Posted on: 5th Sep, 2017
Staying happy is almost always a good piece of advice, no matter the context. It’s particularly important when it comes to your skin, as emotions can actually have a pretty drastic effect on it. Lengthy, intense or frequent periods of anger, stress and depression can all affect your skin in various ways. In this blog, we’ll be explaining a little more about how.
At one time or another, we’re all going to get angry. At home, in the office, or on the road, we’re bound to come into contact with something irritating now and again. But by staying calm in the face of such annoyances, you avoid the worst effects of anger on your skin. To start with, frowning or scowling tenses your facial muscles, and over time this can leave you with pronounced lines and wrinkles. Less obviously though, it also slows down the healing ability of your skin. When you’re angry, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which limits the production of collagen; a key element of skin healing. The longer you’re angry or the angrier you are, the slower you’ll be to heal from cuts or bruises. It sounds strange, but it’s true!
Just like anger, it’s impossible to move through everyday life without getting stressed every now and again. And while that’s normal – even healthy – high levels of stress can wreak havoc on our skin. Again, cortisol plays a huge part in this. When you’re extremely stressed, you produce more cortisol, which flows freely through your body. This can make your blood vessels more fragile and means that skin cells don’t form as quickly, slowing down sometimes by as much as 50%. Essentially, you can blame stress and cortisol for a lot of premature skin ageing.
There’s an extra side effect that doesn’t help either – when we’re really stressed, we might resort to comfort foods such as chocolate and alcohol. Poor diet and reduced hydration can worsen the condition of our skin, and when taken with the heightened levels of cortisol we’ve just discussed above, it can be a potent combination! Acne, rosacea and eczema are all examples of skin conditions that have been shown to be worsened by stress.
Depression is bad enough as it is, whether it’s in response to a specific event or whether it’s the full-blown clinical variety. Frowning and furrowing your brow can leave lines on your skin, while cortisol (there it is again!) slows down your body’s ability to deal with damage and inflammation. A common side effect of depression can often be loss of sleep. We’ve talked before in detail about how bad that can be for your skin, but the short version is that your skin repairs itself when you’re asleep. If you don’t get enough of it, your skin isn’t getting a chance to properly heal itself from day-to-day damage, and signs of this can quickly start to become visible.
As we’ve touched upon, it’s absolutely impossible to move through life without experiencing some negative emotions every now and again. In fact, let’s be honest, it would be very odd (and possibly unhealthy) not to. The trick is not to try and suppress negative emotions, but rather find practical ways to deal with them and minimise their effects. Disengage from frustrating conversations, make action plans for large-scale or scary tasks, and definitely always make sure you’re getting enough rest!
We’re not mental health experts here at AP Skincare, so we’ll shy away from getting too specific with our advice, but we will say: even crying can be better for your health than you might think it is. It’s scientifically proven to release tension and bring down stress levels, so if you feel the tears coming on, sometimes it might be best to battle through it. Who knows – you might feel a whole lot better afterwards!
Finding ways to manage your emotions and staying mentally healthy has great benefits for your skin. You avoid much of the damage that negative emotions can do to it, and a healthy, clear mind enables you to devote the right amount of attention to a good skincare routine. Our staff at AP Skincare are experts at caring for your skin, and we’ve got a great range of core skincare treatments to leave your skin feeling as happy as you do!
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