Have you looked in the mirror lately and thought what is happening to my face?
The past few weeks have been extremely emotional and we have all been forced to create a new normal under extreme conditions. The amount of stress that everyone is going through at the moment is completely off the scale. When the body experiences such levels of stress, it can have a profound effect on the body.
What is Cortisol?
Produced within the adrenal glands, most of the cells within the human body have cortisol receptors. Cortisol is responsible for many functions such as the regulation of the metabolism, adjusting sugar levels, maintaining blood pressure and protecting the bodies overall health and wellbeing.
What is Happening?
When we are stressed our bodies release high levels of cortisol. When it is in high supply it can cause the body to come out of balance and will signal that something is not quite right.
The condition of skin externally, will always give us a view on what is happening to our bodies internally. When the body produces more cortisol, sebum the natural oil source will go into overdrive. This will lead clogged pores which in turn can become inflamed. This is commonly known as acne.
Redness may appear increased. Cheeks will look more flushed, as the increased blood flow will put pressure on the fragile capillaries. We refer to this condition as rosacea.
The ageing process is accelerated when we are producing excess cortisol. Elastin and collagen the vital fibres that bind our cells together start to break down.Fine lines and wrinkles will become more visible.
The skin can become flaky as stress causes cortisol to increase. The body loses its ability to retain water. Dark spots will become more visible while the skin is starting to appear more uneven in its texture.
What can you do to reduce stress at this time?
The current situation that we find ourselves in is unprecedented. It is important to try and stick to a daily routine. Waking and sleeping at regular intervals will help to ensure that the body is able to get the rest that it needs while fighting these hormonal imbalances.
Starting the day off with a simple task such as making your bed will allow you to start to motivating yourself to get moving.
Do you like to listen to music in the morning when you get ready for work?
Keep to your usual routine. Pump those tunes, take a shower and grab a bite to eat and start your day. Self isolation does not have to mean stuck indoors for the unforeseeable future. Go out and get that walk.
Take a moment to do some breath work, affirmations or other form of meditation to help rebalance yourself during this time.
A solid skincare routine will ensure that you are unblocking your pores and shedding away those dead skin cell and protecting you from the blue light that is emitted from those smart devices.
What should I do?
A comprehensive skin care routine will manage your skin concerns and possibly go that extra step towards eliminating them.
Step 1 – CLEANSE
Double cleanse- a general cleanse and a second that works a little deeper to do the work is always necessary. A broad cleanser for the first cleanse such as the essential daily cleanser is a good all-rounder suitable for all skin types.
Your second cleanse should some active ingredients. Salicylic and Glycolic acid are a good place to start. They will work on unblocking your pores or reducing lines and wrinkles by increasing cell turnover (see previous blog posts about these). If you are concerned about pigmentation look for ingredients that have brightening properties.
Step 2 – HYDRATE
Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 10 times its weight in water, I wrote a blog post about this some time ago! Serums that contain this ingredient, naturally found and produced by the body will help to keep you keep hydrated and therefore reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dehydrated skins will produce more oil in an attempt to rebalance itself. Hyaluronic Acid is also recommended for oily skin types or those that are concerned about acne breakouts.
Step 3 – TREAT
What bothers you right now about your skin? Are your current stress levels affecting your skin? Are you using something that addresses this particular issue? A targeted product that is working to eliminate something in particular is necessary if you don’t want it to become a long time problem. The best way to treat a genuine skin concern is to use something that is not available straight off the shelf. Products that are restricted to professionals for distribution will have a much greater effect than anything you can get your hands on in your local shop! The reason for this is because such products will have a much greater concentration of active ingredients and have been scientifically tested for efficacy.
Step 4 – MOISTURISE
An essential moisturiser is going to give your skin extra hydration. This will be more superficial concentrating on the top layers of your skin. It can be something that is quite general because you have targeted your concerns in step 3 of your routine.
Step 5 – PROTECT
The icing on the cake your SPF! Physical agents rather than chemical will ensure you protect your skin from UVA rays (the rays that cause damage to the skin cells) and UVB rays (the rays that cause burning on the skin).
Skincare brands that base their products around science will add additional filters that can prevent the damage that is caused by the blue light that is emitted from our smart devices. This is 20 times more damaging than UVA so super important to not miss this step during lockdown!
It takes 21 days to form a habit so if you are able to stick to it, it will become second nature in no time!
Do you need help finding a new routine?
Starting over can be daunting especially when it some to skincare. Get in touch, let me know what it is that you want to address and we can develop a plan that allows you to address and eliminate what is bothering you.
If you have a stack of products but you are not sure if they are right for you, don’t stress! Schedule an online consultation and we can go through what you have and suggest a way to get your skincare goals.
Stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS and I look forward to seeing you on the other side.