A whopping 82 percent of Brits feel stressed out at least once during a typical week. While a new study by the University of Queensland might recommend taking a five day break from social media, a lot of us believe most of our stress is work-related rather than Facebook-induced. According to AXA, three in five Brits take business calls outside of working hours, while more than half check their emails. This ‘always on’ culture is pushing more and more of us to the limit.
Finding a more realistic work-life balance might seem like the logical approach, but it’s easier said than done for a lot of people. Shabir has written extensively about the topic and the natural remedies that can help to Combat Stress Effectively, including taking one of VH’s bestsellers, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.
While most of us are aware of the impact that stress can have on our health, what about our skin? Stress is widely considered as a skin ager among experts, but studies have yet to prove a direct link. Instead, it’s argued that premature ageing is a knock-on effect as high levels of anxiety and stress impact our sleep patterns and our endocrine, immune and nervous systems. So, how can we counteract the effects and soothe stressed out skin?
Stress and anxiety is one of the main reasons why many of us don’t always get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night. When we sleep our skin has a chance to repair and regenerate, which is why your complexion can look dull and lacklustre if you haven’t had enough.
Keeping your skin hydrated is imperative for healthy functioning cells and gives it that plumper, brighter finish. Employing a hard working serum, such as Garden of Wisdom Anti-Aging MultiPeptide Serum, and re-hydrating cream (look to Derma E Hydrating Night Creme) will help revive your skin and replenish hydration levels overnight to reduce the look of tiredness in the morning.
However, finding a solution to your sleep issues will put you on the road to healthier skin in the long run. Shabir is an advocate of Cherry Night by Viridian. The powder helps to boost your levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) in your body and improve your quality of sleep over time.
Inflammation is one of the biggest impacts stress can have on us as it causes issues across the body. When it comes to your skin, inflammation can cause breakouts and flare-ups of underlying skincare concerns, including rosacea and eczema.
Sticking to a straightforward skincare routine can help minimise the impact. However, Dr Mervyn Patterson, Medical Director at Woodford Medical cautions not to look to just one hero ingredient to help reduce inflammation: “There is no one key skincare ingredient to combat this as there are nine separate inflammatory pathways that need to be blocked to reduce chronic inflammation in the skin. This is why using single antioxidants such as vitamin c or retinol are now being questioned. We may be blocking inflammation down one or two pathways, but it just cascades over into the others.”
Instead, build a skin regimen that incorporates several ingredients. Derma E’s Very Clear range employs salicylic acid, lavender, willow bark and lavender to gently exfoliate, unblock pores and promote clearer skin. Those who would rather take a bespoke approach to their skin should look to Garden of Wisdom. In particular, the Niacinamide Serum and Azelaic Acid 10% Serum as both are good arsenal to have in your bathroom cabinet.
Thyme Out is also a good product to invest in if you regularly battle with eczema, rosacea or acne as thyme is known to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.
More and more research is revealing the havoc stress can cause with our gut health. Last year, one study concluded that stress was just as bad as junk food for women when it came to affecting gut microbiota. The imbalance of bacteria in your gut can have repercussions for your skin. A study in 2008 of 13,000 people, found that those with acne are also likely to suffer with bloating and constipation.
Fortunately the impact of this can be rectified by incorporating a good quality probiotic, such as Mega Probiotic-ND by Food Science into your routine. With over eight strains, this particular probiotic helps to rebalance the good bacteria in your gut.
While there is still a lot of research required to find out the direct link between stress and skin, hopefully these will help ease the impact on yours.