May 01, 2019

Too much stress? Many of us are familiar with this state of being. But there’s more to stress than meets the eye. Internal stress can greatly damage our skins health, causing problems such as dryness, oiliness, blemishes and dullness and can contribute to long term skin damage. To help minimise the negative effects, it’s important to understand what signs to look out for and how to care for your skin during times of stress.

Negative Effects of Stress
Stress can affect our bodies in many different ways, and can significantly affect our skin. When we are stressed, the blood is directed away from the body’s digestive system, causing it to become more acidic. This creates unbalanced digestion, which in turn leads to skin problems such as dryness, oiliness, blemishes and dullness, or sometimes a combination of all of these issues.

The prostaglandin hormonal system of the body controls the body's physiological functions, including the nervous system and the skin immunity. Stress can cause all the hormones to go to the primary nervous system, which leaves the secondary skin immunity suffering. This causes the skin to suddenly react to products, suffer from increased dryness, irritation, or flair up eczema or dermatitis.

Additionally, stress can cause your body to release stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Increased cortisol triggers an elevation in blood sugar, which - via a process called glycation – damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibres that plump the skin and keep it smooth. Stress can also have a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury or irritation. Ongoing stress can cause long-term skin damage at a cellular level, leaving the skin looking up to 10 years old than it truly is.

Identifying Skin Stress
In order to minimise stress, ensure you are caring for your physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to monitor your body and keep an eye out for tell-tale signs of stress, such as:

  • An oilier skin due to the increase in oil production.
  • A sudden outbreak of stress-related acne can also be caused by your oilier skin and an imbalance of the cortisol hormone.
  • Skin may become pale and drawn, and lose its natural radiant glow.
  • Dark rings or bags under eyes from lack of sleep.
  • You suddenly react to products you may have been using for years.
  • A sudden outbreak of eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis or irritated skin conditions.
  • Lack of exercise causes a lack of blood circulation, resulting in a dull lifeless skin, as well as not allowing the lymph to circulate, resulting in a build-up of toxins under the skin, causing swollen bags under the eyes or general puffy and dull skin appearance.
  • Headaches and muscle tension are common symptoms of stress.
  • Brittle, peeling nails are a common side effect of stress.
  • Lines and wrinkles (worry and frown lines), can become more evident, caused by dryness and dehydration with stressed facial expressions causing deep, dynamic lines that last far beyond the stressful period.
  • Stress can also cause hives and other types of skin rashes and even trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.

Caring for Stressed Skin
Taking 5 to 10 minutes each day to carry out a ritual of self-care can help provide balance and structure in a stressful day. Our certified natural skincare products can go a long way towards minimising the effects of stress on your skin.

Acne & Fever Blisters
To help control acne flare ups, our certified natural Manuka Honey Gel is extremely effective. Simply apply as often as needed to the affected area. For spot treating acne or fever blisters, apply our 100% Pure Manuka Oil. Calming yet highly potent, Manuka Oil aids the skin's natural healing process.

Dry, Dehydrated or Dull Skin 
We recommend using a certified natural moisturiser appropriate to your skin type to help restore the skin’s barrier function and restore moisture. Apply your moisturiser while your skin is still slightly damp; this helps the skin trap and retain the moisture.

To replenish your skins hydration levels, try using a certified natural Hydrating Toner (choose from Hydrating, Extra Hydrating, or Sensitive, depending on your skin type) with your moisturiser twice daily. These cooling, gentle toners glide onto skin and absorb rapidly, helping to lock in hydration. Around the eye area, try our certified natural Firming Eye Cream. This highly concentrated cream is easily absorbed, and works to help reverse the aging effects of stress and wear around your eyes. Additionally, help stimulate cell renewal and encourage healthy elastin and collagen production by using our certified natural Skin Revive Exfoliant at least twice a week.

Applying one of our certified natural face masks once or twice a week will help to nurture and restore the skin. To enrich and replenish skins moisture, try our certified natural Hydrating Gel Mask, which is formulated with Active Manuka Honey to maintain moisture levels and aid in skin healing alongside Vitamin C rich Grapefruit Extract and Vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants. To detox, purify and strengthen your skin’s protective layer, try our certified natural Charcoal Clay Mask, which has been formulated with natural anti-pollutant, skin detoxifying ingredients to restore skin balance and leave you with a healthy, refreshed, glowing complexion.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles
With its powerful combination of nutrient-rich actives, our iconic Firming Flax Serum is formulated to complement the skin's natural healing process and works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Each morning and evening, smooth onto face and neck after cleansing and hydrating, paying attention to areas such as expression lines. For a luxurious pick me up, apply our certified natural Radiance Night Oil before bed. It’s beautifully fragrant blend will help to calm the mind before sleep, as well as address dry skin, scars and wrinkles.
 
Body Care
For brittle, peeling nails, massage our certified natural Ultra Rich Body Cream into the nail cuticles twice daily. To deeply nourish and restore skin, massage a thick layer into the nails and hands and sleep with cotton gloves on. When your struggling with dry or sensitive skin, always avoid harsh detergent type soaps. Our certified natural Nourishing Body Wash is a gentle alternative. This mild, foaming wash naturally cleanses skin with hydrating Active Manuka Honey and nutrient-rich Kelp, while Bisabolol from Chamomile and Ginger extract help to soothe sensitive skin.

In addition to your skincare routine, it’s important to consider your physical and mental wellbeing during times of stress. Try to make time for activities you enjoy and get in some exercise to help to get the blood circulating through your body. This will help your body to detoxify and encourage skin healing. Finally, ensure you eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink a lot of water to boost your health internally.

For more information on caring for your skin, contact our dedicated customer solutions team at solutions@livingnature.com. Xx

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