The Mind - Skin Connection
What to do when stress affects your skin
Anxiety is something that we probably all suffer from at one point or another in our lives. I can tell you I’m no stranger to it. When I was in my early 30s I started having panic attacks in my car and it got to the point where getting my children to school was extremely difficult. I spent an awful lot of (wasted) time worrying about panicking! This anticipatory anxiety affects our central nervous system, creating a surge of adrenaline, making us feel breathless and often sweaty.
What I began to notice over the next few months was that the eczema that I thought I had said goodbye to had returned and I would have acne flare ups too. Why?
Your skin and your head!
Your emotional state is deeply intertwined with your skin, leading to acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis among other complaints. Just as stress can show through tummy problems it can also show through your skin. For example, you may suffer an acne breakout when you are tense as your body releases the hormone cortisol, which increases the skin’s production of oil. Stress can also make your skin more sensitive and reactive making it more difficult to heal existing conditions. Long lasting anxiety can cause your skin to itch and burn, with or without visible signs.
How your body chooses to deal with stress is dependent on which organs channel it. Some people might get migraines, others may suffer from IBS, stomach or mouth ulcers and others, like me, may react through skin rashes.
If eczema, rosacea or other rashes affect how you look your stress can be exacerbated as you are also dealing with self-esteem issues, and so a vicious cycle begins.
Help you head, help your skin
- Acknowledging that stressors are affecting your life is the first port of call.
- Decide which stressors you can easily do something about and those that may take a little longer
- Exercise regularly – it’s great for your head and your skin
- Establish a really good skincare routine – moisturise your skin every morning and cleanse in the evening, ultimately followed by a facial oil (try ours!!)
- Moisturise all over if your skin is dry and itchy
- Take a little time for you, every day. This doesn’t have to be hours and hours, just 10 minutes can be highly beneficial.
- Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga have serious benefits to our nervous system. Again, you don’t have to do them for hours, short bursts are perfect. Try a 10 minute routine when you get up in the morning.
- Get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Avoid too-hot baths, sulphates and parabens
Remember, you are not alone – according to Anxiety UK, anxiety affects about 6 million of us in this country. Be kind to yourself and begin to feel happy in your own skin.
Lots of love,