Let’s look at a few stress facts and how they play out physically and psychologically on your skin.
Throughout medical history, experts have studied and documented the intrinsic correlation between stress and skin conditions. This link is often referred to as “the brain-skin connection”. In more recent years, the medical field uses “psychodermatology” (a newer discipline in psychosomatic medicine), which is the study and treatment of skin disorders by using psychological and psychiatric techniques to address the interaction between mind and skin.
Bottom line? Stress is not your friend - not for your mind, body, soul or for your skin! Your brain cannot differentiate between stressors, whether physical, emotional, psychological or environmental. To the skin, stress is stress, which falls into two categories: acute and chronic. Neither is good, however, chronic stress is the worst and the longer one endures this kind of stress, the more the skin will suffer. With that in mind, everyone experiences stress - it’s almost unavoidable, is often a vicious cycle and is the result of everyday life. However, with the current pandemic it’s understandable that for many many people, stress is at an all-time high!
Here’s how stress affects the body:
- Stress causes the endocrine system, made up of glands that produce and secrete hormones, to be compromised. Under “normal conditions” the endocrine system allows the body to function like a well-oiled machine, however, stress disrupts and causes the system to slip out of sync.
- Stress causes the body to produce more cortisol (AKA the stress hormone), which negatively affects many areas of the body including the immune system, blood pressure and blood sugar levels etc. This also increases sebaceous gland activity and the skin starts producing more oil and sebum.
- Stress causes the body to have difficulty regulating its inflammatory response. As skin is the largest organ, when inflamed over an extended period of time can cause disease.
- Stress causes “oxidative stress”. This is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to neutralize (defend) itself, by counteracting the damaging effects to neutralize with antioxidants. Oxidative stress causes damage to cells and tissues, which lose the ability to keep up with free radical production. This kind of stress is responsible for premature aging and aging in general.
- Stress causes many to stop taking care of themselves, including maintaining healthy eating habits, over-working, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and excess alcohol consumption etc.
Have you recently noticed an increase in pimples or acne breakouts? Are you having flare-ups of redness (rosacea, eczema, psoriasis) or sensitivity? Does your skin lack radiance, look drawn or tired? Have you noticed your age (more wrinkles, lack of firmness) or more dark spots (hyperpigmentation)? Have you started to lose your hair? These are all very common side effects of stress (anxiety, irritability, grief and the blues).
Most important is establishing a good repertoire of coping mechanisms to help manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, taking a walk, going for a run or talking to a friend. Everyone is different, therefore, figure out what works for you and dedicate time towards daily stress-reducing activities. It’s also very important to eat healthy, drink enough water and maintain healthy skin-care habits.
Here are some product (and system) suggestions, to help in these different areas of concern:
PIMPLES: If you noticed a few extra pimples and are panicking, try the Acne Treatment Pads from ZO Skin Health. Wow! It’s a great spot treatment to get things under control.
ACNE: If your flare-ups are at an all-time high and you are ready to fully commit, we can’t say more about The Acne Prevention & Treatment Program from ZO Skin Health. You will need to invest in a good hydrating cream (based on your skin type) and an SPF for protection. Take a peek at our options.
REDNESS & SENSITIVITY: Try the SOS moisturizer, Redness Relief Calmplex from SkinMedica. It is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of facial redness with noticeable improvements in just two weeks. If you’re ready to take it one step further, we highly recommend Vivier Pharma’s Redness Program. Not only does it calm, soothe and reduce redness, it also encompasses aging concerns by using effective active ingredients to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and expression lines.
ROSACEA: The brand we highly recommend is Pyratine, as it is a medically-proven treatment for rosacea and is the only known system that effectively helps eliminate the three key symptoms of this most troubling skin disease: facial redness, acne lesions and spider veins.
RADIANCE & DULLNESS: It’s simple with Radiance Serum from Vivier Pharma, a patented multi-functional hydroquinone-free formula that is anti-aging and skin brightening. Formulated with vitamin c, arbutin and resorcinol, this potent and revitalizing serum also reduces the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles and improves skin tone. You’re welcome!
AGE (WRINKLES & LACK OF FIRMNESS): For wrinkles, try the HA5 Rejuvenative Hydrator, a top seller from SkinMedica. For firmness, we recommend the Firming Serum from ZO SKin Health. Or, if you are looking for a more complete solution, we can’t say more great stuff about the super efficient, results-oriented 6-step Anti-Aging Program from Vivier Pharma.
DARK SPOTS (HYPERPIGMENTATION): A tricky condition to manage, but very doable when you’re committed. There are many products available on the market, but few prove to be effective. Formulas will contain hydroquinone (a maximum of 2% is permitted in Canada) or non-hydroquinone solutions with other effective tyrosinase inhibitors. Here are our personal favourites: Vivier Pharma’s Hyperpigmentation Program (with 2% hydroquinone) is an excellent choice because it offers a full solution with 6 daily steps, including SPF45 which is absolutely necessary to protect and manage dark spots during treatment. We also recommend the Skin Brightening Program + Texture Repair from ZO Skin Health, which includes 4 products. It is a skin-therapy system designed for the visible treatment of hyperpigmentation, without the use of hydroquinone.
HAIR LOSS: Keep your hair naturally, Revivogen is a drug-free alternative to Minoxidil and Finasteride. Dermatologist formulated and clinically proven to reduce shedding and prevent hair loss (androgenic alopecia) in men and women.
TOP SECRET? It’s in our top 5, is multi-functional and is a game changer! Try the Active Serum from iS Clinical and here’s why: it’s fast-acting and long-term with a results-oriented formula that decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evens skin tone and is excellent for blemish-prone skin. It is touted by physicians as “remarkable” and “phenomenal,” with noticeable results in just a few days. An excellent choice for all skin types and for all ages, this powerful botanical serum leaves the skin hydrated, smooth and flawless.
If you need some expert advice and would like a personal consultation, please contact us to book your virtual medispa appointment. Our team is ready to guide you, with solutions to help you get the skin you’ve always dreamed of.