…or dry skin, or eczema and psoriasis flare-ups…and what you can do about it.
Earlier this month the New York Times published a great piece called This Is Your Skin on Stress. If you missed it (#TL;DR), the short version is that the brain and the skin — two of our most vital organs — are intricately intertwined, and emotions triggered in the brain affect our skin.
Embarrassed? Our skin blushes. Angry? Our skin flushes. Stressed? Hello acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea or dryness.
So how exactly does stress affect your skin? “Much of the skin-psyche connection comes down to the overproduction of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, and its effect on the skin barrier,” writes Jessica DeFino.
Too much cortisol depletes the 3 things that keep our skin barrier healthy: oil, water and the microbiome. This makes your skin’s efforts to fight pollutants, allergens and irritants (while you fight stress at work, the patriarchy and pretty much anything else that’s going on in the world) so much more difficult. Result? Dry, dull skin, pimples or worse.
Science shows relaxation is a positive way to activate the body’s nervous system and decrease cortisol. Less stress means less cortisol, and less cortisol means less planet-sized breakouts on your face. With cortisol gone wild, your body is devoid of hydration and positive oils that keep things in check.
There are some optimal things you can do to keep your skin and stress in check, some of which won’t cost you a dollar. Things like:
- Taking deep breaths and meditating.
- Using gratitude as a form of acceptance so you’re not stressed at night trying to solve the world’s problems.
- Spending time surrounded by nature, whether a hike, a bike ride, a swim in the sea, or one of our personal favorites: shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), the Japanese national pastime for reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.
- Drinking plenty of water, which helps balance the entire body.
- Getting good quality sleep, which decreases free radicals (the tiny missiles that shoot into your pores and cause all the problems you want to eliminate), and reduce inflammation, giving your skin a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Sleep heals.
- Taking time for yourself. Yes: including during the holidays!
In the meantime, if you’re still learning how to relax your way to perfectly balanced skin, give your skin the balance it needs from natural, clean skincare. Many skincare products can exacerbate acne and dryness because of the harmful chemicals and toxins in them, and worse, they can do long-term damage to your body.
Always-good ingredients to look for in clean skincare:
- Plant-based antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals that do the most damage to your skin.
- Stable forms of vitamins C, such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, to brighten dark spots and help boost collagen.
- Hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant that attracts water molecules to your skin, making it look fuller and more plump.
Green Bee’s face serums are ideal for bringing balance back to your skin, whether you’re on the drier side (Renewing Serum) or acne-prone (Perfecting Serum). Both are made with clean, full-spectrum cannabis and other organic flower and plant oils that are scientifically proven to balance skin, plus stable vitamin C. And both absorb effortlessly into your skin for a natural, youthful glow, not a heavy, greasy coat as some face oils do.
Our scientist-formulated serums have gained superhero status that not even cortisol can stand up to. Because we use full-spectrum cannabis, our face serums and other products include major and minor cannabinoids in addition to CBD, such as CBG, CBDv, CBC, CBN and THCv. Studies indicate that cannabis oil can prevent your oil glands from creating too much or too little sebum, soothe redness, prevent itch, and reduce inflammation. And our blend of non-comedogenic lightweight oils lock in moisture and hydrate stressed out skin. To top it off, the lightweight herbal scents add a dose of aromatherapy – talk about stress-soothing skincare.
So take a deep breath, cleanse your face, apply one of our face serums and decrease your cortisol production by accepting that you can’t solve all the world’s problems in a day. But you might solve your skin barrier woes. Your skin will thank you.