The Missing Ingredient In the Beauty EQUATION
Are stress and lack of sleep secretly destroying your skin?
Last edit: 08.13.2020
Question: who wants to have the best skin of their life right now and forever more? Kidding, that’s too easy. The better question would be, who doesn’t?
Skin is the largest organ in your body, and aside from wanting it to look great, it’s also incredibly important that you make the overall health of your skin a priority. Your skin is your shield to external stressors and protects your internal organs. Without a healthy shield, everything inside is at risk.
Unfortunately, there is more to it than just the external threats. Internal stressors, including stress, fatigue, anxiety, and lack of sleep, can attack your skin from the inside, aiding in weakening that shield.
In fact, those internal stressors tell your body it is under attack, stimulating your fight or flight response. This results in a spike of adrenaline and cortisol – which can take a serious toll on everything from your mental state, to your gut health, to your skin appearance, causing a barrage of side effects including inflammation, bloating, puffiness, and break-outs.
“Your body thinks it’s under attack, and it’s going to form all these inflammatory markers or inflammatory cells to help treat that attack.”
Dr. Forum Patel of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City
In short, when you’re stressed on the inside, your skin shows the stress on the outside.
“Stress stimulates the brain to produce a specific set of hormones that prepare the body for the stressful environment. As a side effect, these hormones rev up activity of sebaceous glands in the skin, leading to higher than normal levels of oil, blockages in the pores and acne breakouts.”
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
In addition to irritated, uneven, and inflamed skin, stress and anxiety greatly impact your sleep-wake cycles. Lack of sleep and poor quality of sleep are the cause of some of the worst affects on your skin, with dark circles being the least of your worries.
Sleep deprivation increases matrix metalloproteinases, which accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin – both of which are essential to skin integrity. Matrix metalloproteinases hastens the aging process by increasing wrinkles, decreasing skin thickness, inhibiting growth factors, and decreasing skin elasticity. Not to mention that lack of sleep increases stress hormones which keeps you stuck in the vicious cycle.
So what can you do to end this cycle?
- Implement a sacred morning and night routine:
Starting off your day with an empowering ritual can vastly improve your mood and mindset right from the get-go. Including practices like meditation, affirmations, and journaling each morning can help you address and work through whatever stressors may be lurking from the previous day or night.
When you implement a calming bedtime routine, you’re allowing yourself the time to release the weight of the day, and effectively unwind mentally, emotionally, and physically before you crawl into bed.
We recommend disconnecting from technology 1-2 hours before you get into bed (this includes TV’s, phones, and computers). Take some time to stretch, have a bath, or a warm shower to physically relax your muscles, then try another meditation or journal writing session to let go of whatever mental or emotional gunk is still hanging on.
- Work it out:
Engaging in a physical activity like running, tennis, yoga, or even walking can help you process negative emotions, as well as promote physical fatigue that can positively impact your ability to fall asleep. Choosing an activity that physically allows you to let go of mental anguish or puts you in a position to look at the challenges in life from an outside perspective can help you to subconsciously navigate the emotions and work through your stress and anxiety more effectively.
- Switch up the dialogue:
When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or tired you tend to get stuck on repeat like a broken record, reminding yourself how bad you’re feeling. This habit only serves to keep you stuck in a “rut”, and perpetuates the negative affects. By changing the dialogue, you can subconsciously transform your feelings.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, try saying ‘I’m feeling innovative’ or ‘I am feeling productive’ or ‘I am feeling efficient’. When you’re feeling anxious try ‘I am feeling thrilled’ or ‘I am feeling energized’ or ‘I am feeling excited’. And, when you’re feeling depressed try ‘I am feeling compassionate’ or ‘I am feeling open’ or ‘I am feeling introspective’.
You can choose your own empowering synonyms for any negative emotion that seems to cling on for dear life, and when you shift the way you look at the emotion, the emotion changes.
4. Plant the seeds of internal support:
Supplement your daily routines with a supplement that aids in reducing your stress, improving your skin health, and supporting healthy sleep-wake cycles, like The AM+PM Beauty Set.
Having internal support to aid in reducing anxious feelings, promoting a healthy stress response, and feed your skin the nutrients it needs will vastly improve not only your mind and skin, but your overall life as well.
Your body is a beautiful, vibrant, force made up of complex interconnected relationships. If you want perfect skin, you can’t spot treat with one solution and expect comprehensive results. If you want real transformation, you need to look at yourself as a whole, respect the synergistic relationships between your mind, body, and skin, and seek solutions that address all aspects of your inner self. You can’t attain your outer beauty goals without treating your inner wellbeing as well.
STUNN Collective exists to empower you with innovative supplements that directly nourish your microbiome to support stress hormones and skin health, so you can harness your own unique beauty and potential, because we believe every woman deserves to feel better, live greater, and dream bigger.
Written by the STUNN Collective team.