The Stress-Skin Connection

The constant stress of living in the age of coronavirus is affecting more than your mental health and emotional coping abilities.  It’s likely taking a toll on your skin, hair, and nails.

As a skincare specialist, I am seeing an alarming and disturbing increase in skin disorders that are probably aggravated by the impact coronavirus is having on our daily lives.  Here is a look at how skin is affected by stress and some tips on how to handle it during these trying times.

How Skin Is Affected by Stress:

Skin disorders can occur when there is an increase in stress. Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive.  Stress causes your body to produce hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to make more oil.  People develop acne when they are under stress because oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.

Stress + Comfort Food = Skin Woes

Increased levels of stress can cause you to develop poor eating habits. Pizza, pasta, burritos, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, and more are all a part of comfort eating.  During these trying times, you might have turned to stress eating.

Your skin can drastically change when you are not eating healthy foods which includes vegetables, fruits, berries, greens, cruciferous, whole grains, beans, and nuts.

Acne isn’t the only skin condition you might experience under stress.  Your skin can develop bumps, rashes, look dull, feel drier and more irritated, and even experience redness.

Unfortunately, sustained poor eating habits can lead to other chronic inflammatory problems. And for those who already have inflammatory conditions, today’s constant stress may well trigger or worsen your symptoms. Read more about the connection of chronic inflammation and its affect on skin Here.

Stress from Handwashing, Masks, Gloves

People are experiencing major skin problems, especially on their hands, from the impact of increased hand washing and the wearing of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

Allergic contact dermatitis is increasing now because of frequent hand washing and sanitizing with commercial products that contain irritating and drying ingredients.  When skin becomes dry, cracked and bleeds, it can cause even more stress.

Now more than ever, it’s important to switch to products made with natural ingredients that are safer and even more effective.  Upfront, inexpensive commercial products might seem like a no brainer, but in the long run they will cost you more money to treat the skin problems they are inevitable going to cause. Read more here.

Stress Can Also:

Worsen Chronic Skin Disorders: If you are already dealing with a chronic skin disorder, stress can worsen it.  I am getting several calls from people who have increased flareups and sensitivities with psoriasis, eczema, acne, and rosacea.  Stress also cause hives, skin rashes, and can trigger a flare-up of fever blisters. 

Interfere with Daily Skin Care Routine: More people are now working from home which has changed our daily skin care routine.  People are skipping and skimping on taking proper care of their skin because they aren’t going to work.  This can cause skin disorders or worsen preexisting ones.

Skin Problems Cause More Stress: Having skin problems can be stressful.  Some people feel so bad about how they look that they turn inward, which adds more stress.

Stress is a part of life and how you handle it is what matters the most.  Under these extraordinarily difficult times, I want to give you some hope and encouragement.  Here are some tips on reducing stress for your skin’s sake.

10 Tips to Reduce the Effects of Stress on your Skin

  1. Take time for yourself, even if it’s only 10-15 minutes a day.  Read something that inspires you, take a bath, listen to some soothing music.
  2. Exercise daily and change it up.  Do something every day which is good for your skin and the rest of your body.  Walk, stretch, light weights, just keep moving!
  3. Consider stress management techniques including meditation, breathing or yoga.
  4. Get sleep, at least 7-8 hour a night.  If you can, take a 20-minute power nap if you feel tired by mid-day.
  5. Learn to say no.  It’s okay to have boundaries and set limits to reduce stress.
  6. Pull down on fast and cheap foods. Include more whole plant based foods into your daily diet. Here are some helpful links
    * PLANT-BASED PRIMER: THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO A PLANT-BASED DIET
    *PLANT-BASED ON A BUDGET: HOW I ATE WELL ON $5 A DAY
  7. Stop wasting your money on cheap, chemically saturated skincare products especially now that you have to use them more frequently.  Soaps and moisturizers made with natural ingredients will save you money down the road.
  8. Don’t neglect your skin.  Put the moisturizers on the end tables, nightstands, and by the sinks.  Remember, out of sight, out of mind. 
  9. Pamper your skin, hair, or nails at least once a week. Do a pedicure or manicure.  Face Masks are an awesome way to make your skin feel fabulous in 10 minutes. Apply a Hair Serum to your scalp and hair.
  10. Seek support from your family, friends, or neighbors.  Or consider a professional therapist if you feel you need additional help.

Top Product Recommendations:

Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival. DISCLAIMER

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/14/health/stress-coronavirus-physical-impact-wellness/index.html

https://www.webmd.com/beauty/the-effects-of-stress-on-your-skin

September 25, 2020 5:20 am

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