Are you stressed right now? You wouldn’t be the only one. Research suggests that over a third of Brits feel stressed at least one full day a week. Furthermore, most people in the UK feel stressed nine days a month on average. This stress not only leads to serious health issues but also impacts how we look and how we feel, especially when it comes to our skin. So, what role does stress play on our appearance and is it possible to improve our skin by reducing stress?
We often see stress as an entirely adverse reaction. However, sometimes, stress is good. After all, stress is the natural response of your body and is there to protect you. If lions are chasing you, you want your stress response to kick in to better enable you to think fast and use your adrenaline wisely. Where stress is detrimental is when it keeps you up all night, intensifying your worries or creating an inflammation, causes pain or triggers a flare-up of an existing condition.
The problem with stress comes from the fact that your body doesn’t differentiate the different kinds of stress. Whether it is emotional, environmental, physical or psychological, your body will typically respond to stress in the same way. This means that minor stress, such as running to catch a train or bus, and significant pressure, such as a family emergency, will have the same detrimental impact on your health and your skin. One of the ways that the body responds to stress is to cause inflammation. This internal inflammation in the body can manifest in the skin, cause breakouts, or a flare-up of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea.If you have oily or combination skin, then you may notice that stress increases acne breakouts. This is because of the stress hormone; cortisol increases the activity of the sebaceous glands. These will then emit more levels of oil than is normal, which can cause blocked pores and spots.