You’re probably no stranger to stress. Between work or school, family responsibilities, staying active and keeping up with your other commitments, it’s easy to feel frazzled. And just like stress can impact the body - rapid heartbeat, digestive issues, and trouble sleeping - it can also have an effect on your skin.
The connection between stress and skin issues is more profound than you might think. Skin is the largest organ in the body, often indicating what’s going on inside. If you’re experiencing breakouts, sensitivity, or dull, lackluster skin, it could be due to unmanaged stress.
Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Learning how to manage your stress will help you regain your skin’s radiance and help your overall well-being. First, it’s essential to understand the link between stress and skin conditions.
How Does Stress Impact Your Skin?
Stress isn’t all bad. After all, stress elicits the fight-or-flight mode in our bodies to help keep us safe, avoid danger, or meet a pending deadline. The body’s stress response is complex. When an external stressor presents, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary glands and adrenal glands to act, producing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
This is called the HPA axis. Stress hormones trigger other stress-related functions, like increased heart rate, the expansion of blood vessels and lungs, and the release of glucose into the bloodstream for a quick burst of energy.
Stress and Skin Problems
The problem with the body’s response to stress is that it can sometimes become unbalanced. When this happens, the stress response is activated for long periods. This leads to chronic stress, which is ongoing stress that lasts longer than two weeks.
Unchecked stress can lead to many health problems and can take a toll on your skin. This may cause existing skin conditions to worsen and even create new ones.
Specifically, stress can:
- - Cause wound healing to slow down. Chronic stress can lead to suppression of the immune system, which means wounds on the skin take longer to heal.
- - Cause flare-ups of known skin issues like psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
- - Make sebaceous glands produce more oil, which could lead to breakouts and blemishes. This is especially true if you already have acne-prone skin.
- - Leave skin looking dull and uneven.
The good news is that you can simultaneously manage your stress and improve your skin.
How To Deal With Stress
Learning proper stress management is essential to your mental health and the health of your body and skin. Here are a few ways to manage stress and practice self-care for whole-body wellness.
1. Focus On Sleep
More than you need yoga or a retreat, you need enough sleep. Sleep is essential for proper stress management and for the health of your skin. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep, but you might need more or less depending on your activity level.
Your skin does most of its reparative and restorative work while resting. Skipping sleep will not only lead to dark circles under your eyes; it can lead to dull skin and premature signs of aging. Applying a hydrating serum before you go to bed can help keep your skin quenched and help you wake up with a better glow.
For an extra boost of overnight skin care, try NuFACE Super Vita-C Booster Serum. This powerful blend of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and niacinamide is aimed at brightening your skinhelps diminish dark spots so you wake up to brighter, refreshed skin.
Getting to sleep - and staying asleep - can be a challenge. Remember to practice proper sleep hygiene by turning off screens at least 30 minutes before bed and dimming lights to signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Unwinding with chamomile tea, reading, or using white noise are all helpful ways to relax before bed and help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
2. Stay Consistent With Your Skincare Routine
When you’re burdened, it can feel like squeezing anything else into an already jam-packed schedule is impossible, but ensuring you maintain a simple skincare routine can pay dividends in the health of your skin.
When you’re overwhelmed, you only need to focus on the basics. Cleanse, boost, and protect. NuFACE Skincare makes it easy to target all your skin concerns with clean formulas and products that do double duty, like NuFACE Prep-N-Glow® Hydrating and Exfoliating Facial Wipes. These wipes remove dirt, oil, and makeup on one side and provide a gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells on the other.
Layer on targeted Super Booster serums according to your skin needs, and then hydrate and lock in moisture with a Microcurrent Activator. These formulas can be used alone to nourish skin or to enhance and conduct microcurrent treatment with your NuFACE Device, making them incredible multitaskers to streamline your skincare routine.
Creating relaxing routines is key to managing stress. You can do this by pairing two activities to help you unwind - like using your NuFACE TRINITY + and Wrinkle Reducer Attachment while doing affirmations or relaxing in bed.
The LED Red Light Wrinkle Reducer Attachment helps reduce full-face wrinkles and enhance skin radiance - and is so easy to use that you won’t even need a mirror. Try using the Red Light attachment while watching tv or reading at the end of a long day to treat your skin and calm your mind.
4. Focus on Hydration
As mentioned previously, when you experience stress, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels can increase oil production (sebum) in your skin. While this might sound like it would prevent dehydration, it can have the opposite effect. The increased oil production may disrupt the skin's natural lipid barrier, leading to trans-epidermal water loss, where water evaporates from the skin's surface more rapidly, causing dehydration.
Just like you need to hydrate your body for optimal health, you also need to provide skin with ample hydration. Hydrating skin will keep it plump, reduce rough patches, and promote an even skin tone. It can even help you deal with fine lines and wrinkles.
Hydration should be both internal - drinking plenty of water- and external, by using nourishing skin products to moisturize skin and lock in moisture. Look for formulas with water as one of the first ingredients and hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1000x its weight in water to retain moisture. Aqua Gel Activator is packed with IonPlex® - a blend of ionized minerals and glacial water - and hyaluronic acid to keeps your skin hydrated for 24 hours. To use it, apply it in a mask-like layer to your skin before you use your favorite NuFACE Microcurrent Device, or use as you would any moisturizer.
5. Get Regular Exercise
Not only can exercise help reduce your stress levels, but it also releases endorphins and helps promote healthy skin. Exercise increases circulation and helps oxygenate skin cells, keeping them healthy. Just a little movement is all it takes - even a 10-minute walk around the block is plenty to get your blood following and clear your mind (and skin)!
For even more benefits, aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day. You can try a combination of walking, cardio, pilates, yoga, and weightlifting to see what kinds of exercise you like best. Find your favorite form of movement, and then make time for it in your day to release stress and exercise your body.
6. Share the Load
Sometimes, we fill our plates with more than we can handle. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. If you feel emotionally burdened, talking to someone can help you change your perspective. Getting the help you need is vital, and chances are your loved ones would feel honored to prop you up when needed.
In addition to sharing with your support system of family members and friends, speaking with a licensed therapist can be a good solution for ongoing support. Therapists offer a variety of services like in-person talk therapy (also known as psychotherapy), or telehealth visits, that can help you to manage stress. Your therapist will be able to help you identify key stressors, create an action plan to alleviate stress, and act as an outlet to chat through day-to-day issues.
Solutions for Stressed-Out Skin
Your skin takes a beating when you’re stressed, but instead of letting that stress you even more, relax and take steps to manage your stress and your skin. NuFACE makes it easy to indulge in self-care that provides desired results. Microcurrent Therapy is the perfect time to slip in some breathwork, meditation, or mindfulness, all while making your skin as radiant and youthful as possible.