First of all let's address this: How does stress affect skin?
The skin isn’t a survival organ (like the heart or brain), so in times of stress, the body’s resources are redirected where the effect is the degradation of the skin’s barrier, so moisture gets out and external aggressors get in (making skin reactive). The body also releases the stress hormone cortisol, and this in turn breaks down the skin’s elastin and collagen and reduces the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.
Have you noticed people with higher levels of stress look older? On the other hand, when we’re relaxed, rested and less stressed – and that makes a world of difference to our skin.
So, what can you do to keep your skin’s feel good and look good?
First of all - sunblock! Indoors or outdoors, those UV rays are everywhere - including emitted through our phones which we are glued to!
Discover your new SPF – a.k.a Stress Protection Factor!
While it’s often hard to control internal stress, we can take charge of how we look after our skin. Protecting and building the skin’s barrier is key, so don’t over-cleanse, and do limit your use of peels. Dermatologists say that a gentle peel once or twice a week is perfect, your skin just doesn’t need more. Find out if peels are even FOR your skin.
However, the opposite can be said for anything that hydrates the skin. Dehydration is the main cause of dull skin and a lack of luminosity, so layering up on hydrochloric acid based serums, masks and sheet masks will make a big difference to hydration levels, as will loading up on antioxidants to neutralize the havoc wreaked by pollution and internal stress. Layer up your serums, but remember, you need to use a cream on top, especially at night. If it suits your skin, add a drop or two of face oil at night to your cream – it leaves skin super-soft, supple and healthy-looking in the morning!
Here are some of our favourites for that:
For some of us, hydration proves to create more agony with breakouts so opt for Vitamin C based serums and oils. Always remember, you know how reactive your skin is to different products - don't splurge on high end products just because influencers or friends alike do it. Your skin needs your love so be true to it and buy what suits you!
For combination or oily skin, we recommend these tried and tested products like this Vitamin C serum by Drunk Elephant and Niacinamide serum by the Ordinary, which improve fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, uneven texture (from those pesky acne days which leave a jarring scar), loss of firmness or elasticity - and a retinoid by The Ordinary which actually helps fight against multiple signs of aging without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol.
Above all - and this is straight from the mouths of most dermatologists we have gone to, and spoken to - GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Not just the regular 6 to 8 hours - timing matters too. Sleep by 10.30 max and wake up by 6am to 7am, and see the difference with just a well hydrated day including SPF.