You Look Stressed

Psychological stress causes skin damage. So chill out.

I was almost going to stop there. After all, I told you what and I told you how in two sentences. But, ok, more detail.

Emotional stress has been linked to many diseases and imbalances in the body. Emotions cause the release of peptides and hormones, each causing a reaction in the system. Sometimes this reaction is harmful, as in the stressful triggering of the “fight or flight” response. Over a period of time this response may deplete the adrenal glands, cause heart palpitations or cause belly fat due to cortisol release. Several books describe the link between stress, emotions and peptides, one of my favorites being Molecules of Emotions by Dr. Candace Pert.

Stress may also cause inflammation and free-radicals in the body. Not good for beauty. In fact, emotional stress could be called a method to achieve “ugly inside & out.”  The stress activated inflammatory neuropeptide, Substance-P,  is related to acneic skin, which makes stress a direct cause of acne. This would explain why we see such a high amount of adult acne, especially apparent in woman, due to the imbalance to hormones caused by stress. I hear it so many times, woman saying that the cause of the breakout they get in the jaw area is due to hormones. Yes, somewhat, especially during periods. But this doesn’t fully explain why  the hormones are so out of balance and causing breakouts.

Stress may also disrupt the skin’s lipid barrier protection, causing irritation, sensitivity and aggravating eczema and psoriasis. One researcher hypothesizes that psychological stress not only can cause cancer, but also, diabetes mellitus, open-angle glaucoma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

So, the chill out; this would be breath work, meditation, calming baths, or other methods of soothing body and the mind. There are the chill pill remedies. Not pharmaceutical numbing methods, but holistic chill pills, that benefit both mind and body.

Cedarwood essential oil was studied for its effect in bringing balance to the autonomic nervous system, which may help reduce heart palpitations, nervous stomach and anxiety related conditions of the skin. Neroli essential oil is good for anxiety related conditions and for sensitive, “nervous” skin. Clary sage essential oil is emotionally calming and soothing, and contains a phyto-estrogen for balance of hormonally related skin conditions. Put one or a blend of all of these in a bath, or apply daily by adding, or buying, it in your skin care.  There are many more essential oil choices that will help produce beautiful skin and relieve psychological stresses; lavender, geranium, mandarin and frankincense are some good choices.

Quercetin, found in apples and green tea, is known to reduce inflammation and acne caused by Substance-P. The inflammation caused by Cox-2, and related to stress, can be reduced by many herbals; ginger, turmeric and rosemary being at the top of the list. These can be used as tea, spices and are available as Supercritical CO2 extracts. The supercriticals are available in supplement form and can be used in skin care. There can be potential for staining when supercriticals are used at therapeutic levels in skin care – I would add that the result is well worth the risk in staining.

Psychological stress is not healthy. For best results in a beauty inside & out  system, remedies for stress release must also be included.