Stressed Out? Your Skin Shows It

Over the last two years, stress has become more prevalent in our daily lives in every way. From COVID-19 anxiety to news-related panic, stress is no stranger to many of us. We’re all feeling burnt out, and it shows on our skin. Though it may seem like stress only affects how we feel internally (digestion, sleep quality and general balance), our skin serves as a great external indicator. The cause of all these stress-related ailments is a sneaky hormone called cortisol.


Cortisol is released during moments of anxiety, fear, and of course, stress. It’s what creates the fight-or-flight response, working with parts of your brain to control mood and motivation. It’s not all bad, though – cortisol gives us a burst of energy and clarity in scary situations, allowing us to manage stressors in our environment.


During moments of acute stress (such as a car crash, playground accident or midterm exam), our bodies produce a quick blast of cortisol that only lasts a short time, allowing us to tackle individual tasks. If you’ve ever heard of mothers lifting trees off their children, that’s the power of cortisol in an acutely stressful situation. An acute stressor may lead to a hormonal pimple or momentary hive, but these reactions often go away quickly.


However, chronic stress is the type that can start to wreak havoc on our skin. Chronic stress is caused by repeated stressors or constant stress over a long period of time, slowly building up cortisol in our bodies over time. Over the past couple of years, the whole world has been subject to chronic stress from many different sources, and that continued output of cortisol can lead to more serious skin problems.


From accelerated dehydration, aging and acne to stress-caused rashes, more oil production or longer healing times, long-term stress can cause a myriad of issues that show up on your skin. If you’re experiencing any of these, however, don’t fret! Small lifestyle changes can help reduce stress and related skin problems significantly.


Try meditating or doing yoga to calm your mind and move your body, which can serve as a much-needed break in your stressful lifestyle. Regular exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block, can also release hormones that fight cortisol’s effects on your skin. As always, making sure you’re hydrated and eating well can also do wonders for your energy levels, making it easier to take on stressors while maintaining a stable mood.


Taking care of yourself is the first step to reducing stress, thus reducing the visible impacts on your skin. If you’re looking to take that self-care up a notch, strengthen your anti-stress regimen and treat yourself to a relaxing treatment at your local LightRx clinic. Visit our website or your nearest location for a free consultation and begin your journey to less stress and better skin.


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