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The effects of stress on the skin

Are you anxious by nature? Are you going through a particularly stressful time? If this is the case, you are surely seeing the action of stress on the skin :imperfections, dull complexion and marked wrinkles settle quickly. To soothe your skin and preserve its beauty, here is an overview of the effects of stress on the skin, and our tips to remedy them!

How does stress affect the skin?

Stress pimples on the skin of the face and body

Stress, which is basically a defense mechanism in dangerous situations, can quickly have a negative impact on our body. Prolonged or chronic stress causes chemical reactions, which ultimately harm the whole body.

The skin is no exception to the rule:when you face a peak of stress or chronic stress, cortisol levels increase . This hormone, also called the stress hormone, increases the production of sebum. The excess sebum then clogs the pores, which leads to the appearance of blackheads or acne pimples. Depending on the person, stress pimples can appear on the skin of the face only, or also on the body, scattered or in patches.

Stress and aging of the skin:beware of wrinkles!

In dermatology, we generally speak of oxidative stress , to designate the stress that affects the epidermis. Indeed, cortisol not only increases sebum production, it also alters the skin barrier . Our skin is more sensitive, more fragile, and has more difficulty coping with free radicals. Result:skin aging accelerates, the skin dries out, wrinkles deepen, and pigment spots may appear.

An alteration of the complexion due to stress

Beyond cortisol, stress releases many hormones:adrenaline, oxytocin, vasopressin or ACTH. Each causes chain reactions in the body and in the skin tissue.

Depending on the type of stress encountered, these hormones can cause vasoconstriction , which gives a paler, grayer complexion. In other cases, stress causes vasodilation, and the face becomes redder, either as a whole or in patches.

Dry skin and itchy skin

As seen above, stress unbalances the skin barrier and weakens the hydrolipidic film. Less protected against external aggressions, the skin dries out and becomes damaged. In addition, when the hydrolipidic film is altered, the water naturally contained in the epidermis evaporates more quickly.

The skin is then dehydrated and dry, which can cause significant discomfort:tightness, itching, a burning sensation, irritation at the slightest friction . If your skin tends to be dry or sensitive, this can develop into desquamation.

Be careful, in people affected by certain skin pathologies, such as psoriasis or eczema, stress can cause attacks and rashes.

A tired eye area

When we are stressed, stress hormones can cause blood vessels to dilate or narrow. Blood circulation and lymphatic drainage are then less efficient . The area around the eyes with very thin skin, blood and stagnant lymph under the skin are very visible:dark circles are darker, more marked, and can even create bags under the eyes.

How to reduce the effects of stress on the skin?

To limit breakage and fight against the effects of stress on the skin , you need to adapt your beauty routine:

  • If you're prone to stress pimples, regular exfoliation will help unclog pores, and a purifying mask once a week will help reduce excess oil. Every day, continue to hydrate your skin to allow it to regenerate and protect itself against aggressions.
  • If your dark circles are more marked, use an eye contour morning and evening. To fight against dark circles and puffiness and decongest your eyes, do not hesitate to place your treatment in the refrigerator.
  • In case of itching and tightness, use a richer cream than usual, such as our beauty restoring gel, or our deep hydration cream, perfect for regenerating the skin in depth.

Of course, the ideal way to reduce the action of stress on the skin is to attack the cause ! To soothe your anxiety, the practice of sport, meditation and a healthy lifestyle are recommended. Maintain a sufficient and regular sleep cycle, try to balance your diet as well as possible, and give yourself time away from screens, emails and texts!