In busy times often one of the first things we start to neglect are our skincare and beauty routines. But in times of stress, skin can be directly affected, and neglecting skincare routines is one of the worst mistakes to make. We’ll show you the damage stress can cause to your skin, and why a skincare routine is so important especially when you’re feeling stressed out. Dry Skin According to dermatologists, stress increases the body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which damages the skin’s ability to hold on to water. The lack of moisture can result in dry or itchy skin, and diminished luminosity leaving you looking tired. To avoid this, ensure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day with water, and use a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that naturally occurs in the body and hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Use: Ultraceuticals B2 Hydrating Serum Acne With an increase in cortisol, comes an off balance of hormones in the body, which can cause skin to react. Stress can also disrupt the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut, which can then show up on your skin in the form of breakouts. To keep your skin at its best, eat a well-balanced diet and cut down on your intake of sugar. As always, keep your hydration levels up and don’t forget to cleanse and tone at night, to get rid of any excess makeup or dirt which can block the pores. Use: Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear foaming Cleanser Redness When you’re stressed, your breathing often becomes quickened and shallow and your blood flow often increases as a result. This can cause capillaries to expand, and leave your face looking flushed. Often, the more stressed we are, the longer our face stays flushed as the body takes its time to breathe normally, and reduce the blood flow. To ensure you don’t have a constantly flushed face, take long deep breaths whenever you start to feel stressed. This will help to steady your heart rate and avoid the release of cortisol. Use: Ultraceuticals Red Action Moisturiser Perfect your Skincare Routine Even at our busiest or our most stressed, we should never neglect a daily skincare routine in order to keep skin looking and feeling its best. If you find that you’re forgetting to keep up with your routine, set reminders on your phone and allow 15 minutes before bed to follow through. Even if it’s just a simple cleanse, tone and moisturise before bed, it will still help to combat the effects of stress on your skin. For a skincare routine that targets stressed out skin, talk to one of our expert beauty therapists at Total Body Concept to help you get your natural, glowing skin back. 10 Steps to Reduce Stress There are also many ways to reduce stress, and the causes of it. Here are our tips to help alleviate some of the extra stress that occurs throughout our lives. 1. Eat a Balanced Diet Ensuring you’re getting a balanced diet, full of nutrition is key when it comes to dealing with stress. A healthy diet will help to replenish energy levels, and keep you going at your full potential. 2. Exercise Daily Exercising helps to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and releases endorphins; the body’s natural painkiller and mood elevator. Even if it’s a brisk walk, make sure you’re doing some kind of exercise each day to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. 3. Don’t Compromise on Sleep Lack of sleep aids stress, and forces your body to run at less than its full potential. Sleep is a crucial time for the body to repair, and anything less than 8 hours a night will only do your body (and your mind) more harm than good. 4. Make Daily To-Do Lists Prioritise the jobs in terms of urgency, and start from the top, completing all the most important jobs earlier in the day. Evaluate what jobs can wait for another day, and what jobs need to be completed today. Having a list to refer to, and tick off, will make you feel more in control of the tasks ahead, and reduce your stress levels. 5. So No More Often Sometimes we take on more than we can handle, and it’s perfectly okay to say no when you feel you don’t have the time to do a task for someone else. 6. Make Time to Relax After you get home from work, take the time to fully unwind from the day. Relax in a hot bath or read a book, and try not to think about anything work-related. 7. Turn off Technology at Least Half an Hour Before Bed We can whittle away many hours on social media, or binge-watching a TV series, but neither is productive, and can cause feeling of guilt related to stress. Switching off from technology will allow you to focus on tomorrow, and make the most of your remaining time before bed. 8. Get a Facial It’s important to take care of your skin when you’re feeling stressed, so as well as keeping up with a regular skincare routine, you should also treat yourself (and your skin) to a facial treatment. Not only will it help rejuvenate stressed skin, it will also give you time to relax. Total Body Concept offer an anti-aging calming treatment, which is perfect for helping you to de-stress. 9. 9. Write a Daily Gratitude List Often when we’re stressed, the problems we think we’re affected by are actually quite trivial. Write a daily list in the morning of 3 things you’re grateful for, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your mindset changes when it comes to feeling stressed. 10. Spend Time with Friends and Family Check in with loved ones to see how their day has been, make plans with friends for the weekend, or call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s important to not lose sight of what’s really important in life when you’re stressed, so make this one a priority!