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here’s what stress does to your skin

here’s what stress does to your skin

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Stress can cause the skin to become red, irritated or break out.
Incorporating the right moisturisers and masques into your skin care routine can help reduce the effects of stress on your skin.

As if feeling stressed isn’t enough, it can actually take its toll and wreak havoc on your skin, too. We know, we know — great, right? These effects can also take their time — you may see them overnight, or they may happen over a prolonged period of time. All of a sudden, you discover that your skin is red, irritated, breaking out, and just generally super angry.

Read on to find out more about the skin issues that can crop up when you’re feeling stressed


Emotions running high? That can definitely show on your skin. When Cortisol (AKA the stress hormone) leads to an overproduction of sebum (oil) in the skin glands, this can cause acne and breakouts to form. This can especially happen when your emotions are running high and you’re feeling more stressed than usual, triggering your oil glands to produce even more oil. If you notice that happening, don’t skip out on your skincare routine! While you may think it seems counterintuitive to put more products on your skin when it’s breaking out, you just have to incorporate the ones that will help balance and calm the skin. Start with a cleanser to actively cleanse and purify the skin — Active Clay Cleanser contains Kaolin Clay to absorb excess oil and Activated Binchotan Charcoal to adsorb impurities. You can also try adding a face masque into your evening skincare routine — like Sebum Clearing Masque, a soothing clay masque with detoxifying, oil-absorbing clays and salicylic acid helps clear pore congestion.


Skin feeling generally drier, tighter and otherwise more dehydrated than usual? That could be a sign of stress taking its toll. The spike in cortisol can actually lead to dehydration and a broken-down skin barrier. Be sure to moisturise — which is important every day, but especially when your skin is feeling more dehydrated than usual. Look for one that is ultra-nourishing for dry, depleted skin — like Skin Smoothing Cream, a next-generation moisturiser with advanced Active HydraMesh Technology™ that infuses skin with 48 hours of vital, continuous hydration and moisture. And don’t forget the H2O! Drinking a full eight glasses of water a day can help bring back the lost hydration in your skin and restore its natural glow.


Over time, stress can cause changes to the proteins in your skin, which reduces its elasticity. As you lose elasticity, you may notice the forming of fine lines and wrinkles. Look for a skincare product that addresses the signs of ageing, like MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque.

This ultra-replenishing face masque helps rescue dull, dry, dehydrated, lackluster, photodamaged skin with a powerful, concentrated mix of Vitamins A, C and E, and Linoleic Acid. Pro-Vitamin B5 also helps nourish damaged skin.


Stress can also cause your skin to become more reactive and sensitive, leading to redness, rashes, and hives. While you can’t necessarily restrict the blood vessels and capillaries from dilating, you can still help reduce redness with some targeted skincare formulas. Start your skincare routine with a gentle, pH-balanced, non-foaming cleanser, like UltraCalming Cleanser, to help calm and cool reactive, sensitised skin.

what else to know about stressed-out skin

So you’re seeing the effects of stress on your skin. Are you taking care of your skin — and yourself? Or is it making you feel even less willing to take a little extra time for your skincare routine? If it’s the latter, don’t worry — that’s a completely common reaction.

Not getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, or eating well can all impact how the skin reacts once it’s feeling stressed. Try calming the mind with some meditation or light exercise, light some candles, get in bed for a full eight hours and don’t forget to drink water! And, of course, it goes without saying that you should take a little extra time for self-care with your skincare routine, especially as a wind-down technique at night.

26 April 2022
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