Stress, anxiety, uneasiness….during these uncertain times that we have all had to go through, many of us have expressed these feelings and emotions. With the recommendations of social distancing, we are effected in almost every part of our lives, including finances, relationships, jobs and health.
Our normal routine has been disrupted and together with the uncertainties that has accompanied this, we find ourselves at a loss and no real anchor to help us manage some of the stress. When we are in a long-term state of stress, our immune systems are compromised and we produce more “stress” hormones. This, in turn, reduces our body’s natural ability to protect us, lowers our immune systems further and increases inflammation in the body.
Let us firstly look at what stress is.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is your body’s way of responding to demanding and harmful situations. It can be caused by good and bad experiences.
When you experience stress, your body reacts by releasing Adrenalin, Norepinephrine and Cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones give you more energy, which can be positive if stress is caused by physical danger as it allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. Your response will be a racing heart, shallow breathing, muscle contraction and a rise in blood pressure. This can also be negative, if stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this energy.
HOW CAN STRESS AFFECT THE SKIN?
With long-term stress, the body produces too much cortisol (stress hormone). Stress increases cortisol production from the adrenal glands which increases oil gland activity within our skin – the result is breakouts and skin sensitivity. Cortisol weakens the skin’s immune system which leads to oxidative stress. This results in wrinkles, fine lines and dull tired skin. Due to inflammation caused by stress in the body, you will also see conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
HOW CAN YOU TREAT YOUR SKIN IN THESE STRESSFUL TIMES?
- Focus on self-care during this time
- Protect the skin from UVA, UVB, IR, HEV and pollution by building the skin
- Build up the water levels within your skin but using the right products and drinking more water
- Exercise and spend time outside in nature
- Try switch off from media and all negative comments
- Eat fresh whole food as much as you can