We are all under a little or a lot more stress than normal in these current circumstances. Your skin is an immediate perceiver of stress ( eg. flushing, heat, increased perspiration ) as well as a physiological target of the stress response.
As a result of stress, free radical scavenging increases; causing natural lipid levels to drop, reducing your skins ability to retain moisture & hydration, heal itself and protect you from allergens & pathogens. Stress also activates mast cells that have been implicated in inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Stressed out skin might be oilier than normal, be experiencing more breakouts, drier than normal, red, itchy, be easily inflamed and take longer to heal. SO….. are you feeling dull? Dry? Extra Slick? Covered in pimples? You are probably wearing your stress on your skin. Lets talk about how to “take it off”
#1- Actively work to reduce your stress – find some tips for stress reduction and management here.
#2 – Make sure your diet isn’t working against you – be sure to drink enough water ( Eight , 8oz glasses daily ) and eat a balanced diet, avoiding anything that cause you inflammation or discomfort. Common inflammation culprits are wheat, sugar, dairy, eggs, soy and nightshade vegetables. Healthy skin starts from the inside!
#3 a. Make sure your skincare is working for you! There are tons of common ingredients that will definitely compound skin issues brought on by stress. At Ogg Supply Co we personally recommend avoiding harsh ingredients including most alcohols, sulfates, occlusive waxes, petroleum ingredients, silicones, synthetic fragrances, color additives and damaging preservatives. What should you look for in your skincare? Sulfate free cleansers, and products that favor natural ingredient sources rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
#3 b. With your ingredients all straightened out its time to make sure that your products and skincare routine are too! Are you using them in the right order? ( Cleanser, physical exfoliator, toner, moisturizer or cleanser, toner, chemical exfoliator, moisturizer ) What about the proper frequency? Acne, oily, dry, and irritated skin can all be caused by over cleansing, exfoliating too often, not often enough, under moisturizing, or over moisturizing. Try fiddling around with your routine – cut back how often you are exfoliating and focus on cleansing and moisturizing- this will give your skin more time to repair and rest. If you are not currently using any exfoliators and are experiencing skin issues like dryness, flakiness, blackheads, or clogged hair follicles you might consider adding one in. Oily skin is often that way because it is not getting moisturized enough -maybe you need to moisturize three times a day, maybe only once. Make and take your changes slowly, allowing a week or so to see how your skin is reacting and as always discontinue any products or routines that are causing you irritation or discomfort.
#4 Assess your micro – climate. Is your apartment super dry, causing chapped lips and flakes? Run a humidifier or simmer water on the stove and steam your face. Is your pillowcase adding to the acne causing bacteria on your face? Switch it out a little bit more frequently. Are your hair products disrupting your skin? Watch out for waxes, silicones, fragrances, colors, salts, sulfates and petroleum ingredients in your hair products and try to keep them off of your face. Are you washing your hands before you wash your face? Are your tools for skincare/makeup hiding any extra bacteria? Is there another allergen source in your home that might be contributing to skin inflammation? Thinks about pets, pollen, plants, and fragrances when you consider this.
Stop wearing your stress! Although most of the sources of our stress are beyond our control we do have the ability to define our response. So take a deep breath, do what you can and know that it is enough and things will get better; your stress, your skin, all of it!