It is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (15th - 21st May) and now is as good a time as any to take a break, pause and reflect on how we are feeling. Mental health impacts our emotional, social and physical wellbeing, which includes our skin health. Part of your reflection should therefore consider the importance of self care.
Where is the link?
Have you ever noticed that your skin looks worse at times when you don't feel like your best self? Breakouts? Blotchiness or itching? You aren't imagining it. That's because our bodies react to our mental state and it manifests in our skin. It is widely known that stress can cause or worsen skin conditions such as eczema or acne and in turn, we can also become stressed about having those skin conditions. It becomes a cycle.
If you suffer from breakouts you might notice that there are more spots when you become stressed, which is due to pores becoming blocked by the excess hormones released from our bodies. This can also slow down the production of hyaluronic acid, a substance that helps our skin to stay soft and supple. smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
What can we do?
It has been proven that increased stress and concerns with skin conditions leave us more prone to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression - also impacting on self confidence and personal interaction.
There are some simple steps that we can take to boost our mood, increase our skins health and get it glowing again:
Access support networks to tackle the root causes of our stresses.
Develop positive skincare habits that can help with skin conditions - regular routines and product use.
Schedule time daily or weekly for the things that you like to do - exercise, spending time with family etc.
Ensure that you are eating a well balanced diet and staying hydrated.
Keeping a journal or speaking to someone about how you feel can help to establish a routine and lighten the stress.
If you are concerned about your mental health you can visit your GP or speak to a loved one to seek advice.