Stress Ages Our Skin

stress-ages-our-skin

Stress plays a major part in the health of our body and of our skin. At times of stress our body produces excessive amounts of cortisol which is responsible for a variety of concerns including anxiety, weight gain and sleep disturbances. Aside from the adrenal glands producing cortisol, keratinocytes in the epidermis, the outer cell layers of skin, also manufacture cortisol which increases when the body is stressed or when skin is exposed to external stressors such as pollution, UV radiation and dehydration. Stress in this case refers to physical, emotive or environmental stressors.

Since cortisol is an inflammatory hormone, it is known to cause a wide range of skin concerns and depending upon your skin type, cortisol can make your skin very dry, wrinkled, fatigue-looking, reactive and sensitive, oily and/or acne-prone. I am going to briefly discuss skin concerns:

Ageing skin

Stress is by far the single biggest causal factor for ageing skin and can affect the health and appearance of skin. During stress, skin cells in the epidermis produce large quantities of cortisol which results in elevated sugar levels in the bloodstream. Sugar levels are normally kept within finite levels and so the body metabolises sugars which results in by-products called Advanced Glycation Endproducts, (AGEs), which cause the destruction of both collagen and elastin as well as the hardening of the collagen matrix. These effects result in the loss of elasticity of skin as well as encouraging the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dark under eye circles and eye wrinkles

Stressed skin around the eye tissues may arise as a result of emotive stress within the body or due to exposure to UV radiation and/or visible blue light created by the over-use of devices many of us are glued to, such as mobile phones. Whatever the causal factor, the increase in cortisol breaks down the thin tissues surrounding the eyes making the tiny blood vessels more visible and of course being inflammatory in nature encouraging fine eyes lines and eye wrinkles.

Dry and dehydrated skin

The outer layers of your skin protect you from bacteria and prevent skin from dehydration. High levels of cortisol, whether due to pollution, UV radiation or other factors, break down the ceramides between skin cells which allows the loss of water resulting in dehydration. Additionally, cortisol hinders the production of hyaluronic acid, a compound that holds hundreds of times of its weight in water helping to plump our skin cells.

Dehydration causes the skin to look dull and skin loses its plumpness. Dehydration may also result in inflammation which is not desirable since this can affect the collagen matrix resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Acne-prone skin

The link between stress and acne is well documented since stress is known to either cause or exacerbate acne breakouts. The increased cortisol from hormonal imbalances, pollution and other external aggressions results in inflammation of the sebaceous glands causing them to over-produce sebum. This increased sebum can clog pores allowing the acne-causing bacteria to thrive with the results of acne-prone skin. Typically, this type of acne shows up around the mouth and the chin area.

Sensitive and reactive skin

Have you ever noticed that when you are under stress, you can get irritated very quickly? Likewise stressed skin, with its increased levels of cortisol, can make your skin more prone to rashes and can result in skin sensitivity and reactivity to products which you normally have not reacted to in the past.

How to reduce cortisol in skin

There are many causal factors for stressed skin, some which we cannot control such as pollution and hormonal stress, whilst others we can try to limit such as UV radiation and visible blue light exposure.

Sleep plays a major part in limiting cortisol levels in skin. When we sleep, our skin repairs all the damage that has occurred during the daytime. A lack of sleep can create stressed skin and this often shows up, so try to have at least seven hours of sleep. Supplements for sleep may be an option to consider.

Relaxation can be important in reducing the amount of cortisol produced by the body and by the skin. Meditation, deep breathing and massage may be options worth considering; supplements such as Magnolia Rhodiola Complex can help to reduce cortisol in the whole body.

A face serum for every skin type

Through evolution, the brain and skin are derived from the same tissue and work in tandem to synchronise external and internal danger signals through a series of complex chemical and hormonal interactions. At times of stress, the body produces excess cortisol and other hormones in order to fight or flight from the stressor. Since the body cannot sustain this reaction for long periods of time, there is a built-in mechanism to restore balance, but this does not always occur because in many instances the stressors are constant with the result of what is termed “adrenal fatigue” causing the symptoms of anxiety and fatigue.

In the case of skin, the skin cells produce cortisol as a result of stressors, which include pollution, mechanical aggressions, chemical exposure, smoke, UV exposure, sleep deprivation and of course emotive stress whether due to hormonal imbalances or otherwise. Skin unfortunately does not have the body’s built-in mechanism to restore balance. The result is constant production of cortisol within skin which is the major reason for accelerated ageing as well as acne, reactive skin, sensitive skin, dry skin, dehydrated skin, skin reactions, dark under-eye circles and fine lines.

Neurophroline™ is a unique bioactive cosmetic ingredient belonging to Givaudan, a group of companies in Switzerland. This exclusive and sustainable extract is derived from Wild Indigo, Tephrosia purpurea, a native Indian plant used for its skin benefits.

In studies, Neurophroline™ serum was shown to:

  • Work quickly, within a few hours, to reduce cortisol production by almost 70%
  • Enhanced the markers for iron and heavy metal detoxification which improved appearance of dark circles
  • Enhanced anti-inflammatory markers to comfort skin and ease sensitivity
  • Significantly enhanced skin luminosity, clarity and a reduction in skin redness; a hero anti-ageing serum

Neurophroline™ Serum by Garden of Wisdom contains the hero ingredient, Neurophroline™, together with two types of hyaluronic acid including super low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to deliver this active to the skin cells within the epidermis. Apple polyphenols and all-trans resveratrol are both powerful antioxidants that may help shield skin from environmental pollutants and UV rays. This face serum is not just an anti-ageing serum and almost all skin types would benefit from its usage.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya, Skin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Strawberry_Jam

    Will this help a menopausal irritated scalp? Thanks.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, an irritated scalp associated with the menopause if often linked to DHT, a metabolite that causes inflammation. I would be more inclined to use Fulvic Acid Mist every evening to calm this down.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Vivien Lash

    Another miracle product from Mr Shabir! Which stage does Neuophroline Serum come in a GoW regimen? Before or After Multi-Pep? Instead of Niacinamide? Confused…

    ps Pure addicted to your pink powder.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Thank you, so glad you love the Pore Cleaning Powder. I tend to use Neurophroline after the multipeptide serum because I want the peptides to work as deep in the skin as they can. You can then use niacinamide serum to strengthen skin barrier function or to target pigmentation problems if this happens to be the case.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Anne

    Hi Shabir

    Can you tell me if you have a product with Neuophroline in to take internally to reduce cortisol please, as i can’t see how a facial serum will do this.

    Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Anne, Neurophroline works to reduce elevated cortisol within skin due to pollutants, environmental aggressions and emotive and physical stressors. To reduce cortisol internally, Magnolia extracts work efficiently and should be the first supplement of choice.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, hydrocortisone is another name for cortisol when used in topical medications. Neurophroline has been shown to be valuable in alleviating the inflammation associated with rosacea so I am confident this will be of benefit.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Anne

    I take Pukka Ashwagandha, will i also be able to combine with Magnolia?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Anne, magnolia can be taken alongside Ashwagandha without fear of side effects.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sharon

    Hello Shabir, have purchased…shall I use before or after retinol?
    Thanks,
    Sharon

  • La Rayne

    Hi Shabir
    From reading up about this on the Givaudan website, it seems to be just another antioxidant. What makes it so different in your opinion?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sharon, use Neurophroline before retinol please.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi La Rayne, Neurophroline is much more than an antioxidant and the analogy would be stating that vitamin C is an antioxidant but again we know that vitamin C is required for collagen production and for countless processes within our skin and body. Neurophroline tackles the main causal factor for ageing and for almost every concern- the increase in cortisol which occurs as we age and of course from our hormonal systems and from external sources. Whilst the use of peptides and other treatments is important, getting to the root of the problem is always going to be more beneficial.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • La Rayne

    Ok, thanks, Shabir, will give it a go.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Please keep us posted if you can.

  • Gwen

    Good morning Shabir,
    If the serum is used up to the eye are, I assume the Contour serum can still be used in the eye area?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Gwen, yes absolutely. I would recommend using the peptide based eye serum first followed by the Neurophroline.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Renate, you cannot introduce all these other serums into your regimen as this would be simply too much for your skin. I have suggested the best options for pigmentation, dry skin and cell renewal as outlined below:
    AM: PHA Plus, MultiPeptide; Niacinamide, Alpha arbutin
    PM: Glycolic acid; Vitamin C Serum; Multipeptide; Neurophroline; Retinol

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hula_K

    Hi – I’ve just started to incorporate neurophroline on my acne-prone sensitive skin, I’ve replaced my usual HA serum with this instead. I notice it has resveratrol in it which can also be beneficial to acne prone skins – have you come across this? Also, how long would you recommend this to be used before initial effects are seen. Hoping for stronger, more resilient skin as that seems to be the best way to treat my acne…! I’ve gone back to a very simple routine as I am using Differin at night from my dermatologist.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, Yes indeed, please replace the HA serum with Neurophroline which provides two forms of HA. All-trans reseveratol helps to calm inflammation which can cause excess oil production and of course provides antioxidant benefits. It is good to have a simple routine wherever possible to treat acne.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hula_K

    Thanks Shabir for the quick response. Are you able to disclose the percentage of all-trans resveratrol in the neurophroline serum? Just curious as reading a lot of studies about this AOX and acne at the moment! So far I’m really liking the neurophroline serum, it’s very nice on the skin, calming and so far no adverse reactions which has been great for my sensitive skin.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I am sorry but the formulation is with the manufacturers who will not disclose the amount used within each bottle. Neurophroline is ideal for all compromised skin conditions and I am glad that you like it.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hula_K

    No worries Shabir. Thank you for the responses. It’s much appreciated.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome.

  • Viviana

    Hi Shabir, Just to enquire about the best serums for an olive skin, with pigmentation/letigo, sun sensitive type of skin. I do use factor 50 almost every day and retinol 3 times in the week. I have a stressful job which I know can affect skin. I have noticed the skin has started to change due to hormonal changes and I have heard about azelaic acid which was once mentioned by a dermatologist to try to keep the pigmentation at bay as I couldn’t have any light treatment due to autoimmune condition. Would you able to guide me in choosing the best serums. Thank you very much. Viviana.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Viviana, I have set out a simple regimen incorporating the skin-friendly azelaic acid serum as outlined below.
    AM: Anti-ageing MultiPeptide Serum; Neurophroline Serum; SPF
    PM: Azelaic acid serum; Anti-ageing MultiPeptide Serum, Retinol (three times a week)
    The MultiPeptide Serum works to hydrate skin, strengthen skin barrier function, encourage and try to prevent breakdown of collagen whether due to environmental or hormonal changes.
    Neurophroline protects the skin from inflammatory cortisol that arises from pollution and from UV rays. It calms highly reactive and sensitive skin.
    Azelaic acid gently resurfaces skin, unclogs pores and brightens and freshens up the appearance of skin
    Your retinol should enhance cell turnover to reveal smoother skin.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I think that the priority of serums would be niacinamide serum, hyaluronic acid serum and Vitamin C. Niacinamide will work to strengthen skin barrier function helping to prevent dehydration and at the same time it works to enhance collagen and elastin. Niacinamide improves ceramide deposition helping to achieve more supple skin and it also works to improve pore appearance. Hyaluronic acid improves hydration levels in skin which vitamin C provides antioxidant protection and improves uneven skin tone.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hula_K

    Hi – will this help with a compromised skin barrier – mine is currently dry, tight, itchy and prone to acne and irritation spots. Is it ok to introduce this alongside my calming moisturiser.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I am sure that Neurophroline will be of value in calming down the inflammation that disturbs skin barrier function and can be used alongside any moisturiser.

  • Gill O’Shea

    Hi Shabir I’m a 55 year old woman with fairly straight forward but aging skin. I have purchased gow vit c serum plus multi peptide serum and neurophroline serum. Please can you suggest which serums I should use mornings and evenings and in which order? Thank you.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Gill, I would suggest the following regimen in order of use:
    AM: MultiPeptide Serum; Neurophroline Serum
    PM: Vitamin C Serum; MultiPeptide Serum; Neurophroline Serum
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Gill O’Shea

    Thank you! So I can layer them in that order and then put my moisturiser on top?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Gill, use each serum and wait for approximately 30/45 seconds before the next application and then use your favourite moisturiser at the end.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Gill O’Shea

    Will do. Thank you so much for your prompt reply!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Gill and please keep us posted if you can.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Renate, you could use any of the acids on days when you are not using retinol in the PM though the PHA Plus is gentle enough and can be incorporated daily into your PM regimen. So your PM regimen could be:
    Vitamin C serum; PHA Plus Serum; Neurophroline
    PHA plus alongside the alpha arbutin in the AM should work well for hyperpigmentation whilst the others will provide sufficient hydration.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • HanaZet

    Hello, I just came across this article and I am tempted to try this! :-) I am 37yo with supersensitive skin with a few wrinkles around my eyes and on the forehead. My skin tends to be dry and I have suffered from rosacea, that is currently kept at bay, thanks to proper diet. I wonder what is the best way to incorporate this little miracle into my routine? I am using GOW products in combination with hydrator, oil/serum and moisturizer of another brand. I am using Multipeptide and niacinamide serum plus eye contour serum at the morning, PHA serum and azelaic acid plus eye contour serum at the evening. I would like to fight the pigmentation as well, this sumer gave me some spots. So maybe I am also interested in alpha arbutin serum… the only GOW product that really didn’t suit me was vitamin c serum.
    Thank you for your help and advice!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, Neurophroline is such as multi-tasker and should be incorporated just before using a moisturiser since it works on the keratinocytes located in the epidermis. I am sorry that you did not get along with the vitamin C serum.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir