By now, many of us may know that stress somehow affects our skin. Whether it’s a project deadline coming up or there are some major life changes to deal with, you might notice how easily you might experience breakouts due to the stress. As a result, your complexion may also look duller than usual.
Seeing all these effects, many cannot help but wonder, do we know how intimately our mind and skin are connected?
The mind-skin connection
Every part of our body is connected through our various systems. Having nerve endings in the skin could mean that just as our emotions are felt neurologically, they can also be expressed through symptoms appearing on our skin.
Psychodermatology is a growing field addressing the impact of our emotions felt on our skin condition. It has also paved the way for integrated treatment methods such as relaxation therapy. In short, our mind can affect our skin condition and vice versa. The good news is that healing one may also potentially help to heal the other.
How stress affects our skin
A simple example can be illustrated through acne, one of the most common forms of skin condition experienced by all. When we feel tense, our body releases hormones, most notably cortisol. An increase in our cortisol levels increases the oil production in the skin, causing our skin to be more prone to the development of acne.
Another hormonal impact of stress could be the suppression of the immune system. The hormone glucocorticoid is released when we are stressed, resulting in a suppressed immune response. Glucocorticoid makes your skin more reactive and sensitive to triggers that may result in rashes, hives, and redness. This response may also worsen existing inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Stress causes nervousness or anxiety, which can make you feel like picking or scratching at scabs or acne on your skin. In a more technical sense, the target organ theory explains that everyone channels stress in different parts of the body. So, if your skin is the target organ, you may feel the need to pick at your skin when stressed.
Tips to ease the effect of stress on your skin
1. Maintain a skincare routine
The number go-to for improving our skin is definitely to maintain a good skincare routine. Sometimes, on bad days, you might feel like heading straight to bed without much effort. But it is crucial to remember to still care for your skin by cleansing and moisturising before you sleep.
Neglecting your skin could potentially worsen any skin issues that the stress is already causing. Plus, taking the time to slowly carry out your skincare routine and massage your face while applying the products could be therapeutic and relaxing too.
2. Develop healthy lifestyle habits
Get active and start moving to reduce your mental stress. Getting enough exercise releases endorphins, which are happy hormones that will improve your energy, mood, and outlook.
Adopting a healthy, balanced diet containing whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables could promote fitness and improve your skin. For example, foods such as tomatoes and spinach are known superfoods for improving complexion. On the other hand, processed foods or foods with high sugar content may trigger inflammation.
Another vital element to a healthy lifestyle would be getting ample sleep. Adults are advised to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This can go a long way in restoring your energy levels, improving your mood and promoting healthy skin.
3. Take time for yourself
Stress relief and self-care take time. Unfortunately, when absorbed into the hectic routine of our daily lives, we often forget to take out some time dedicated to ourselves. One way could be to find a relaxing hobby such as painting, reading, meditating or even simply listening to your favourite songs.
Going for facial packages is often a fun way to pamper your skin and treat yourself to a relaxing time. But with the current Phase 2 heightened measures, you can instead do a mini facial at the comfort of your home! Our Oxy Clear Essence Set includes the award-winning Oxy Comedone, formulated to clear your pores and get rid of blackheads and whiteheads.
Packed with beneficial ingredients like Lactic Acid, β Glucan and Niacinamide, the Oxy Comedone helps to regulate sebum production, provide oil control and improve congested skin. At just $78 (price before GST), the Oxy Clear Essence Set also includes 3 sachets of Oxy Blackhead Mask and FREE Auras Detox Facial – which can be redeemed after the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period.
While it is nearly impossible to completely eradicate stress from our lives, we can try to adopt some techniques to relieve the unpleasant effects of stress on our skin to achieve a healthy, glowing complexion. To help you manage those pesky breakouts, try our Oxy Comedone blackhead removal treatment and get your skin clear again!