Stress is an everyday part of life. It’s what gets you to work in the morning, gives you happy butterflies in your belly, or even saves your life in a “flight-or-fight situation.” However, the overabundance of “stressors” can cause anxiety and this can affect not only your overall health, but your skin.
So, what is a “stressor?”
They are more than just being annoyed when your commute is too long, or getting extra work from your boss, although these do count. Stressors can include things that you never think about! For example, many of us are always thinking about dieting, or limiting our food intake, but being hungry is a huge stressor for the body. Malnourishment is another. Australia is modern-world typical in that most of our citizens are “overfed and undernourished” meaning that we are getting more than enough calories and fuel, but not enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Dehydration is another simple dietary stressor. Many of us simply don’t drink enough water, or drink high-sugar substitutions.
There are other stressors besides a bad diet or not enough food or water. Stressors can also affect you when you exercise too much, or don’t get enough sleep. These little actions, on top of the stress of your daily life, contribute to an overabundance of stress and creates anxiety for your body. When this happens, your body is rapidly mining your stores of vitamins and minerals and making is easier for free radicals to ravage your cells. (For more information on what exactly free-radicals are, see our blog here).
Here are just a few examples of the effects of stressors on your skin:
- Dry and Flaky Skin. When you skin is malnourished, it doesn’t have enough vitamins and minerals to look full and fresh. Your best bet to making skin glow is to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Your skin will also be helped from drinking green tea as it is high in beneficial antioxidants.
- Blemishes. There are many kinds of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis or eczema. Although psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, stress does cause it to flare up. Stress affects these conditions by either upsetting the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut which can cause inflammation in your skin, or altering your hormones. Anxiety can release the hormone cortisol which in turn can get your hormones unbalanced and cause spots and breakouts.
In these cases, taking some time out and seeing what resolves the immediate stressors can help. Consider your diet and making sure that you are eating enough for your body type (at least three meals a day), getting at least 2 palm-sized serves of 1 animal and 1 plant based protein, and as many colourful vegetables as you can handle will really help. If you have trouble eating “good” foods, you really should consider taking a low-dose multivitamin instead, to make sure that your skin is getting the right nutrients.
- Rashes. When anxiety causes an outbreak of bad bacteria in your gut, often your skin will break out in a rash or in hives. Supplementing with a multi-strain probiotic will help, along with a low-G1 diet that avoids a lot of processed foods and sugars, as bad bacteria usually craves these types of foods.
- Premature Aging. Buckling under pressure can cause a physical response and this manifests in furrowed brows and frowned faces. These facial expressions can lead to deeper wrinkles over time. You need to be conscious of what you are doing, and try to train your muscles to relax. When you catch yourself doing this, take deep breathes and work on relaxing your shoulders as your face should then follow. When you are at home, use high quality pH balanced lotions to keep skin elastic.
- Puffy eyes. Puffy eyes are often the result of anxiety affecting sleep. Try to sleep on your back, and attempt to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Turn off electronic devices as blue lights are shown to affect our cortisol levels and shut off our urge to sleep. In the morning, a good solution is to hold back of a cold teaspoon under your eye. This will invigorate the skin and get it to lose the fluid. If you can’t sleep, take this time to meditate or relax, and above all, don’t stress about not sleeping. Have a cup of hot caffeine-free tea, read a book, and try again when you feel sleepy.
I hope you found those tips helpful so you can begin to have healthy body the more you use these tips.
If you would like to get more tips, help or have a consultation with our skin experts, do not hesitate to contact us – our goal is to help as many people in Brisbane as we can to have healthier, younger looking skin!