How Stress affects the Skin

| August 3, 2021

Stressful days can have an accumulative affect and it isn’t necessarily a good one.

Let’s look at how it can affect our skin. Understanding how stress can harm empowers us to make informed decisions.

Understanding the Effect of Stress within the body

The presence of stress stimulates adaptive mechanisms which are essential to our survival. The major player involved in this is the HPA Axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) which produces hormones that contribute to alertness and influence or ‘flight or fight’ response. This critical biological system can cease to serve our needs when it is subjected to long-standing stress. When this is the case, the very neuroendocrine system processes and feedback loops meant to protect us begin to work against us, creating multiple well-documented health risks.

The Direct Impact of Stress on Skin

The Skin suffers when our mind and body are subjected to prolonged periods of high stress. As our largest organ it has the important responsibility of maintaining balance between our internal environment and the external environment around us. It perform as a vital barrier and must supply critical immune function responses. The skin senses stressors and reacts to them.

Stress is associated with the onset of several skin diseases and is known to aggravate unwanted skin conditions including: psoriasis, atopic & contact dermatitis, acne, alopecia areata (hair loss), Pruritus (itchy skin), erythema, and premature ageing.

Skin responses to Stress

Cortisol helps the body react to stress by influencing the regulation of metabolism and immune system response. However, prolonged periods of stress-responses cause damage to skin. Both the induction of stress hormone Cortisol and the Inflammation that accompanies immune reaction have been linked to accelerating premature ageing. Cortisol breaks down collagen and elastin thereby weakening internal skin structures. The consequence is loss of texture, increased lines and wrinkle formation.

Cortisol also activates inflammation. All inflammatory immune responses impair cellular function within the skin matrix and impact the skin barrier. This can lead to an inability to retain correct moisture levels, an enhanced susceptibility to infection, and a reduced ability to repair the skin barrier itself. When stress becomes chronic it often exaggerates inflammatory diseases and allergic reactions thus further contributing to ageing.

Supportive Aesthetic treatments for Stress Damaged Skin

Thankfully, we are not powerless to affect positive changes when it comes to how we experience stress. Being proactive and intentional about how we manage stress can add to our joy and lessen the negative physical toll associated with heightened stress levels over time. Here are two primary ways we can significantly address the toll of stress on skin.

  1. Minimize skin inflammation – Avoiding inflammatory foods (think sugary and overly-processed) as well as excess alcohol. Mindfulness routines and exercise can be helpful tools. To target anti-ageing and aesthetic goals more directly, Dr Clark recommends incorporating skin-soothing ingredients via a correct homecare protocol. The delivery of anti-inflammatory active elements to the dermal surface helps the skin calm itself and regain its equilibrium, essential for its cellular health and outward vitality. [su_spacer]
    Here are three homecare products that restore and relieve stressed out skin.

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  1. Induce Collagen Production – Strengthen the skin’s internal structures with aesthetic treatments that stimulate and boost collagen and elastin production. Stronger skin can withstand stressors better. Dr Clark recommends the following treatments for restoring and reinforcing essential dermal building blocks:
  • Dermapen – deliver nutrients through to specific skin layers
  • PRP Therapy – give skin all-natural help in rebuilding itself,
  • Laser – can be used for skin resurfacing results that include the collagen and elastin induction sough after.

Effective Actionable Strategies

While it may be tempting to fill the wine glass a bit fuller, eat more chocolate, or binge watch escapism episodes these are not sustainable stress coping strategies. As immediately satisfactory as these may be, excess sugar, alcohol, and lack of sleep can all be linked with breakdowns in skin quality.

We recommend investing in an aesthetic treatment that will appropriately care for stressed out skin.

Get one-on-one personalized dermal assessment and treatment advice at SAI. Our comfortable and hygienic clinic is the perfect place to let the world melt away and enjoy some dedicated ‘you-time’. Give your mind a breather and your skin a helping hand.

  • Something subtle: dramatic results are not for everyone. Here is an article for those who prefer a gentle yet effective approach to Ageing Naturally & Gracefully.

Specials: A Headline to get excited about!

Our August 2021 Specials offer a total savings of R2000! What’s the deal? Buy a package series of 3 x Dermapen4 treatments including 3D Mask for R5220 (15% discount) and receive a FREE HA Skin Booster treatment with your first Dermapen4 treatment. This is an excellent way to avoid harsh winter elements causing seasonal related ageing.

Should you have any questions, please call SAI on 011 883 3116 / 060 718 2178 or click here for our Contact Us page.


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