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HOW STRESS AFFECTS OUR SKIN


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If you live in the modern world, you have a job, a family, relationships, bills to pay, you don’t get enough sleep or exercise, your skin is breaking out...basically if you’re human chances are you are probably also stressed!

When we stress, the mechanism in the body that switches on is our “fight or flight” response. This causes the stress hormone cortisol to raise, sending blood flow to the limbs and away from non vital functions and organs such as the immune system and our precious skin.

The fight flight response is a primal survival mechanism for when the body senses a life threatening situation. The problem is, our perception of stress is so highly altered in modern life that we hyper react to perceived stress as opposed to a life threatening situation warranting a fight or flight reaction. Rendering so many of us in a constant and heightened state of stress.

So, with our immune system weakened, we can no longer fight the acne infection, redirection of blood flow is starving the skin of oxygen and constant output of cortisol is feeding into an inflammatory cycle  - all things the P.acnes bacteria loves. And this is just the beginning, as that stress pathway gets ramped up, it begins to deplete your super important female hormone Progesterone which is required for healthy cycles, balanced hormones and happy skin.

Stress is so powerful that it can override many of our healthy choices. The fact is, in this fast paced world we live in, stress is a constant daily reality so why wouldn’t we better equip ourselves with tools to help manage it better?

Here are out top 6 tips to minimise the impact of stress on your health and your skin:

1. SLEEP. Aim for 7-8hrs a day. Go to bed the same time each night and wake the same time each morning to help regulate cortisol and melatonin. 
2. Download some apps on meditation and MIDNFULNESS such as Mindz, Headspace, Smiling Mind, 3 Minute Mindfulness. 
3. Listen to some PODCASTS. We like Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Minimalists, The Daily Boost and The One You Feed.  
4. Avoid or minimise CAFFEINE as it causes it’s own stress response. 
5. Blue screen light can raise your cortisol, especially at night, so REDUCE SCREEN TIME or try f.lux on laptops and night shift function on iPhones or blue blocking glasses. 
6. Invest in ME TIME. Doing the things you love that make you feel happy and relaxed naturally increase your anti ageing and anti-inflammatory hormone DHEAS.
    For individualised recommendations our Naturopath can prescribe Natural Medicines and perform appropriate functional testing as part of a comprehensive consultation, give us a call or email to organise an appointment.

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