The simple answer is Yes, stress can lead to a range of skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, hives, rosacea, and eczema. Stress can also worsen existing skin conditions. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones like cortisol which can cause skin inflammations and increase oil production. This can lead to breakouts and other skin issues. The American Academy of Dermatology states "Stress hormones break down the collagen and elastin in skin and interfere with rejuvenation, which can speed up the aging process causing more fine lines and wrinkles. The hair and its growth are also affected by stress contributing to hair thinning and hair loss." Additionally, when people are stressed they may have less time to take care of themselves and may not eat a healthy diet or get enough sleep – both of which affect the condition of their skin.
The brain-skin axis is a strong connection with continuous communications and signals received from the brain to the skin. Stress from any area of our life including work, relationships, and financial stress can increase inflammation through the production of stress hormones. This can lead to itchy, irritated skin, and even infection. Wound healing can also slow down, while skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can trigger outbreaks or become worsened. In addition, chronic stress can break down collagen and elastin formations leading to increased skin aging, with fine lines and wrinkles, and hormonal changes which can lead to skin discolorations like hyperpigmentation. Those who have more oily skin are prone to produce more oil when they are stressed with increased acne.
To combat the effects of stress on the skin, one should first try to reduce the levels of stress in their life. Taking part in activities that reduce stress such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and deep breathing can help to relax the body and mind. Additionally, it is important to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet to maintain healthy skin. Applying calming or hydrating skincare products such as sheet masks or serums can also help to soothe stressed skin.
Of course having regular professional facials, and body treatments helps to combat stress as well. In fact, having regular facials increases serotonin levels and dopamine levels while decreasing stress hormones. Because facials are so relaxing, they can improve stress levels especially when done on a regular basis. Skin therapists recommend facials about every 3-4 weeks to promote skin renewal and help achieve healthier looking skin in addition to the therapeutic benefits of destressing the body. Look to microcurrent or red light therapy to further this effect.
Looking for a microcurrent treatment sign up on our booking page. Make the most of your skin health by getting regular biweekly or monthly treatments with your skincare professional.