How stress affects our skin and body
Image courtesy of @lara.bezzina
This article is part of our partnership with DeMamiel. In line with Blue Monday, DeMamiel founder Annee DeMamiel shares her tips on how to deal with stress and how it can affect our skin & body.
Meet DeMamiel founder, Annee DeMamiel
Stress is a common side effect of the busy lives we all lead, but if not kept in check, too much stress too often, can seriously damage our health, and that of our skin. When we’re stressed, the hormone cortisol is triggered to try and help our bodies cope. While cortisol is very effective in dealing with the perceived threat that we’re under, it can be incredibly detrimental to everything else, whether it be maintaining healthy sleep habits or the look and feel of our skin.
Some of you might be familiar with what stress looks like on the skin, but if you’re not, it can be useful to know what to look out for. While of course stress can manifest itself in different ways for different people, some common symptoms include increased dehydration and dullness and more frequent flare ups of redness, breakouts and sensitivity.
Although managing stress is a lifelong skill (which I for one am still trying to master!), there are lots of things we can do to try and reduce our exposure to stress and limit its impact.
Here are just a few of my favourites:
Implement a good regular skincare routine
I can’t emphasise enough how important my daily routine is to me, not only in helping keep my skin on track, but my sanity too. Taking a few minutes out of a busy day centres me and I really find it such a calming tonic. I always make sure our First Fix serum is included in there too; I formulated this incredible product to deal with the impact of stress on a physical, cellular and emotional level so it’s an excellent weapon to have in your skincare arsenal if you want to try and reduce the damage stress is causing.
Being conscious of your breathing is hugely beneficial when it comes to fighting stress. When our bodies are in that fight or flight stress mode, they constrict. This means oxygen doesn’t get through and so the sympathetic nervous system, the body's rapid involuntary response to stressful situations, takes over. By pausing and just inhaling, in through the nose and out through the mouth, we begin to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, (or the rest and digest phase) and slow everything down.
Yoga and meditation
I have loved yoga for as long as I can remember but now more than ever, I am leaning on the practise as a potent stress-buster! Yoga is known to relax both the body and the mind by improving breathing and reducing stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Although practising yoga at any time of the day will benefit you, I personally find the combination of fluid movement and breathing before bedtime is a really fantastic way to help me wind down, empty my mind and prepare for sleep.
If you're struggling to switch off and stress is threatening to overwhelm you, one of my favourite aromatherapy tips is to simply inhale the aroma of a big bowl of citrus fruits. We all usually have a few lemons and limes knocking around the house, but we may not realise how smelling these wonderful fruits can help stimulate our limbic system, or our emotional brain, and positively impact the way we feel. Plus, I defy anyone not to feel cheerier when faced with a bowl of colours such as those!
Colours actually have a huge impact on our mood and how we can feel mentally. Read our colour psychology blog on how colour affects our emotions.