“Help, I’m Stressed!” How Stress Affects Your Skin & Hair
We all have moments of stress in our lives. You know how stress makes you feel—irritable, unable to sleep, unable to concentrate. It gives you sweaty palms, makes your stomach flip-flop, and can ruin your appetite. What you may not know is how stress affects your outward appearance, including your hair and skin.
How Stress Affects Your Skin
When you become stressed, your body starts to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. A rise in cortisol causes an increase in oil production in your skin, leading to oily skin, acne flare-ups, and other skin problems. Even those who aren’t usually acne prone can begin to see acne breakouts.
Stress also negatively affects your skin’s ability to act as a barrier, resulting in water loss. Water loss leads to dry, dull skin and inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself. A study involving 27 medical, dental and pharmacy students found that during periods of stress (final examinations, in this case), it took longer for skin to recover from tape being stripped from their skin than in times of low stress.
How Stress Affects Your Hair
During times of stress, your hair may go into its telogen, or fall-out, phase. Other times, red blood cells can start to attack the hair follicles. Both lead to the loss of hair and slow regrowth. In these cases, it usually takes from 6-9 months for your hair to return to its pre-stress condition.
A big event like childbirth or surgery can also cause your hair to thin since your body takes time off from growing hair to focus on healing itself. Some people can even develop a compulsive urge to pull out their hair in times of stress. This impulsion is called Trichotillomania, and it’s more common than you think!
Lowering Your Stress Level
It’s impossible to avoid stress all-together. Consider going to a doctor to talk about your symptoms. There are also activities you can do yourself to relieve stress (and its visible impacts).
Exercising gives an outlet to the extra cortisol and adrenaline in your body. Exercise also gives you a rush of endorphins, making you feel better and feel better about yourself.
Get a Massage
Massage is a great way to take time out and relax. A good massage can help relax tight muscles, enhance circulation, and lower stress levels.
Something as simple as taking 10 minutes out of your day to find a quiet place, breathe deeply, and focus on quieting your mind can help relieve your stress and give you more focus to get things done.
Just the anticipation of a good laugh can reduce levels of stress hormones. Think about what a real laugh session can do.
Feeling like you don’t look your best can also contribute to stress levels. At AlluraDerm, we have services and products that can help you reduce the outward signs of stress so you can go back to feeling beautiful:
We also carry TNS® Essential Serum and Vitamin C Serum, which can help fight off the free radicals that cause aging, skin cancer, and dull skin.
For a stress-free solution to your stress-related needs, visit AlluraDerm MD Med Spa. Call us at 505-821-9630 today!