Have you ever noticed that during times of stress, your skin can go a little haywire? You may notice an increase in breakouts, dryness, irritation and sensitivity. This is due to your body's increased release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline during times of chronic and accute stress.
So what can we do about it? Here's four ways to manage skin stress:
1. Increase water intake
We know, you hear it all the time - and it's not fancy or exciting but it's important. 97% of the population is dehydrated at any given time, meaning that during times of stress it's even more important to drink more H2O. If you find it hard to stomach water, try adding lemon, lime or even berries to make it easier to drink and gradually increase the amount to 8 glasses per day.
2. Check in with your gut health
Studies have shown that chronic and accute periods of stress have a direct impact on your gut health, which as no surprise shows as a direct reflection in your skin. If you're not already, consider implementing an Essential Fatty Acid supplement into your diet. EFAs have been shown to decrease inflammation and increase elasticity in the skin. They can be taken in tablet form as an oil supplement, starting with a dosage of 3000mg per day.
3. Lifestyle and diet
During periods of stress, it's natural for us to want to reach for the easiest, most feel good comfort foods and skip on the extra workout session. Simply adding in a 10 minute walk or yoga session per day, getting your sleep schedule back on track and increasing your intake of fibre rich fruit and vegetables will help to decrease inflammation in your skin.
4. Brush up on your skin routine
As our skin experiences periods of stress it's even more important to ensure that we have a solid skin care routine in place. Be realistic about this - there's absolutely no point in sampling 75 different serums from various brands at one time without being sure on a) what your skin currently needs b) whether the product is suitable for your skin and c) the results you are trying to achieve. Start simple with a routine of Cleansing and Moisturising am and pm before gradually introducing products such as Exfoliators, Serums and Masks into your routine and look for products that are multi use and can save you time - hello sleep in masks!
Lastly, be kind to yourself and smile.