Stress. We’ve all dealt with it at some point in time. But have you noticed recently that your stress levels seem to be at an all-time high? Maybe it’s over the fear of getting sick, being confined to your home, or maybe even due to extended isolation. Whatever the underlying case may be, stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
For example, when you’re stressed you may experience more breakouts or flareups from a pre-existing skin condition. And then you may find yourself in a never-ending battle of adjusting your skincare routine and coping with stress forgetting which issue came first.
The keys to keeping stress on yourself and your skin under control are to acknowledge the underlying causes of your stress, understand how the stress is affecting you or your skin and then establish ways to cope.
How stress can affect your skin
It’s no surprise that increased stress levels can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure or heart attacks, but it can also have a negative impact on your skin. How?
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone. When you are under stress, your adrenal glands increase the production of cortisol which, in turn, can increase activity in your sebaceous glands. As you may have learned by now, your sebaceous glands are responsible for oil and sebum production. When too much oil or sebum builds up under the skin, you have the perfect playground for inflammation, acne and skin condition flareups such as rosacea and psoriasis.
Not to mention, stress can negatively impact your diet and sleeping habits which can have a huge effect on the appearance of your skin.
Find ways to cope with your stress
Stress affects everyone and their skin differently. That’s why each of us has to figure out the best way to cope with stress on our own. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing your stress, you can then find ways to relieve stress on yourself and your skin.
Here are five simple stress coping mechanisms to get you started:
- Get lots of rest. Lack of sleep has a tremendous effect on how you look and feel. Wondering where those bags under your eyes are coming from? If you don’t have a genetic condition, your eye baggage may be an indication you’re not getting enough sleep. When you don’t have enough rest, fluid can build up leading to puffy eyes and dark circles. Not to mention, sleep deprivation can lead to major challenges with your mental and emotional health.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can help you maintain healthy levels of cortisol (the stress hormone previously mentioned) which can, in turn, help you keep breakouts at bay and stimulate collagen production to firm your skin. And you guessed it, exercise has been proven to boost your mood and contribute to your overall mental health.
- Establish a healthy diet. When it comes to your health and appearance, what you put into your body matters. Not drinking enough water and consuming large amounts of junk food isn’t good for your body, skin, or mental health. By establishing a healthy diet, you’re setting the foundation for a sharper mind and improved appearance.
- Learn something new. Increased time at home makes for the perfect time to pick up a new skill, practice an old one, or learn something new. Finding a new craft whether it be cooking or photography can help you reduce stress and redirect energy into a positive outlet.
- Perfect your skincare routine. Last but certainly not least, additional time at home provides a great opportunity for you to focus on self-care. Your skincare routine may have fallen off during busy work weeks and commutes. Now’s the time to get back on your game and establish a routine that will become a habit for when you return to your regularly scheduled program. Don’t know where to start? Take our skincare quiz and we’ll suggest a customized skincare regimen.
Don’t let stress test your glow-up! Find the right stress-relief strategy that works for you and get your stress and skin under control.
For other information on skincare essentials, tips, and techniques, check out Urban Skin Rx’s Glow-Up Guide often!