How stress affect our skin?

Why stress is bad?

Stress is modern life's constant enemy. As life becomes more and more hectic, people work longer hours under greater time constraints, over global time zones with less recreation time and more people struggle to cope with their stress levels. Stress can cause gastrointestinal and skin issues. Our gut has millions of neurons which are in constant communication with the brain and it is residence to millions of bacteria. Stress can affect the neuron communication with the brain and gut bacteria’s composition.


When gut bacteria are out of composition, it can disturb the skin’s barrier function negatively which will disrupt the skin to perform its functions effectively such as water retention, protection, temperature regulation and skin regeneration or healing.


Chronic stress can have detrimental effect on skin aging and the most common skin condition caused by stress is acne. When we are stressed, our body produces stress hormone – cortisol which will increase production of sebum and oil that lead to acne. Other skin conditions such as eczema, itching, redness and swelling can be triggered or aggravated by stress. Apart suffering from skin conditions, issues such as bloating, indigestion and other gut discomfort are also common when we are under stress.

How do we manage stress?

These are the 5 essential tips that can help to manage your stress:

1.Alter your perception

People often feel disappointed in themselves when they make a mistake or are unable to achieve their goals especially when they set themselves unrealistic expectations. We need to learn how to adjust our mentality and not to take everything too seriously. While it is good to be committed but over committing ourselves in things that beyond our capability will have negative psychological impact when we fail to complete the work. We need to learn how to let go, forgive ourselves when we do mistakes and learn from our mistakes.

2. Do things that you like

Different people have different ways of relaxing or do things differently that make them happy. Having healthy hobbies such as reading books, gardening, painting and exercise can help you to relax. Exercise releases “feel good” hormone such as endorphins which will improve your mood, help you relax and lower the symptoms of anxiety. You do not have to do a heavy workout, even a simple walk in the park will help to you recover from mental fatigue and restores concentration.

3. Plan ahead of time

A lack of planning for work that you must complete can result in anxiety. By planning ahead of time and structuring tasks that you need to complete will give you an indication of when and how you will be completing the tasks and not let the tasks overwhelmed you. Planning also allows you to identify your pain points and set up arrangements to deal with the sources of stress.

4. Communication

Communication is a good way to cope with stress. It is helpful to discuss what is causing your stress with someone such as your friend, family, colleague or therapist. By communicating and discussing the issues that you are facing, it not only will benefit you mentally but you might be able to obtain new ideas or solutions from the people that you talk to in resolving your issues.

5. Healthy eating

Healthy eating is the key to provide your body with the nutrients that it requires. Eating a balanced diet helps your body to manage the changes caused by stress. Stress can affect your hormones and triggers a set of biological responses to your body. According to the Australia Dietary Guidelines, a balanced diet must consist of 5 food groups such as vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. It can be difficult to obtain the nutrients just from daily dietary intake, thus it is important to supplements the nutrients from natural supplements.

Written by Maeraki team