Psychodermatology has been around for many years, but its only more recently that scientific studies have evidenced the true scale of how our thoughts and feelings are affecting our skin and skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea and inflammation.

Recurring streams of emotional upset/stress/anxiety or negative thinking can wreak havoc on our skin, as the body’s stress response goes into overdrive. But, in times like these- when we are worrying about everything from finances to health crises, how can we reduce the impact of our stresses and anxiety on our skin?

If you follow our social media (@flawlessbeautysugnall) you may have seen, or even taken part in our online Poll, about how we are currently feeling and the affects of this on our skin. The results are eye opening! A clear and honest picture of not only how we are feeling right now, but how this is showing up on our skin.

Results

100% of participants are stressed, 88% are felling emotional, 89% are anxious and a whopping 86% of those participants now have skin concerns. If this little experiment doesn’t prove the mind-skin link…. See the diagram below.

 

Let’s look at what happens in our skin, when we are stressed or emotionally triggered.

When we are anxious, stressed-out or under emotional strain, our brain triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in the body. The hormone release that adversely affects our skins function is called “corticotropin-releasing hormone” (CRH).

CRH causes our skin cells to produce more melanin – which can lead to hyper-pigmentation or dark spots, the release of CRH also creates huge amounts of inflammation in our skin cells, which prevent it from functioning properly. Cells will go into overdrive and our dead skin, which normally gets “released” ends up in a huge build-up with oil and impurities. This causes those big red painful spots!

If that’s not enough, there’s also an increase in the “P acne” bacteria (because they have been starved of their food source from the inflammation process), so P acne begin to burrow deeper into the skin causing big painful spots and make us feel more stressed.

Skin can also appear dry and bumpy during and after a stressful episode due to the number of dead cells “clinging on” and building up a rough and dull appearance …. Lovely!

SO- if your still with me after all that…… WHAT CAN WE DO?

A holistic approach is required – this means more than just changing our sugar intake or buying a new face cream. A holistic approach requires many small changes across our lifestyle, that will make a BIG impact on our skin’s function and therefore reduce our concerns! I have listed these for “at home” and “in clinic” mixing up both columns will create the ultimate positive changes to your mind and body.

At Home:

POSITIVITY MINDSET

  • yes of course we have tried this! But really, viewing things differently and focusing on the positives in your life and your future goals, will massively change the chemical reactions in your brain- physically reducing the amount of stress hormones getting to your skin. The way to do this, is to do one small thing from the following list everyday (even when you feel crap).
  • Write down 3 things you are so grateful for
  • Say your favourite affirmation 5 times to yourself (eg. I attract good things into my life, my body is strong, healthy and happy, My skin is nourished and my mind is calm, I am ready to be healthy and happy now)
  • Watch/Listen to positive meditations or motivational speakers to instantly change your mindset (e.g. Rhonda Byrne, Bob Proctor, Jim Rohn)
  • Read something positive everyday! We cannot expect our brains to be positive if all we consume is negativity.
  • Seek out true inspiring stories of others, instead of the usual targeted negative media posts (there are as many positive stores and there are negative – we just only get shown negative stuff 80% of the time)
  • Have some time to yourself everyday – at least 30 minutes.
  • If you mental health has really taken a dip that you cannot get out of please seek help- counselling and therapy can work wonders even over the phone therapy can begin whilst you are isolated.

 

SKIN ROUTINE

  • Invest in a skin regime that is easy for you to stick to and has been prescribed for your specific skin concerns.
  • The regime should contain cleanser, toner, moisturiser, (SPF) as a standard. Depending on your skin concern, a serum may also be beneficial.
  • Complete your skin regime twice daily and stick to it.
  • Use a weekly nourishing mask following a non-abrasive exfoliant to ensure optimum cell turnover.

 

DIET/LIFESTYLE

  • Exercise outdoors every day- even just a 15-minute brisk walk
  • Sleep for 6-8 hours every night (try and wake at the same time each day)
  • Eat a wide range of colourful natural foods at every meal
  • Take multivitamin supplement and if your skin is dry, an omega 3 capsule daily
  • 2 litres of water (or diluted sugar-free juice) everyday
  • Limit (or cut out) alcohol and refined sugar
  • A mini massage – foot, hand, facial – this will bring nutrients to the skin, increase blood flow, and clears toxins from the skin- it’s a massively underused experience that we can do effectively from home.

 

In the Clinic:

  • Have a thorough skin consultation to map out your skin concerns against your stress levels and create a holistic approach to treatment
  • “The Flawless Skin Healing Programme” – a bespoke package of treatment and home care solutions to target stressed skin and mind. Expect packages to include homecare regime, skin treatments such as lymphatic facials, LED, chemical peels etc. PLUS meditations, crystal therapy, hormone balancing massage and affirmation homework.
  • The skin healing programme will be delivered by Tara in skin clinic and by holistic expert Clare in the salon too.

 

Maintenance:

  • Continue to stick to the home care advice and positivity mindset (80% of the time!!)
  • Monthly skin and mind maintenance treatments to keep you on track

 

I hope you found this insightful, I cannot wait to get back into clinic to start our skin healing programmes! If you would like an informal chat to find out more just drop me a message.

 

Tara xx