Not only is being under stress a totally unpleasant feeling, but did you know it also directly impacts your skin and hair too?
It’s safe to say that no one likes to feel stressed or anxious. But, for most of us, it’s hard to imagine a day without stress considering how much pressure we’re under on a regular basis. Stress however, especially recurring stress, can directly impact our health, bodies, skin and hair. Which is why it’s so, so important that we develop ways to manage and relieve stress. Methods for checking in and grounding ourselves during stressful situations and highly demanding tasks. In this article we’ll explore all the ways stress affects our skin and hair and a few tips for managing stress.
How Stress Affects Skin
Stress can cause acne, breakouts, rashes and other skin issues. When we’re under stress our body releases hormones like cortisol, which encourages the skin to produce more oil. Excess oil will in turn clog pores, which can cause temporary acne, for those who don’t typically have acne, and will certainly cause flare-ups for those who do.
Stress also signals the body to supply more blood to essential organs like the heart, lungs, and muscles, preparing your body to escape the surrounding danger. This concentration of blood robs your skin of oxygen and all those essential nutrients your skin needs to look and feel soft and healthy.
How Stress Affects Hair
Chronic or recurring stress can cause hair loss, or short term and in severe cases, long term alopecia. Stress can trigger the hair follicles to go into the telogen phase, causing temporary shedding.
How To Manage and Reduce Stress
We can’t always remove ourselves from stressful situations, or completely eliminate stressful events from our lives, but what we can do is reduce our exposure to stressful environments and the way we respond to stressful situations.
If you know that a certain person or group of people causes you stress then you can reduce your interactions with those people. Before you say yes to offers and invitations, first ask yourself if this is something you want to do, or if it’s something you feel pressured to do. More of us should be doing things we enjoy instead of filling up our schedules with obligations, especially social obligations.
If it’s your work, or personal life that’s a cause for stress, then find techniques that help you recognize the signs that you feel under stress (ie rapid breathing, sweating, increased heart rate). Once you’re able to make the connection that you feel stressed, instead of reacting and escalating without thinking, you can take a step back from the situation and ground yourself.