Is stress affecting your skin?
When the current climate feels beyond your control, it comes as no surprise that we see stress manifest itself mentally, physically + emotionally. Aches + pains from increased inflammation, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, exhaustion or trouble sleeping, burnout + digestive problems are all common symptoms ~ but what about the impact on your skin?
As the largest organ in your body, stress can also manifest in your skin. Stress increases the adrenaline + cortisol levels in your body, which in turn increases inflammation. The result? A dull complexion, dry + dehydrated skin, breakouts, skin rashes, irritation + itchiness, sensitivity, skin ageing + even increased hair loss.
If stress is something you’ve been struggling with lately + your skin is paying the price, here are 5 of our top tips to soothe stressed skin.
1. Hydrate from the inside out
Up those hydration levels. When your skin reacts to stress + releases cortisol, this can slow down the natural production of oil + result in dull, dry + irritated skin. Sip your way back to skin health + happiness by drinking water + hydration-boosting fluids (try our hydrating + delicious Watermelon Cooler recipe). As a general rule, divide your body weight in kilograms by 30 to find out how much you should be drinking each day.
2. Go back to basics with a simple skincare ritual
It’s less about routine + more about creating a simple skincare ritual that your skin loves + you enjoy. Eliminate any products with fragrance, colours or anything artificial. We’re talking absolutely no nasties. Your skin deserves quality nourishment. It’s not uncommon for products to begin to irritate your skin during times of significant stress - so strip it back to basics.
Cleanse + hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Look for products containing Hyaluronic Acid ~ a water binding agent that increases hydration + gives a plump, smooth appearance to your skin. Lovers of Adashiko rate + recommend our Daily Collagen Skincare Ritual Kit ~ including a 100g Collagen Cleanse, 50ml Collagen + Noni Gel, 50ml Collagen Hydra+ Gold Elixir + Silk Repair Eye Cream for happy, healthy skin.
3. Increase the quantity + quality of your sleep
Lower quality (+ not enough) sleep also contributes to increased cortisol levels. Get to know your natural circadian rhythm. If you can, turn your alarm clock off for a few days + observe your body’s natural wake time + reset your internal clock. Research suggests the ideal time to go to sleep for most adults is 10pm + you should aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
Try to limit your daily exposure to blue light emitted from digital devices + practice a digital detox for 1-hour before bed. Instead, try to create a new evening ritual ~ we’re lovers of a nourishing meal, an evening stroll or time outside with the family, taking time to enjoy our PM skincare ritual + slipping into bed (once the kids are down + we’ve caught our breath) with our latest read.
4. Skip the caffeine
Yes, you guessed it - caffeine can also elevate your cortisol levels + even more so during times of significant stress. Reducing your caffeine intake + swapping it out for hydration-boosting fluids + antioxidant-rich foods can have an almost immediate effect on lowering your stress levels.
Much like our hydrating Watermelon Cooler recipe we mentioned above, you can ditch the caffeine + replace it with caffeine-free herbal teas, ceremonial Cacoa or antioxidant-rich smoothies. Our favs? Antioxidant Berry Banana Smoothie + Ultimate Antioxidant Blast Green Smoothie (stay tuned + we’ll share the recipes with you soon).
5. Sweat it out
If your body feels better, so will your mind. Exercise reduces your cortisol levels. Moving your body in a way that feels good for you, for 30-minutes a day (but even 10-minutes will make a big difference), will help you break a sweat, increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation + stimulate those much-loved endorphins. The result? Less toxins, fewer breakouts, a stronger immune system + skin barrier + happier, healthier skin.