The surprising ways stress can affect your skin
As the world grapples with the unfolding of one of the toughest challenges we’ve faced for almost a century, our individual stress levels are understandably rising with each passing day. It’s difficult to maintain focus and keep to ‘new normal’ everyday routines and activities when so much is happening to so many.
So we do what we can. For us here at Clémence Organics, that’s helping you look after yourself and your skin.
If you’ve found your skin isn’t behaving in its usual way lately, perhaps it’s reacting to products or foods that are normally fine or you’re breaking out more than normal, elevated stress levels are likely to be the culprit.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and provides critical barrier and immune functions. What’s going on inside your body is, more often than not, reflected in your skin.
Repeated or prolonged stress suppresses your skin’s immune function, which increases inflammation, allergic response, susceptibility to infection, and reactivity to new stimuli. A spike in the stress hormone cortisol adds to the inflammatory response, making your skin work even harder.
This is why, if you have an underlying skin condition, stress is probably going to make it flare up. To add to that, it can also make even usually well-behaved skin hyper-sensitive.
So stress directly affects the health of your skin from the inside.
But it also disrupts our good habits. We stop taking the best care of ourselves and our skin loses out. Poor sleep, skipping steps of our skincare routine, eating sugary, processed food and drinking less water all contribute to depleted skin health.
So, how does all this play out for your complexion?
Fine lines and wrinkles
Cortisol is a power player that wreaks havoc on your skin. Not only does it increase inflammation, but it also breaks down collagen and thins your skin.
Prolonged periods of stress and sustained cortisol levels don’t give your skin the break it needs to repair and rebuild.
During times like this you can support your skin with products that contain potent anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as our Repair Face Serum. This luxurious serum uses Organic Rosehip Oil for powerful anti-ageing and to promote skin elasticity, and beautiful Calendula to soothe inflammation.
For added benefit, try rolling it into the skin with a Jade roller to reduce puffiness, and to soften and relax tight facial muscles.
Sensitivity and redness
If your skin is prone to sensitivity, rosacea or eczema you undoubtedly already know how much stress can affect a complexion. Once again, cortisol and its immune-suppressing effects are to blame for the heightened inflammatory response and ensuing flare-ups that occur during times of stress.
When your skin is suffering flare-ups or hypersensitivity the best way to adapt your skincare routine is to bring it right back to basics.
Remove any products that might cause irritation or sensitivity and use simple yet powerful ingredients such as Calendula, Rose Otto and Biofermented hyaluronic acid to increase hydration, ease inflammation and soothe hypersensitivity.
Our Ultimate Face Crème incorporates these divine ingredients and has gathered a loyal following for its skin-soothing effects.
Possibly the most common side effect of stress, acne and breakouts occur when the skin starts overproducing oil. Stress can be a catalyst for this as it disrupts our delicate hormonal balance and signals the skin to start producing excess oil.
Your first thought may be to start scrubbing it away with strong cleansers, but hold that thought! Over-cleansing and stripping your natural oils only makes your skin work harder to replace the lost oil.
We highly recommend cleansing only once per day with our Refining Cleanser and then toning with our Ultimate Biome Spritz which gently balances pH levels, tightens pores without drying and strengthens your skin’s natural barrier to reduce infection and inflammation.
Stress and sleep….well, there’s a huge topic. But we all know the feeling of tossing and turning as our thoughts run away with all those hours we should be using to recharge. And, of course, lack of sleep leads to the inevitable, tell-tale dark circles.
Turning off screens in the hours preceding bed-time, meditation, essential oils – all these activities will help optimise your chance of some rejuvenating rest.
If you need some extra help to combat dark circles and puffy eyes, our Lime Caviar Eye Crème is formulated with brightening and skin-tightening vitamin c. Rosehip oil and Biofermented Hyaluronic Acid work to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to give your peepers the lift they need during trying times.
Adapting your skincare in times of stress
When overwhelm gets the better of your skin, the best thing you can do is go back to basics.
Skin that’s feeling hypersensitive will benefit from a simple routine that doesn’t put too much pressure on it.
All Clémence Organics products are gentle and made with 100% natural, certified organic ingredients and nothing synthetic.
If you are using any skincare that has excess fragrances, dyes or colours, now is the time to have a break from them as they can irritate stressed-out skin.
Make sure your routine is simple and brings you a little joy. Cleanse, tone, serum and moisturiser should give your skin the break it needs while not demanding too much of you either.
As always, we highly recommend only cleansing once per day, as over-cleansing can strip your skin’s natural protective barrier and leave it exposed. Choose morning or evening, whichever suits your lifestyle, and simply splash your face with warm water before toning at the other end of the day.
Wishing you and your loved ones the best of health,