Stress isn’t anything new for most of us. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can make us prone to stress, making it a regular part of our daily life. Having said that, it doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Besides having adverse effects on our mind and daily functioning, stress can also negatively affect our body and skin. Other than mental stress, various internal and external factors are known to be responsible for causing cell damage and stressing out the skin.
If you’re noticing your skin becoming stressed but are unsure how to calm it, there is no need to worry! This blog is will help you learn about stressed skin and effective ingredients to soothe it. So, scroll down and keep on reading!
What Is Stressed Skin?
Stressed skin can come in the form of dehydrated skin, dryness, redness, irritation, and itchiness. Your skin starts acting up and reacts as if it is under attack. Many internal and external agents can cause it to respond this way.
Stressed skin usually results from oxidative damage induced by damaging outside elements that harm the integrity and strength of the skin’s barrier and lead to extensive cell damage. Moreover, some changes in our body’s internal systems can also show up on our skin in the form of inflamed skin, breakouts, and dullness.
What Causes Stressed Skin?
When our body is stressed, it tends to increase the release of certain hormones known to be related to stress. Elevated levels of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, in the body, can lead to stressed skin. In addition, higher concentrations of these hormones can affect the levels of collagen, elastin, and antioxidants in the skin, resulting in different skin conditions.
Other than a spike in stress hormones, certain outside elements can also adversely affect the skin, leading to stress or irritation. Some common external agents that can cause stressed skin are UV rays, extreme weather conditions, free radicals, smoke, bacteria, toxic chemicals, and dust. These factors also damage the skin cells and deteriorate collagen and elastin production in the skin. As a result, stress can pop up on the skin in the form of inflammation, dryness, redness, acne breakouts, and itching.
Signs That Your Skin is Stressed
If you’re wondering how you can identify if your skin is stressed or if there is some other reason behind your skin’s current situation, here are a few signs and symptoms to look for to be sure:
Increased Acne Breakouts - One of the major indications that your skin is stressed out is the emergence of acne breakouts. Breakouts are more likely to occur when you’re stressed because the stress hormone, cortisol, is related to increased sebum production by sebaceous glands and, in turn, more acne breakouts. However, it can also cause other skin concerns, like whiteheads and blackheads.
Dullness - If you’ve been consuming plenty of water, having a proper diet, and following your skincare rituals, but your skin still appears to be dull and weary, your skin might be stressed. One reason behind dull skin is stress because stress affects your sleep patterns and can cause insomnia, leading to dark under-eye circles and a dull complexion. So, it’s important to note that one reason behind loss of radiance, dull skin, and uneven skin tone may be stress.
Dryness - Dryness and dehydration are commonly observed when the skin is stressed. The skin tends to become dry and dehydrated because stress damages the skin’s lipid barrier, accelerating the escape of moisture from skin and reducing the skin’s ability to retain water. As a result, dryness and dehydration can cause dull skin and flaking.
Premature Aging - Are you worried about premature fine lines and wrinkles appearing out of nowhere? Well, stress is associated with speeding up the process of skin aging because it bolsters the breakdown of collagen in the skin. However, if not taken care of and left untreated for long, it can result in deeper wrinkles and fine lines on your skin.
Redness and Itching - You might know that the leading cause of inflamed skin is a compromised skin barrier. Since stress can harm the skin’s natural barrier, it paves the way for bacterial infiltration. Also, when these bacteria are trapped in pores with oil, dirt, and other impurities, they cause irritation and redness on the skin.
Hyperpigmentation - In addition to deteriorating the skin barrier's function and compromising the skin’s natural defense against oxidative stressors, stress can also trigger the excessive production of pigment or melanin in the skin, which cause skin discoloration. Increased melanin can lead to brown spots, melasma, and freckles on the skin.
Ingredients That Help Stressed Skin
Fortunately, many powerful ingredients in skincare formulations contain natural properties to help soothe and heal stressed skin. Some of the best soothing ingredients to look for while buying skincare products for calming your skin include:
Vitamin C - As discussed earlier, one of the common reasons behind stressed skin is cell damage due to harmful oxidative agents present in the environment. Vitamin C is known to help fight off such elements, including free radicals and UV rays. It possesses a natural and strong antioxidant effect that neutralizes oxidative stressors, preventing cell breakdown. It also reduces irritation and inflammation by boosting the skin’s repairing and regenerating process. Furthermore, a facial serum with high levels of vitamin C can bring life back to dull skin.
Niacinamide - This powerful hydrating and soothing compound, derived from vitamin B3, is popular for strengthening the skin’s outer barrier and preventing dryness and inflammation. A stronger lipid barrier also enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture and combat the damaging effects of UV rays.
In addition, niacinamide also encourages the production of ceramides and lipids in the skin. To take advantage of its healing power, you can use a facial serum, cream, lotion, or toner with niacinamide as an active component in it.
Hyaluronic Acid - I'm sure most of us have heard of hyaluronic acid. This incredible skin soother and hydrator is often added to skincare formulas to deliver intense nourishing, repairing, and moisturizing deep into the skin. Hyaluronic acid not only preserves moisture in the skin but also draws water from the surroundings and locks it in.¹ This action enhances the resilience and strength of the skin’s protective layer, enabling it to shield against inflammatory and toxic elements in the environment. In addition, hyaluronic acid, especially facial serum with HA, can reach the deeper layer of the skin to provide its benefits.
Sundree’s RYSE+SHYNE facial serum is a lightweight serum that includes hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin c, and glycerin to hydrate the skin while minimizing the appearance of pores. This hydrating serum works wonders on the skin. You're on your way to more supple, soft skin with just a few drops morning and night.
Centella Asiatica (Cica) - This natural herbal compound is famous for its magical anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes, which can effectively treat various skin conditions, including stressed or inflamed skin. Its gentle and calming composition makes it ideal for calming inflammatory skin diseases like rosacea and acne. It can also prevent and treat sun damage, one of the factors behind stressed skin.
In addition, Centella Asiatica is filled with flavonoids, phenolic acids, and triterpenoids.² These active components are responsible for a range of skin benefits that make it a great option to look for while buying skincare products, like facial serums, oils, and creams.
Ceramides - Ceramides are among the most talked about skincare compounds when it comes to increasing production of lipids in the skin, which keep it plump, radiant, and soft. Besides maintaining the skin’s moisture balance and improving the health of the skin’s barrier, ceramides also aid in reducing inflammation. Their high anti-inflammatory power calms down aggravated, reddened, and dehydrated skin.
A concentrated hydrating serum with ceramides is an excellent option to protect your skin from irritation and redness. You can also find creams and lotions with ceramides and incorporate them into your regular skincare routine.
Calendula - Last on our list of soothing ingredients for stressed skin is calendula, a plant-derived natural calming ingredient. What makes it effective for toning down inflamed skin is its powerful constituents, which contain anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Flavonoids in calendula work by promoting the skin’s natural healing or regenerating procedure, helping to treat inflammation.³ This mild and soothing agent is great for sensitive and irritated skin. Calendula is mainly used in skin oil or extract during the day or night skincare regimen.
Just like your body and mind, your skin can also get stressed. When the skin is stressed-out, it can act up by producing skin problems like dryness, breakouts, premature wrinkles and fine lines, discoloration, redness, and dullness. Many inside and outside factors can be the culprits behind your skin’s condition. Fortunately, like all other skin issues, stressed skin can be effectively treated with the right ingredients. Some ingredients to help you soothe stressed-out skin include vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, calendula, ceramides, and Centella Asiatica.
- Merz, Beverly. (2016). ‘How to moistruize your skin’, Harvard Health Publishing. Accessed July 28, 2022. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-moisturize-your-skin
- Robertson, Sally, B.Sc. ‘What are Flavonoids’, News Medical & Life Sciences. Accessed July 28, 2022. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Flavonoids.aspx
- Gardner, Stephanie, MD. ‘An Overview of the Skin,’ Radiance by WebMD. Accessed July 29, 2022. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-overview-skin