Solving Stress Symptoms Series... Settling Our Skin Issues

Our skin is a reflection of what we have going on internally. If we are dealing with ongoing stress and have imbalances in our body because of it, it will be displayed on our skin for all to see unfortunately.

Stress causes imbalances in your body that make your skin more sensitive and reactive to all aspects of your lifestyle. Stress seems to aggravate previous conditions and bring underlying issues to the surface. This can manifest in many forms including acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, hives and rashes.

Stress can result in skin issues for a number of reasons. Some are related to the havoc stress can cause in our body and others are related to the change in our lifestyle and healthy habits that happen when we are stressed and overwhelmed that may impact our skin. Here are some of the stress-related causes of your skin issues.

Your Gut is in Disarray. It has been said that all issues start in the gut, and that can’t be more true for our skin. Stress can cause our gut to be disarray, wear our microbiome is not healthy and thriving, or the gut lining has tiny tears and holes. When this is the case, it can lead to inflammation and a hypersensitive immune system, leaving our skin easily aggravated and easily inflamed. We can take some steps to ensure we have a diverse, nourished microbiome to encourage skin resolution, including:

  • Eating a variety of whole foods, especially those fibrous fruits and vegetables.

  • Eating fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt and kombucha.

  • Taking probiotics with a variety of cultures and high colony counts.

Your Dealing with Unmanaged Inflammation. Cortisol, our stress hormone, always plays a role in managing inflammation in the body. When our cortisol levels are out of whack, it can result in the inflammation in our body not being managed. Inflammation can result in red, raised skin and more breakouts. We can manage our inflammation to support your skin health by:

  • Add more anti-inflammatory foods such as berries (eg. strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries), cherry, avocado, broccoli, fatty fish (eg. salmon, sardines, herring) and turmeric to your diet.

  • Take anti-inflammatory supplements like vitamin C and omega-3 fish oils.

You Have Let Your Diet Slip. When we are stressed out, our healthy diets can go out the window. understandably, when we have a lot on the go, we don’t always have time . We often opt for more processed foods, sugar, dairy and gluten and other known skin irritants. We can take steps to identify what foods are impacting our skin.

  • Be mindful of what you are eating and how they are impacting your body. You can track your symptoms and what you are eating to see if there are any patterns or trigger foods.

  • Eliminate certain known irritants, such as sugar, dairy, gluten, and other foods that you are uniquely sensitive to. It can take up to 6 weeks of eliminating certain foods before skin issues resolve. If the skin issues resolve you can re-introduce the food to see if the skin issues return to determine for certain it was the cause. The tricky aspect is it might show up in your skin after a few hours or after a few days.

You Have Sacrificed Our Sleep. Similar to our diet, when we are stressed our sleep can be sacrificed significantly. I am sure we can all attest to dark circles under our eyes after a sleepless night. This is because a lack of sleep makes our skin more dull and more translucent, which can accentuate our sleepless dark circles. We can ensuring we are are getting enough, restorative sleep by:

  • Aiming for consistent bedtimes (ideal before 10pm) and wake-up times.

  • Avoiding screens and other stimulating activities 1-2 hours before bed.

  • Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.

You Have Skimped on Our Skin Care Routine. When we are stressed out, we often make less time for ourselves and the healthy habits. We can unintentionally skip on our usual skin care routine. When our skin gets used to certain soaps, lotions, masks, and exfoliation and it no longer gets it, it can aggravate skin issues. We can ensure our skin care routine is supporting our skin goals, we can:

  • Prioritize your skin care routine.

  • Be mindful of your skin care habits and how they are impacting your body. You can track your symptoms and your skin routine to see if there are any patterns around what parts of your routine makes your skin better or worse.

I encourage you to explore your healthy habits and what changes you see with your skin because of it. Believe me, I understand how frustrating and disheartening to be struggling with challenges with our skin. Not only does it often take a long time to resolve the issues and see results, it can be very disheartening that a simple little slip up can lead to skin flare ups that can last weeks.

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