It’s fair to say that over the past year and a half, we’ve all experienced our fair share of stress. Being unable to see loved ones, social distancing in supermarkets, worry over the future – there has certainly been a lot on our minds.
Whatever your skin type, that stress can often show up in our skin – especially when it’s exacerbated by mask-wearing.
From the dreaded ‘maskne’ to creeping fine lines, here’s our best beauty advice on how to care for skin that’s more than a little stressed out.
Acne & ‘Maskne’
Increased stress levels lead to a boost in the stress hormone – cortisol. This can lead to increased oil production – a nightmare for those who already have greasier skin.
All kinds of skin types can suffer from acne. Couple excess oil with a mask, and you have a recipe for clogged pores and acne – hence the newly-coined ‘maskne’ epidemic.
Even those who don’t normally suffer from spots have found themselves breaking out around the jawline and lower cheeks where masks have been against their skin.
One of the best ways to combat ‘maskne’ is to ensure that your mask is clean every time you use it. You might also opt for a silk mask, as it’s a more breathable material.
If you don’t already use one, adding a mild cleanser to your evening routine can help to keep pores free from oil. A gentle moisturiser that helps to repair the skin barrier is also a must – we love Environ’s Skin EssentiA range.
And whatever you do, don’t pick! Picking at spots can spread the acne bacteria, as well as leading to scarring.
If you’ve found that your acne has become quite serious and doesn’t seem to be responding to a gentle skincare routine, you could try a skin peel.
Our acne treatments target the acne bacteria and exfoliate the clogged pores without harming the surrounding skin.
You’ll generally see results around three times faster than you would with prescription antibiotics or topical treatments.
Target fine lines
More worried about some newly-appeared fine lines than acne? Stress can cause changes to the proteins in your skin, reducing its elasticity.
As we age, our collagen supplies deplete naturally – but stress can accelerate this process leading to prematurely aged skin.
If you want to target these fine lines, our HIFU treatment – High Intensity Focused Ultrasound – can stimulate the deep layers of the skin to produce a tauter appearance. It simultaneously boosts collagen production, leaving your skin bouncier and plumper.
Microneedling is considered the gold standard for stimulating collagen production. Tiny needles penetrate the skin causing the body to produce more collagen and elastin, which heal your skin and have anti-aging benefits. Radio frequency microneedling uses a gold plated needle device to gently penetrate the skin and works well on uneven skin, whether caused by acne, scarring or wrinkles.
Stress-free skin for everyone
Whatever your skin type or complaint, there are a few skin tips that help to combat the signs of stress for everyone.
The first? Stay hydrated. It’s not a quick-fix – but then the best beauty advice never is. Healthy skin comes from consistent care – and that includes both a good skincare routine and drinking enough water.
Water helps our immune system to function, and staying hydrated prevents your skin from drying out and cracking, which can lead to infections (including acne).
Though not quite as crucial, an at-home facial has plenty of benefits. You can opt for a DIY face mask such as our popular Anti-Pollution Masque. Choosing something that will target your specific skin concerns is a bonus – but honestly, the greatest benefit of an at-home facial is the soothing stress relief it brings.
Similarly, any activity that decreases your stress level – whether it’s getting out into the fresh air or nailing a spin class – can help to combat skin stress. Remember your SPF – this is the first rule of Anti aging protection!
Lower cortisol? Fewer problems.
There’s one final all-rounder that’ll do wonders for your skin health (and your overall health): getting enough sleep. Your skin produces collagen when you sleep, and those who sleep 7-9 hours per night typically had more moisturised skin that was less prone to damage.