We know that the health of our skin is not separate from our inner health & immune function, but a lot of us don’t realise that this also includes our mental health and well-being. In today’s busy world, the increased pressure to do more, faster, makes it hard to limit chronic stress. Often we notice our skin is stressed before we realise we ourselves are stressed, but the truth is if it's showing on our skin it has been brewing below the surface for some time - and quietly wreaking havoc on our health, our immune system and our skin.
An excerpt from an article published by the National Library of Medicine Journal talks about the brain & skin connection; "Recent research has confirmed skin both as an immediate stress perceiver and as a target of stress responses. As the largest organ of the body, skin plays important barrier and immune functions...recent findings show how the brain and skin communicate with each other and how the skin reacts to stress by activating the endocrine and immune systems, and the negative impact of chronic stress on skin health."
It all comes down to our Skins Protective Barrier
When our skin is stressed, it loses some of its ability to protect itself because its barrier becomes compromised. Our skin barrier is there to protect us from external triggers such as harsh weather, pollution, water loss (dehydration), air conditioning, etc. As adults, when our skins barrier isn't functioning this can lead to skin concerns such as inflammation, acne or premature signs of skin ageing.
So what are the signs your skin is feeling the stress?
- Dryness/flaking skin
- Dull appearance
- Dehydrated/tight feeling
- Sensitivity, easily irritated
- Adult acne
- Skin condition flare ups, eg; eczema, dermatitis, perioral dermatitis
Along with stress, during the winter season we are facing many other common triggers that can, when coupled with stress & low immunity impair our skin and exacerbate existing skin conditions:
- Environment (cold weather, heating, pollution, UV damage - yes, even in winter!)
- Lowered immunity and gut health
- Incorrect skincare (our skincare needs change as the seasons change)
What can you do to help?
Introducing our stressed skin saviour, the NEW OxyGlow treatment!
Skincare = Self Care:
Incorporating skincare into a routine is not only essential for your skin, but it is also an important form of self care, encouraging you to take time each day to slow down and be present whilst also doing something that is beneficial for your skin health. When going through times of stress and skin stress it is important to make changes to your skincare routine to ensure you are using the correct products. The Dermalogica Ultra Calming range is designed to support, repair and restore the skins protective barrier, while being soothing & healing on inflammation, sensitivity and redness. The Calm Water Gel is my personal favourite with dual-action Hyaluronic Acid to deeply rehydrate parched, dull or congested skins whilst soothing skin conditions from mild sensitivity to Eczema and Dermatitis.
Take time to create mindful moments to help reduce the stressors in your life. Whilst many stress triggers in our day to day lives are outside of our control, we can look for ways to 'balance the busyness' with options such as meditation, reading, journaling, yoga, exercise or just being out in nature. But don't fall into the trap of trying to do it all! This can lead to feelings of disappointment in yourself when you don't stick to a healthy habit or new routine - take on only what is manageable, even 10 minutes a day is a great place to start.
Drink water & eat a balanced diet:
This one can be harder in winter with the desire for warm comfort foods and hot drinks. But that doesn't mean it can't be healthy! Opt for gut healing options like miso soup and bone broth to up your water intake and strengthen your immune system, along with slow cooked meals packed full of in-season vegetables. Our friends at Be Pure and The Beauty Chef have some fantastic immune boosting recipes that are also delicious, you can find these Here!
Lymphatic drainage has been around for centuries, but it has recently become mainstream with the use of at home facial rollers and Gua Sha tools. So what exactly are the benefits of these tools and how do we use them in our skincare routines? Facial massage is known to help sculpt, lift & tone the muscles resulting in firmer skin and enhanced jawline & cheekbones, while the ritual of massage helps to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. By kick-starting the lymphatic system, a Gua Sha stone or roller also helps to drain excess fluid, reduce puffiness and shift unwanted toxins out of the skin for a brighter, smoother complexion. Plus it is easy to do at home! Our facial tools come with a handy instruction guide so you can get the most benefit from your at home skincare routine. You can shop our range of facial rollers & Gua Sha Here.