How Stress Affects Your Skin and How to Prevent It

How Stress Affects Your Skin and How to Prevent It

In todays’ fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up with demanding jobs, friends or family who need constant attention, and overall tension from the pandemic and other current events. Because of this, stress can hit us hard. But it’s not just our minds that take a toll — our skin is affected too.

After all, the skin is the largest organ in the body and one of the most accurate barometers of health. It plays a critical role in protecting your internal systems from the outside world, while also aiding immune defense, vitamin production, temperature regulation, and more.

When stress happens, your body’s cortisol levels shoot up. Consequently, this increases inflammation, which can disrupt your microbiome, exacerbate underlying skin conditions, and even accelerate aging. Plus, cortisol can further activate your sebaceous glands – AKA what makes your skin produce more sebum and oil — therefore causing more blemishes too. 

That means, even if you religiously slather on expensive serums and maintain a 10-step routine, it might not be enough to soothe the hormonal imbalance occurring beneath the surface. So what can you do to de-stress from within? We’ve outlined a few tips below.

  • Maintain your skincare routine — There are times when you just want to call it a day and hit the sheets — makeup, grime, and all. But even then, it’s important to stick to your skincare routine, as neglecting it could make things worse. Try to center your regimen on hydration and calming, so that it can restore balance in your microbiome. Our Wild Algae line specifically addresses daily stressors, including pimples, inflammation, and dryness. It can even diminish visible signs of aging, such as enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. This fuss-free, 3-step skipcare routine can easily be squeezed in after a long work day. 

  • Make time for self-care — Just like you would schedule meetings and errands, it’s equally important to make time for things that make you feel relaxed, whether that means getting a massage or taking yourself out to a nice dinner. But remember: self-care doesn’t have to be expensive spa treatments all the time. However you define it, it can be as simple as 5-minute breathing exercises or reading a book. 

  • Stay active — There are more benefits to exercise than a toned physique. Studies show that physical activity is one of the best ways to lower stress levels. Every time you exercise, you feel a surge of feel-good hormones that boost your energy, mood, and outlook, so try not to cancel on that yoga class or walk with your neighbor. 

  • Get enough sleep — You know that sleep is important to recharge, but it’s also a critical time when your body (and skin!) repairs itself. As you get shut-eye, your blood flow increases, and skin takes time to replenish collagen and repair damage from UV exposure. True enough, experts have also found that those who sleep at least seven to nine hours every night have more moisturized, supple skin compared to those who sleep only five hours or less. 

  • Eat a balanced diet — Certain food can trigger more inflammation inside your body, such as those that are heavily processed and sugary. Sure, you can treat yourself to the occasional ice cream, but do incorporate whole foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables for a more balanced diet. Moderation is key! Take it a step further by loading up on nutrient and antioxidant rich superfood. Don’t be limited to Kale. Check what’s in season, and more importantly, what’s readily available in your community. Visit your local market–you’d be surprised how easy it is to spot a variety of inexpensive (and fresh!) ingredients. 

There is no magic bullet when it comes to clear, healthy skin. Ultimately, you need a holistic approach that involves lifestyle changes and a solid skincare regimen.

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