How Stress Affects Your Skin

How much can stress change your complexion? If you want glowing skin, start by clearing your head.

5 Minute ReadEducation by Jessica Lacey

20.04.23 (Updated 26.02.24)

Let’s be real, the concept of ‘skin deep’ is an outright fallacy, because when we’re talking skin, we need to get real deep. Skin is an outward manifestation of everything that’s going on inside us and all that underlying tension soon radiates throughout our bodies. So, when you find yourself in an extended period of stress, never underestimate just how much of it shows up in your skin.

How can stress cause skin problems?

We’ve long understood that skin alters in times of psychological stress. In fact, almost forty years ago The New York Times first reported, "The skin can be a sensitive barometer of life's stresses. As one's mental state changes, so does the body, and particularly its most public aspect, the skin.” A persistent build-up of stress often causes dry, itchy anxiety stress rashes but also exacerbates pre-existing skin conditions such as adult blemishes, skin redness and eczema.

More recent research into the effects of negative emotions on skin disorders has ascertained precisely why our skin suffers when we experience heightened tension, Stress, anxiety and depression trigger the body’s stress hormone response - cortisol, and when levels remain persistently high, the resultant inflammation presents in skin. Not only can anxiety change your complexion, scientists have also proven that inflammation can also have a major impact on accelerating skin ageing too.

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What does stress look like on your skin?

Psychodermatology explores the full extent to which negative feelings go hand-in-hand with skin issues. Not a million miles away from the embarrassed child who starts blushing wildly, the teen who wakes with acne-like anxiety bumps covering their face, or the middle-aged woman enduring a marriage breakdown who suddenly becomes consumed by an angry stressed skin rash, we’ve all witnessed our skin betraying our emotional state.

On the upside, our skin just as easily benefits from a positive mindset like returning from holiday looking well rested or the adage of radiating that ‘new relationship glow’ whereby the emotional high of finding yourself in love and boosted hormone levels of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins cause skin to start beaming. Orgasms have long been proven to directly increase the rate of blood flow to your skin, circulating additional oxygen and nutrients, making the dermis more resilient and even firmer.

How the pros diagnose anxiety skin symptoms

The interplay between our emotional selves and our skin is so fundamental that now the best facialists have become detectives, piecing together a narrative playing out on a cellular level. “There’s no such thing as normal. What seems barely worth mentioning to you could be the missing part in solving your skin,” explains celebrity facialist, Joanne Evans, regarded among the top skin experts in the UK. Joanne opened the doors of her much-anticipated Skin Matters Wellness Clinic, in West London’s leafy Holland Park just last year, only you’ll have to wait at least three months for an appointment with her.

Treating the stressed out skin of London’s high fliers has demanded Joanne and her team become acutely perceptive of her client’s emotional states. “Clients will tell me they have no idea why they’re not responding to skincare and then mid-treatment they’ll pipe up there’s been a death in the family or they’re on their second round of IVF treatment, they’ve been working overtime for months, they’re still processing their divorce or their kids have just left home and suddenly their cryptic skin condition makes complete sense.”

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Treating stressed skin with lasers

“Traditional lasers that cause injury to the skin so as to encourage regeneration through collagen synthesis, cannot be used endlessly,” warns Joanne. “Skin’s delicate barrier has to be left alone to have time to heal and repair and that’s when I tell my clients they need to take a break from lasers and approach their skin a different way. If someone comes to me feeling anxious or highly stressed, it’s not time to attack their skin with a laser. The exception to this rule however, is the skin supporting LYMA Laser, which Joanne happily uses on all her clients, day in day out. A game-changing cold laser that operates at the exact power level to create laser speckle; the process of reawakening skin cells to switch their regeneration mode back on, restoring collagen in the face without causing any heat or damage to the skin.

“The LYMA Laser is so incredible because it’s compatible with skin whatever your mental state, no matter how vulnerable your mind or skin is that day.”

How to fix skin conditions caused by stress and anxiety

With modern life, it’s vital to look at skin from the full 360 degrees. Fine tuning what you're eating to take in the best calming foods, optimising your sleep, switching to an anti-inflammatory workout, adopting daily calming techniques, and moderating your city pollution exposure - all these aspects contribute to better skin health. Topical skin care can calm the surface-level symptoms of stress such as redness and sensitivity but to create profound, lasting change, two things need to happen.

Brain power: supplementation for a stronger mind

As a peer-reviewed, clinically proven nootropic, LYMA’s natural engineering improves neural communication, calms anxiety and lifts mood. By chemically nourishing neurological pathways, the brain operates more smoothly, solutions are clearer and obstacles present less of an issue. Within weeks, the body’s interpretation of stressful situations has shifted and what once seemed insurmountable, becomes possible. LYMA helps with this and also reduces inflammation throughout every organ of the body, thus treating the physiological reaction to stressors too.

Low level laser therapy takes the stress out of skin

Any meaningful change in skin happens at the lowest levels where the energy centres of skin cells dictate behaviour. The LYMA Laser is a world-first technology of low level laser therapy that can reach these base layers and flick genetic switches to change gene expression. This scientific phenomenon, termed Photobiomodulation, has skin cells acting younger and thus, the cosmetic signs of stress are calmed and reversed. Skin appears brighter, firmer, smoother and universally refreshed.

Fully loaded, fast paced lifestyles will forever come with a generous side order of stress but it's how we interpret and process those external stressors that’s the difference between sail and fail. Supplementing with LYMA on the inside will reinforce inner strength, whilst the LYMA Laser powers up skin at its central core. LYMA is here to help support you on all fronts for strength that shows through your skin.



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