We can’t seem to get away from stress. It can sometimes feel like the whole world’s falling apart. We get it. We really do. We want you to know that you’re not alone.
After COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing global stress levels rise. The American Psychological Association’s 2020 survey shows that, for 78% of adults in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant source of stress in their lives. Moreover, the World Health Organization has estimated that stress-related mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, will be the leading cause of disability worldwide by 2030. 😱
That’s why we at Sachi Skin are recognising World Stress Awareness Month this April.
Our mental health affects everything we do. EVERYTHING. We love that there is a whole month dedicated to thinking about how stress affects us. We’re sorely in need of some time to reflect. So, let’s do it together.
What we want to talk about here is stressed skin. We always say that good skin is healthy skin. But healthy skin is a healthy you. And what happens when you’re just really stressed out?
What stress does to your skin
The body does indeed keep the score.
Our skin is a gateway to ourselves. So, it’s only natural that the effects of stressful situations will show up on our skin.
In fact, the skin’s the first place it shows up. Hate to hear that, but here to help.
What, exactly, happens when we’re stressed?
Unfortunately for all the girlbosses out there (we love you!,) stress can cause breakouts and skin imbalance.
This is due to the release of cortisol, which is a hormone that increases the amount of oil that skin produces. This excess in oil can lead to clogged pores, which, in turn, causes breakouts.
Dryness and Premature Ageing
Stress affects the skin's ability to retain moisture, as it increases Transepidermal Water Loss and decreases water retention, leading to impaired barrier function.
Upon further study, decrease in ceramide levels and increased inflammation were discovered in stressed skins. This resulted in delayed barrier recovery, leading to dryness and slight wrinkle formation. And these effects can multiply with chronic stress.
Chronic stress can result in the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and elastic. This can lead to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Stress increases adrenocorticotropic hormone levels in the skin, which in turn increase tyrosinase, which faciliates the formation of pigment in our skin, levels in the skin. That’s two long words stress can cause pigmentation on the skin to worsen.
For my fellow racoon queens out there, there’s some more devastating news. This pigmentation effect is especially pronounced under our eyes, since the delicate undereye skin is thinner than that on the rest of our face. Bummer.
How to help your skin out
It may seem all doom and gloom, but hope is not yet lost! When you’re stressed, take a little step back. Let’s breathe and figure this out.
Here’s the first thing: your skin needs some extra love and care, just like you do.
The first thing to do? Forgive yourself.
We all have bad days, and it’s normal for your skin to react. That being said, here are our tips for stressed skin.
While harsh products should be avoided if you and your skin are stressed, gentle exfoliation can do wonders to resurface the skin, dealing with issues like dullness and stress breakouts. Our Complexion Clarifying Accelerator provides effective resurfacing and brightening without the usual irritation.
You can even use it as a flash mask as you take the evening off to yourself for #SelfCareSunday.
A good well-ageing routine
Being on a well ageing routine can help with some signs of stressed skin, like fine lines and dullness. Topical vitamin A (retinol and retinoid) products are very effective and transformative over a whole host of skin issues, including all of those listed above. Our Ursolic Acid and Retinal Overnight Reform is a one-of-a-kind Ayurvedic Retinal System which is gentle, and packed with antioxidants and soothers for additional healing benefits.
Barrier repair and skin rescue
For stressed skin, the best thing you can do is cultivate a pro-healing environment. Antioxidants, barrier repair ingredients and hydrators will be key in both protecting your skin from environmental and internal stressors, and recovering from damage caused by stress. The Pro-Resilience Serum is our ultimate skin saving product, designed to help your skin help itself.
Orbital eye area support
This is why we love topical retinoids and peptides for the eye area. Topical Retinoids work twofold to promote collagen synthesis and decrease melanin content. This cultivates skin smoothness and decreases discoloration around the eyes. Signal peptides help support the increase in elastin, proteoglycan, glycosaminoglycan and fibronectin proliferation; these are the building blocks of robust smoother skin
Dealing with stress: how to help yourself out
Finally, we talk a lot about the ‘whole you.’ This means your mental state, too. Your inner life is a sacred thing that deserves care and consideration. Here are some things to keep in mind this Stress Awareness Month.
Make time to exercise
Once upon a time, I believed the ‘Runner’s High’ to be a myth proliferated by marathon runners and the high-tech training shoe industry. As it turns out, I was wrong. Working out can reduce stress and boost your mood. Physical activity can help boost production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
So, yeah. Keeping yourself healthy and strong has many all-round benefits, and making some time for this is super important for well being.
But, if you’re not the running type, or even if you’re not really the ‘physical exertion type,’ know that there’s many ways to make physical activity feel better. Maybe try dance, yoga or even just walking up and down your favourite street.
We know that this is a hard thing to do in this day and age. But we really want you to try.
We’ve got a few suggestions to help you out: deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can be real stress reducers.
Listen to your body, and allow it to take breaks. After meditative activity, you could use your newfound clarity to reflect, journal, or make art. Anything that lets you get those worrisome thoughts out is a big win.
A lack of sleep, unsurprisingly, contributes to stress. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. In this sense, we’re not so different from the phones that we spend so much time glued to: we need to recharge.
Connecting with others
Social support, in its many forms, is super important. Lean into your close circles and make time for those you love. Your energy is vital and valuable. Replenish it with love, care, and connection.
Spending time with yourself
Finally, we at Sachi believe in self-help and self-care. It sounds cliché, but it’s something we can forget about in the rush of deadlines, the constant battle to stay afloat among all the pressures of modern life. In fact, we believe so much in the importance of self-reflection that we made a journal to help you with this, with prompts and guides for deep thought.
We’re a skincare company, but beauty goes deeper than the surface. Our love for you does too. This Stress Awareness Month, we are extra grateful for being a part of your holistic self-care journey toward a happier, healthier you.
We want to remind you that it’s okay to take it easy sometimes. <3
–Your Sachi Family