Although unwanted, stress tends to be a very common aspect of our days and lives. No matter if it comes from work, relationships or financial problems, stress tends to impact us in one way or another, and the effect it has on our physical and mental health can be serious. One thing that many people don’t know, however, is that stress can also be catastrophic for the skin.
STRESS HORMONE CORTISOL
Cortisol is a hormone which occurs naturally in the body to help us deal with stress. In low doses, it’s a healthy hormone and allows us to cope with difficult situations, but cortisol can easily become an unwanted help if it remains at high levels for too long. Individuals who are highly stressed over long periods will begin to notice the undesirable effects of cortisol.
Excess cortisol can trigger an increased production of oil by the skin, which blocks pores, causes bacteria to grow and creates inflammation – that’s right, acne. Increased breakouts are very common during stressful periods.
Although it’s unlikely to cause new skin conditions out of the blue, cortisol can flare up or worsen pre-existing conditions like rosacea, acne and psoriasis.
High levels of cortisol are known to speed up the aging process, so those who are prone to stress regularly may prematurely see things like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and dull skin.
SEVEN STEPS FOR REGAINING CONTROL
There’s no problem with feeling stressed from time to time – it’s a part of life – but you can make an effort to minimize stress as much as possible in order to keep those cortisol levels under control.
1. Get rid of the unnecessary things in life that tend to cause stress.
2. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
3. Make time for yourself at least once each day.
4. Incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle.
5. Get enough sleep – around six to eight hours is ideal.
6. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family for stressful periods.
7. Try meditation, yoga, Pilates or breathing exercises to relieve stress and unwind.
DEALING WITH CORTISOL’S IMPACT
If cortisol has already taken its toll on your skin, despite you finding new ways to better cope with stress, don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of cosmetic treatments up our sleeves to get your complexion back to good health.
Regular facials can help to keep skin nourished and refreshed, and they’re a brilliant excuse to enjoy some calm, peaceful relaxation and pampering.
LASER AND LIGHT THERAPY TREATMENTS
From correcting uneven skin tone and acne scars to tightening the skin and reducing wrinkles, laser and light therapy treatments can really help to transform skin which has been prematurely aged or plagued with skin conditions and acne. Photofacial IPL, Invasix and Fractora are just a few of the brilliant laser therapies we have available.
This clever technique stimulates new collagen and elastin growth in order to thicken and plump the skin and reduce acne scars, wrinkles and sun damage.
We have a large variety of peels available, but they all work in much the same way, by stimulating even, controlled shedding of the uppermost skin cells to reveal fresh, bright and smooth skin underneath.