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How the signs of stress can show through your skin

I am sure I am not alone when I say life is ridiculously busy and the demands on our time feel like they are ever increasing.

I know as a new mum, I feel the pressure of being the best mum I can and wanting to spend time with Lottie, combined with balancing work, home life and being a wife, and then chuck in the temptation of social media and the fact my phone never feels more than two feet away, means at times the stress of it all can all feel a bit overwhelming!

SkinGym dealing with stress - busy mother with baby, multitask woman

The reality is that stress is part of our everyday life and hard to avoid, but it’s really important that we know how to recognise the signs of stress and how to manage it.

The science bit…

When we get stressed the body produces two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is quite literally what keeps us ‘alive’ as it helps our body react to ‘danger’ and will revert back to normal levels once that ‘danger’ has passed.

Cortisol is produced to help us cope with stress and is vital in maintaining a good immune system, but if our levels of cortisol remain high it can have a negative impact and lead to things such as thinning skin, high fluid retention, bloating, weight gain and an overall hormone imbalance.

What to look out for in our skin…  

Our skin is often the best window to our health and can give you an indication that we are suffering from stress even when we don’t particularly feel too bad.

Here are 3 key things to look out for that indicates we are suffering from stress:

  • Acne – women often suffer from acne more than men as we produce more hormones that are responsible for the production of sebum which in turn can cause acne.
  • Fine lines – cortisol increases our sugar levels which in turn can damage our collagen and elastin, the two fibres that help to keep our skin smooth, plump and firm.
  • Dry / Dullness – increased cortisol can cause water loss from the skin leading to dry and dullness

Other things to look out for…

  • Poor sleep – stress can cause a magnesium deficiency in our bodies which can cause anxiety, muscle cramps and even insomnia.
  • Low energy – the demand on our B vitamins increases when we are stressed and these are vital for energy levels, mental health and generally helping to combat stress
  • Flaring up of conditions caused by gut health – our body’s natural reaction when high levels of cortisol are present is to divert energy away from the gut to our muscles and brain, this can cause the digestion and immune system to slow down and cause the gut to become vulnerable to infection of inflammation.

This inflammation in our gut can trigger skin conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and acne

What can you do to help combat stress  

There are many things I do to try and help relieve stress, from making sure me and my hubby have date night now and again, to banning phones when we are sat on the sofa for that golden hour of sanctuary in an evening, but here are some of the products I recommend to help deal with the effects of stress and keep your skin looking the best it can:

Also make sure your diet has a mixture of foods high in vitamin B which include, cereals, grains, fish, chicken, milk, eggs and of course vegetables.

I do hope you take the time to manage your stress levels as 1 on 6 people in the workplace are affected by stress, anxiety or depression at any one time according to the UK charity MIND, and if you do have any questions about what products you can use to help manage the effects of stress on your skin you only have to ask.

Katherine x

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