may blog rsl
Picture of Author: <b> Karen Austin
Author: Karen Austin

How does stress affect my skin?


Welcome to the May Skin & Laser Newsletter. We hope you enjoyed last month’s article on how the gut function impact our skin. Check this month’s specials for a very interesting gut related item (hint: EFA’s) This month’s issue deals with the impact of stress on the skin. We are delighted to be involved with “UNVEILED” which appears on “Style” channel on Friday nights at 8:30pm with an encore on “E” channel Saturday nights at 9:30. We have been involved with this program, treating engaged couples as they prepare for their big day. Our treatments have included laser facial regeneration (pico-toning) and laser fat reduction with the SculpSure – melt the fat away.

Nearly all of us at one point or another have experienced stress related changes in the skin. So, we know that it does have an impact on the skin, but the big question is; why? There are a couple of reasons why this occurs, and although we can’t avoid stress altogether, we can educate ourselves to reduce the impact.


Cortisolstress management

During times of high stress, our body releases a cocktail of chemicals (also known as hormones). The key hormone that affects the skin is called cortisol. Increased cortisol levels cause our sebaceous glands (where our skins oil is produced) to work in overdrive. When too much oil is being produced and the skin is not used to handling so much oil, we end up with clogged pores, and then you guessed it, breakouts. This usually leads to more stress because now we are stressing about our skin as well as the previous stressors. Another effect of cortisol on the skin is decreased healing capacity. Now we are stressed, and have breakouts and our skin is not able to heal those breakouts quick enough.


As well as the skin effects, increased cortisone levels affect insulin levels, cause weight gain, digestive upsets and decreased immunity.


Skin Care

Being stressed for an extended period is exhausting, it consumes a lot of our energy stores. When we are tired, we usually skimp on what we see as ‘non-essential’ habits, ie. our skincare routine. Now we are stressed and producing too much oil as well as not feeding the skin. Sounds like a recipe for disaster? You would be right.



It can be hard to make good food choices when your mind is elsewhere. Stress will often lead to us reaching for high GI foods; sugar, refined carbs, dairy. A high GI diet also causes an influx in hormones which increase oil from the sebaceous glands, which once again increases breakout activity.

So, now we know what stress does to the skin. The question is now, what can I do about it?


Look after yourself, take some time to focus on YOU. This means different things to different people. Do an activity you love, listen to some music, have a bath, it doesn’t have to take long. We need to make sure in our busy, modern day lives that we don’t neglect ourselves.


There are also some supplements available which can help control the hormone cocktail produced by stress. Our recommendation is Regul8’s new ‘Relax’ tablets. Rhodiola Rosea (among other ingredients in ‘Relax’) helps to regulate all the hormones linked to stress. This helps to prevent all side effects of stress. They also help to regulate sleeping patterns, a key to overall health.


Let us help you relax. Drop in for a skin consult and we can help kick start your relaxation with a treatment, and appropriate follow-up products to get you skin back on track and you will have one less thing to stress about.

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