads to being easily irritated and prone to inflammation. Moving forward, such an effect visibly exacerbates its state... especially in cases of acne, psoriasis, or eczema!
How to manage stress skin?
As we all struggle with anxious situations, we should pause and take a closer look at our daily habits. Studies acknowledge that relaxation significantly decreases the concentration of stress hormones, both in the blood and in the peripheral tissues. Today we will share a couple of techniques that you can easily leverage in order to feel better in your own body.
Embrace the benefits of meditation
Both mindfulness and meditation became really popular topics, with good encouragement in the form of various stories presenting breakthrough inner transformations. We need to admit that they work amazingly in terms of reducing worries and fear which often cause skin issues. During this kind of practice, you need to be “here and now”, not thinking of the future possible scenarios, and not reminding yourself of past experiences, whether good or bad. This simplicity and being able to focus on our inner needs give us the right space to rest.
Practice calming breathing techniques
Deep breathing lets us slow down and release everyday tension. Try to incorporate some of the techniques like abdomen breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or yogic breath, especially if you suffer from moments of feeling breathless.
Decrease inflammation with yoga
Have you ever heard the sentence "every body is a yoga body"? Yoga brings together the mind, body, and spirit. Whilst asanas have dozens of benefits for overall physical health, their effects go way beyond that. It's being said that consistently practicing yoga may lower cortisol over time and play an important role in reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to inflammation. Not to mention fostering the self-compassion element, so much needed in today’s world!
Take a pause and let your skin relax!
Let’s sum it up… Whenever your body responds to stressful situations, anxiety, or depression, you might notice visible skin issues flaring up. This is connected to the sympathetic nervous system and increased internal inflammation. Luckily, relaxation in a form of meditation, self-care evening with natural cosmetics, or anything else working for you, significantly decreases the concentration of stress hormones, both in the blood and in the peripheral tissues. Being in tune with yourself translates into healthier and more resilient skin. Keep that in mind the next time you unwind... Even a good home SPA evening can have magical effects on your skin! Brighter, glowing, and simply, uncovering your natural beauty.