Stress manifests in the human body in many ways and your skin is one of the first places to show the signs. When stress causes the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to be released, our skin can be prone to breakouts, suffer from dryness and even show signs of ageing in the form of wrinkles. However, there are things that you can do to reduce the effects, so let’s check them out.
Relieve dry skin
Dry skin is one of the most common problems seen by the dermatology department when you’re stressed. Due to extra cortisol release, the body struggles to hold on to water and this can result in itchy, flaky skin. If this happens you need to pay particularly close attention to hydration and make sure that you’re taking in plenty of water.
With dry skin the need to moisturise becomes even more important too. A cream-rich in vitamin E can work well, as can the soothing properties found in petroleum jelly, which will also create a barrier to help seal in the moisture. If you’re concerned about petroleum jelly side effects, you needn’t be as research has it is triple-purified to remove impurities and unlikely to cause a reaction, being even recommended by dermatologists to be used on sensitive skin.
Battle the breakouts
We’ve looked at the impact of cortisol on dry skin, and another hormone that causes problems is adrenaline. When it is released in excess the skin is at risk of reduced blood flow, which means that key nutrients aren’t taken away as efficiently, and toxins build up. As the anxiety levels rise, our skin starts to get stressed and a variety of conditions can result, including acne and rosacea.
The first thing is to act quickly and not wait around to see if things settle. Gentle exfoliation can unclog pores and improve the issue, as can probiotics. They produce good bacteria in the gut, which can help prevent inflammation and fight against the breakout.
Fight the ageing process
One thing that tends to happen when we’re stressed is interrupted sleep. That can lead to increased signs of ageing such as wrinkles, bags under the eyes and a generally drawn out look. You can fight back by improving your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. The best way to do this is to use relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation, and these are best done just before you go to bed. Leave the phone and tablet on the side, and switch off from the world for a while.
Combat wrinkles by paying close attention to diet and upping your exercise routine – an added bonus is that the increased endorphins might just improve your mood. Anti-ageing creams and serums are a good idea too, as is petroleum jelly.
Stress plays a big role in skin conditions and problems, but as you can see you are able to fight back. We’ve looked at the potential effects of stress and practical steps to counter them. We’ve also highlighted products you can try and addressed concerns about petroleum jelly side effects. Now you’re armed with more information you can reduce the impact of stress on your skin.