Stress characterises modern life, the underlying tensions that can affect our health and relationships. Stress generates physical and psychological changes, that can negatively impact our health; physically, mentally, emotionally and behaviourally1.
Stress can also influence the skin ageing process, with evidence to suggest that both acute and chronic stress can have a negative impact2,3,4,5. Stress-related skin ageing primarily manifests as wrinkles formation, hyperpigmentation and the loss of elasticity6.
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, and through a series of internal processes, this can lead to the formation of pigmentation which negatively impacts on skin barrier function1. These changes can create a tired and aged appearance as a result of stress.
There are a lot of products available on the market to reduce the visibility of these changes, however, the ideal situation is to address and reduce the cause of the stress. It is important to consider that implementing healthy lifestyle changes can take time isn’t always the easiest option, but can lead to many other positive benefits in the long term.
There is more than just needing to get your necessary hours of sleep; it is key to consider that you are getting enough quality sleep. Understanding your sleeping patterns can be important to consider; if you are a morning or night person or even if you get up frequently in the middle of the night. During sleep, our body has the time and ability to recover and repair itself.
Healthy diet and exercise1
Certain food and drink can severely impact the quality of sleep we get, this includes the effects of the amount of alcohol we consume. Alcohol may make us tired, however, it can also reduce the amount of quality sleep we get.
Exercising regularly is a good way to relieve stress and has also been shown to have positive effects on our mental and physical health.
Use a hydrating moisturiser to help protect and repair your skin barrier. Utilise protective creams (e.g. sun protection) during the day, and at night lookout for products designed to hydrate and repair.
Find time to breathe and reflect and take some time for yourself away from the routine of everyday life. Please also remember that there are people and professional advisors that you can talk to, who may be able to provide counselling and therapies to discuss any matters where you are experiencing stress.
1.Emma Coleman (2019) Stress and Ageing, Aesthetics Journal, https://aestheticsjournal.com/feature/stress-and-ageing
2.Bhupendra Singh et al., (2018) Reversing Wrinkled Skin and Hair Loss in Mice by Restoring Mitochondrial Function,’ Cell Death & Disease
3.Akihiro Aioi et al., (2001) Effect of High Population Density Environment on Skin Barrier Function in Mice, Journal of Dermatological Science
4.Massimo Bonora et al., (2018) Mitochondrial DNA Keeps You Young, Cell Death & Disease, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6155168/>
5.Melanie Flint et al., (2007) Induction of DNA Damage, Alteration of DNA Repair and Transcriptional Activation by Stress Hormones. Psychoneuroendocrinology,
6.Ying Chen et al., (2014) Brain-Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation and Skin Aging, Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082169/
Please select the option which best describes you.