When we go through a state of stress, whether it be acute (short duration) or chronic (constant, long term), this can be from actively feeling stressed from work, a pandemic, children etc or a stressor on the body e.g. heavy caffeine intake, over exercising, medications or unhealthy diets. Many internal changes begin to happen bringing our body out of homeostasis (balance), our body tries to cope with this by starting a chain reaction of hormonal release.
The hypothalamus sends signals out some making its way to the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol (stress hormone). Having high levels of cortisol circulating throughout the body, when circulating for long periods of time this wreaks havoc on the hormonal balances, not to mention dysregulating other systems of the body such as the gastrointestinal system not functioning correctly.
In terms of skin this cascade of signals causes inflammation in the body, exacerbating already inflamed conditions such as acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, eczema etc. The skin flares up and can become hot, more sensitive to pain and products going into the skin.
In the stressed state the body produces more IGF1 and increases androgens, this speeds up cell turnover creating more clogging of skin cells along with the production of thicker, sticky oil (sebum) being produced adding to more deep congestion and ductal plugging. The perfect recipe for breakouts. Hello pustules and blackheads!
Not only does stress cause breakouts and flare ups but it can damage cells having a harmful effect on the DNA of the cells, this leads to premature ageing. Collagen starts to get broken down adding to the early ageing process causing sagging in the skin. Even with collagen induction therapy the stress state will continue to break down collagen.
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is also released and can be broken down to produce melanocytes stimulating hormone that can lead to hyperpigmentation. Have you noticed an increase in pigmentation during a stressful period of your life ?
So in these times please remember to take time out for yourself to help relax the body, try some deep breathing exercises, get some fresh air, run a warm bath, laugh and fill your body with nutritious food.
Our relax supplement is amazing at helping to support our body’s internal structures through stressful times, by helping to support the adrenal glands when working overtime and to help lower cortisol levels putting your body at ease. We recommend this to ALL our clients no matter the skin condition as we live in a high stress environment.