We all deal with it more often than we’d like: stress, life’s necessary evil that is beneficial for giving us an extra boost of energy to take on the world, but can be detrimental to our health and wreak havoc on our skin.
When we are stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. Chronically high levels of cortisol can lead to a number of damaging effects on the skin, namely acne, accelerated skin aging, dryness, redness and irritation.
It isn’t a coincidence that pimples always seem to pop up out of nowhere right before a big event. This is because stress leads to skin dehydration and your skin will compensate by producing more oil, causing breakouts.
Skin dehydration is a result of cortisol impairing the skin’s ability to retain moisture which leads to a dull complexion and decreased luminosity. Increased skin dryness can also trigger psoriasis and eczema flare ups.
Increased blood flow during times of stress causes capillaries to expand and the skin to appear flushed which can cause a rosacea flare-up. And because cortisol weakens your immune system and suppresses your body’s ability to heal, flare ups of skin conditions can last longer.
Damaging free radicals are also released as a consequence of elevated cortisol levels. Free radicals, also called Reactive Oxygen Species, attack and damage important dermal structures such as collagen and elastin fibers. The breakdown of collagen and elastin leads to sagging, wrinkling and skin thinning.
The facial tensing, frowning, brow furrowing and other repeated facial expressions that we make when we are stressed out also causes wrinkles. These wrinkles are often the deepest and hardest to treat which is another reason to turn that frown upside down!
Getting your 8 hours of beauty rest every night is one of the best weapons for fighting stress-related skin damage. Studies have shown that people who get 6 or less hours of sleep at night can have 50% higher cortisol levels in their bloodstream. And after just one sleepless night, cortisol levels can remain elevated for days!
Other ways of fighting stress include deep breathing exercises, taking a hot bath, having an at-home spa day or working out. And when you know what stress can do to your skin, it makes it a little easier to stop sweating the small stuff.
If you need extra help de-stressing and pampering your skin, check out U. Med Spa’s Membership Programs. Whether you need a weekly or monthly beauty escape, we’ve got you covered! U. Med Spa’s Membership Programs start at just $69 a month. Prepay for a year and save 10%
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