• Words by Sonia

Is Your Skin Stressed?

Considering the number of stresses we are living amongst; it wouldn’t be surprising that our skin would be paying a toll. I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea of ‘you are what you eat’ as this is something that also relates to your skin. Everything you put in your mouth has an impact on what shows up on your face, either way, good and bad. You’ve probably noticed that extra glow you get when you drink a lot of water all week, right? So yeah, you’re aware of how your food intake choices play into the state of your skin, but have you ever considered what your mental state is doing to it?



Ever been in an excellent mood (maybe you’re newly in love or particularly happy about something) and had someone say you were glowing? That’s an actual thing thanks to the dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins triggered by warm, fuzzy feelings. Unfortunately, that means that the opposite types of feelings, particularly stress, can have an equally noticeable effect on your skin. Whether it’s a never-ending to-do list, work or school deadlines, increasing fear of missing out, or just generally being a person in the world right now, stress is felt by everyone at one point or another. And while some short-lived stress is actually good for us — as it primes the brain for improved performance — anything chronic is problematic on numerous levels.


How Does Chronic Stress Affect Skin?

Aside from a constantly furrowed brow and dark under-eye circles due to stress-induced lack of sleep, stress also triggers our inherent fight-or-flight response, which in turn causes blood to pump to the vital organs that are necessary for choosing fight or flight: heart, lungs, brain. Because blood is being redirected, it’s not going to the skin. Stress also means a rise in adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that don’t play nice with clear skin.

Less circulation leads to a lack of oxygen and other vital nutrients in the skin, which means the production of skin’s necessary building blocks — collagen, antioxidants, fresh skin cells — slows down. A hormonal imbalance means an out-of-whack endocrine system and a compromised immune system. Not a great deal for your skin!



How Do I Know If My Skin Is Stressed?

You’ll know. If you’re feeling stressed mentally and emotionally, it’s almost guaranteed your skin is feeling it, too. If you’re not sure, check in with your skin: is it doing weird things? (i.e. unusual breakouts or excess of oil in some areas) Is it behaving in an atypical way? (i.e. rashes, sudden sensitivity…) Has there been a sudden change in moisture/oil/texture that can’t be explained by an environmental or product change? It’s probably a reaction to something that’s stressing you out.


Know The Signs Of Stressed Skin & How To Treat Them

First of all, let’s start by adopting daily rituals to slow down including (but not limited to) 10 min meditation and the use of aromatherapy to cue your brain to relax. Our Wellbeing blends Sweet Dreams + Harmony do a great deal. Use the roll-ons on-the-go as much as you need rubbing them on your wrists, temples and neck. Close your eyes and gently spray our Sweet Dreams/Harmony mist over your head and/or body like a misty rain. Breathe deeply. You can also spray it over a pillow (holding it 20 cm away from the pillow) creating a soothing sensation, conducive to a peaceful and relaxing night's sleep. If your hormones are also driving you crazy as a result of a long period of stress use De La Luna roll-on on a daily basis to get back to balance your mood changes.


Blemishes

It’s no secret that stress often presents itself in the form of flare-ups on our faces, and for that, we have cortisol to thank. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol can cause sebum and oil production to rev up, thereby igniting oily skin, acne, and other inflammation-based skin issues like eczema and rosacea. While you may want to take drastic measures, step away from the harsh toners and peels! Fight fire with fire here and oil cleanse with Beso de Sol roll-on that contains antibacterial essential oils to detox and purify your skin. Gently exfoliate with Floral Cleanser to remove dead skin cells before they get trapped, and finish with some serious hydration in the form of moisturizing like Whipped Cream with calming essential oils so your oil glands don’t go into overdrive.


Under-eye circles

One of the first things that get messed with during stressful periods is sleep. It’s a vicious cycle: you lay awake at night thinking about what’s stressing you out and then you stress more about the fact that you’re not sleeping. Before you know it, your alarm is going off and dark circles become de rigueur. (Thanks, cortisol!) To help with under-eye puffiness or shadows, look for an eye cream or serum formulated with the same stuff you’d reach for to perk you up: caffeine. Our Aqua Serum Elixir contains green coffee seeds rich in antioxidant, smoothing, restructuring and regenerating qualities which make it ideal; and our Protective Mineral complex derived from malachite gemstone that helps to reduce environmental triggered stress on the skin and assist in the body’s detoxification process.


Dull skin

As previously mentioned, stress equals less blood to the skin, which means less frequent cell turnover, resulting in a build-up of dead, dull skin cells. To give those skin cells the nudge they need to get moving, you’ll need exfoliating ingredients like the AHAs found in high concentrations in Aqua Serum Elixir as well as Dew Drops face mist rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phyto-actives that leaves the complexion feeling refreshed, radiant and revitalised. Have a face mask with Radiance Mask once a week diluted with Dew Drops or Mist of Roses to draw out impurities and skin secretions and noticeably reducing blemishes and blackheads. Especially restorative for tired and neglected skin. Its high iron oxide and quartz content enhances the skin's condition and appearance.

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. However, when stress becomes chronic it can leave a lasting impression on your face. Acne, wrinkles, rashes and dry skin are just a few of the ways that stress may show itself on your face.

Minimizing avoidable causes of stress in your life and learning techniques to manage stress can help you fight against these signs of premature ageing. Maintain good lifestyle habits, scheduling time for activities that make you feel relaxed and keeping you active by excising can help you lower levels of your stress hormones and give you some time to take your mind off the cause of your stress. Talk to others and don’t isolate, we are social being sharing our problems and concerns is an essential part of our lives.


Take Care Naturally,

Sonia x