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3 Ways Stress Affects Your Skin & How to Fix It

Believe it or not, stress isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a built-in tool for our survival that produces the fight or flight instincts that saved our ancestors from being eaten by saber-toothed tigers.

The problem is that modern-day stress like say, a global pandemic or a phone that keeps work within reach 24-7, impacts us in a much different way. Our bodies are living in a constant state of stress… and it shows, often on our faces.

How Stress Affects the Skin

Stressful situations cause your body to pump out a hormone called cortisol. Excessive amounts of cortisol can cause all sorts of problems, impacting your mental health, your immune system, and even your appearance.

Stress can lead to breakouts, dryness, wrinkles, and dull skin tone. You might not be able to reduce your clients’ stress levels, but you can help them deal with its effects on their skin.

Get to the Root of the Problem

It’s not crazy to assume that most of your clients are dealing with higher levels of stress these days. We all are.

Before you can address specific skin concerns, it’s important to get to the root of the problem. You can explain the connection between stress and poor habits that can cause changes in appearance.

Drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and finding ways to decompress will all help the body deal with extra stress. These habits can work to counteract the negative effects of stress on the skin.

3 Common Effects of Stressed Skin & How You Can Help

1 | Acne and breakouts

Increased cortisol can cause an upswing in oil production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. If your client is suddenly struggling with acne, stress might be to blame.

Changing the cleanser they use can help control the excess oil that leads to breakouts. Also, it’s important to regularly clean pillowcases and the towel they use to dry their face to get rid of bacteria that causes pimples.

2 | Dryness and dull skin tone

Stress can affect the function of the skin’s outer layer leading to a weakening of the moisture barrier that keeps skin hydrated. A build-up of dry skin can result in flakiness and dull skin tone.

Dullness can also be caused by decreased circulation since the body prioritizes sending blood to vital organs over the skin during times of heightened stress. The result is a lack of vibrance in the skin tone.

Exfoliating twice a week can help remove dead skin cells and improve the production of collagen, which also reduces other signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Facial massage can help reinvigorate circulation.

3 | Wrinkles and sagging skin

Stress changes the proteins in the skin and reduces elasticity, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. This decrease in elasticity combined with loss of sleep can lead to unwanted bags under the eyes.

Be sure your clients are using an appropriate moisturizer, as well as daily SPF to prevent further signs of aging from sun damage. A hydrating mask can help boost the moisture barrier and draw moisture to the skin.

The Bottom Line

While stress is inevitable, excess stress is no friend to our skin. Assist your clients with stress-related changes in their skin by recommending products and treatments that help them to look and feel their best.

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