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Stress and Your Skin

Jan 20th 2019

Now even with the excitement of the holidays behind us, I know that most of you don’t spend your free time dipping into exciting publications like The British Journal of Dermatology, but around here once a nerd, always a nerd. Particularly where skincare and neurochemistry are concerned. One of the things that is always particularly exciting about reading scientific journals is finding an article that is able to bring hard science to bear on something we all suspect to be true—in this case the effect of stress.

We all know that stress is bad, if for no other reason than it doesn’t make us feel good. Most of the things we read about stress often relate to its deleterious effect on our cardiovascular system.It was therefore especially intriguing to read a review article in the latest edition of The British Journal of Dermatology that links stress to a reduction in our skin’s barrier protection abilities.You may recall that the barrier function of skin is essential to keeping our skin hydrated and healthy looking and to keeping out harmful chemical and microbial irritants in our environment.

I quote, “Psychological stressors upregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to stimulate local and systemic stress hormone production, ultimately leading to aberrant barrier dysfunction, characterized by decreased epidermal lipids and structural protein production, decreased stratum corneum hydration, and increased transepidermal water loss.”

In plain English this means that stress creates hormonal changes in our brain that cause a decrease in our skin’s ability make the fats and proteins it needs for effective barrier protection.This leads to a decrease in skin hydrations and an increase in water loss.None of those things are good for either the look or the function of our skin and give us one more reason to make stress reduction a top New Year’s Resolution.

And since our facial oils are based on the mind-body unity highlighted in the article, they can help. Get a good’s night’s sleep, stay calm focused and positive and access the energy you need to accomplish your goals.Take a deep breath and have a terrific 2019.