Our emotions has everything to do with our skin. As our largest organ, our skin “gives us away” – what we’re thinking, how we’re feeling, and what we’re going through. Some examples we are all familiar with: work stress leading to an acne breakout, and anger increasing the wrinkles on our faces – but what’s the science behind this?
How does emotions affect our skin?
Stress, fear and anxiety, and anger are key emotions that affect our skin negatively, albeit in different ways.
If you’re feeling stressed, your body produces cortisol, a steroid hormone that harms facial skin cells by weakening and constricting facial blood vessels. This leads to poor circulation, decreasing blood supply to the skin, and eventually resulting in dry, flaky, and possibly irritated skin. If you have existing problems like acne and eczema, stress can worsen them.
Stress also results in quicker and shallower breathing, reducing the oxygen carried in your blood stream and by extension reducing the oxygen supply to your skin. As a result, the healthy glow of your skin may disappear.
Also, we are all too familiar with turning to unhealthy food like fatty and sweet junk food when stress hits. Such food are correlated with acne breakouts. Lastly, sleep may be affected during periods of stress – when this happens, you may wake up with puffy eyes, dark circles, and a dull complexion.
Fear and anxiety (sometimes leading to depression)
Fear and prolonged anxiety leads to high levels of adrenaline and cortisol in our bodies. Your sweat glands start over working, affecting your skin condition. What’s more, you tend to frown more when you’re anxious, increasing wrinkling.
Prolonged anxiety may lead to depression, which not only causes acne but also triggers hormones that can affect sleep-patterns.
Just like anxiety, anger increases the wrinkles on your face. It also decelerates the skin’s healing and produces dark spots. If you suppress your anger instead of letting it “flow”, this may disturb your body’s balance and leaving you not looking your best – it may even lead to acne, eczema, and rashes in some people.
How to achieve healthy mind, heart, and skin:
Now that we know negative emotions can have an effect on our health and skin, here are some tips that can help you manage your emotions and lead a better lifestyle.
Diet and lifestyle
A well-balanced diet and adequate exercise are the two most important ingredients for healthy, glowing skin, as they ensure that toxins are flushed out of your system. In addition, a well-balanced diet ensures the required nutritional supply for your skin, and exercising releases endorphins, a.k.a. the happy hormone. With these, you’re on your way to healthier, glowing skin!
Mindfulness is no longer just a religiously affiliated practice – the practice of secular mindfulness is on the rise (you can start by joining some of these activities). This practice helps to keep you calm and collected in times of stress, and with that, its goodbye to stress, and hello to healthy skin!
Proper cleansing and care for your skin
Even if you’re very busy, cleansing, toning, and moisturising on a daily basis is the minimum skincare routine – do not skip any of these!
Do not over-worry – and cry if you need to!
Do not over-worry about situations that are beyond your control. Such emotional disturbances can only worsen your skin condition and speed up ageing – and possibly make you more upset than you were previously. If you need to, have a good cry – it doesn’t mean that you’re weak. Crying is our body’s natural way of giving relief to stress and releasing negative hormones from your body, lowering stress levels – you will feel much better and relaxed after the crying.