How Stress Affects your Skin

Stress has become an everyday occurrence in our lives, we find it in the demands of the work place, peers at school, honking horns in the daily job commute and even in our homes, with screaming babies, kids deadlines and demanding husbands. Stress works to undermine our bodies, our minds and our emotions. Our skin can be affected by this stress. It shows up as acne,blemishes, hives, eczema, cold sores, warts, blisters, rosacea, and psoriasis. These daily stresses can have a negative impact on our immune systems. Our stressed immunities leave our skin, which is considered an organ, susceptible to attack.. The “flight” or “fight” mechanism is our bodies natural way of dealing with stress. When we are in our “flight” or “fight” mode our flow of blood and nutrients are directed to the parts of our body where it is needed to fight stress the most, leaving our skin vulnerable to attack because it is non-essential in fighting stress.

This lack of blood flow to our skin, makes it hard for our skin to breathe. This lack of oxygen makes our skin dull, lifeless and less supple. The lack of hydration makes it prone to clogged pores and break outs. Our bodies produce stress hormones when in stressful situations that thicken the hair folicles leading to acne and blemishes. During these stressful times our skin seems to become oiler and more sensitive, again a side effect of the hormones released by our bodies. Stress has also been linked to premature aging of our skin, when we are in stressful situations we tend to frown or scowl, which causes wrinkles.

There are a few easy steps we can take to help minimize how stress affects our skin. Eating a balanced diet helps keep our bodies healthy and performing at their best, help keeping us resistant to the affects of stress. Getting plenty of sleep helps recharge and rejuvenate our bodies, helping making it more resilient. Daily exercise helps as a stress relief, it helps keep us strong and healthy. We can also try de-stressing techniques such as listening to soft music, yoga or message, to help take away the tensions of the day. A good oil message will relieve stress and also lubricate the skin. Good hygiene and washing our face daily can help keep our skin clean and reduce these break outs. While it is unlikely that we will ever get away from stress completely, we can take these easy everyday steps to keep our skin from being affected in a negative way.