Stress vs Your Skin

We’re all aware that stress affects the health of our skin, but do we truly understand what is happening?

Firstly, lets understand what stress is in the body.

We all live busy frantic lives, rushing from one thing to another. Which obviously is completely normal for some, but when things become over-whelming and our ability to cope runs us into the ground, it takes a toll on our body.

When we are stressed our body releases hormones such as adrenaline, nor-epinephrine and cortisol.

These are the three major stress hormones which are well known as the ‘fight - or - flight’ response. In any given circumstance that we are in real danger this system comes in handy, however as explained before, when we experience too much stress we start to create ‘wear & tear’ in the body.


Under stressful conditions, cortisol levels become overactive and start to affect the skin in negative ways. One of the most common skin conditions we see quite often in stressed clients is acne!

You may notice that during high periods of stress you experience more acne breakouts, this is because our cortisol levels prompt the skins sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (oil). This additional oil can clog the follicle leading to the development of inflammation and bacteria!

Other skin conditions can also be triggered such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Many people who already suffer from these chronic conditions tend to notice that their symptoms flare up when their stress levels are elevated.

Cortisol also has the power to accelerate the aging process of the skin, rapidly enhancing common signs of aging such as slowing down the production of elasticity and collagen, thus the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


So now we know what stress is and how it affects our skin, what is a solution?

I guess firstly we need to acknowledge what is triggering our stress. Sometimes things are inevitable and we have no control over what is happening, however we can choose how we respond to them. Our thoughts of how we view ourselves and the world can trigger emotional distress, leading to the chronic inflammation in the skin.

Try going for a walk, doing regular yoga or pilates classes and practicing meditation. This can help alter your mindset and this type of physical activity is slow and steady yet still contributing to the release of endorphin's - not only that, but its also going to increase circulation which will provide your cells with more oxygen. Its also important to nourish your body from within. Start to make healthier choices in your diet, educate yourself or seek professional advice from a nutritionist or dietitian to support your bodies recovery.

Focusing on the inside will most certainly improve how you look from the outside.

There are also ways in which we can support the skin from the outside. This is were we come in. “ The Skin Angels’ (haha) It’s not uncommon for stressed skins walk into our clinic. More often than not, every skin has its own unique story.

We can create stress to the skin using harsh chemicals from a variety of products stripping away the essential nutrients needed to support the skin cell function. When your skin is exposed to stress you are creating pathways for free radicals to compromised cells, when this happens it is essential to provide the skin with antioxidants. Having a custom blended serum full of actives such as vitamin e and co enzyme Q10 will refuel cells with antioxidants.

Essential fatty acids are also ‘essential’ for a reason. These fats support skin cells with moisture while they travel up through the layers of the epidermis, once they reach the skins surface they provide extra protection from future free radical damage. This is why taking an internal supplement like our Bestow Beauty Plus oil will provide all of these essential nutrients.

While taking a supplement such as Bestow Beauty Plus Oil will initially take 6 - 8 weeks to be absorbed into the skin, to get immediate effectiveness of these nutrients, using a Lotion N tonic by Dermaviduals provides the skin with a direct delivery of EFA’s into the skin.

By Skin Therapist Jessica Chapman

To learn more or book in for an advanced analysis on how you can improve your stressed skin please contact us on 03 5916 1123 or email us at

Suzanne Smedley