Nikki Butler skin specialist

Suffering with Skin Stress?

Nikki Butler

Nikki Butler

Skin Stress - It's a thing!

Skin stress is far more common than you may think, especially in today’s modern society, where day-to-day stress levels are much higher. Most people look at me like I’m mad when I start asking about their stress levels during skin consultation. but it can very often be the root cause of their skin condition, especially with inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Skin stress can also be the cause of sensitive skin, rashes, and itching skin.  

We’ll look at the impact of stress on your skin, in this blog. I’ll also share some helpful advice and tips, to help you keep your skin looking its very best. 

Signs of skin stress - what to look out for

Do you sometimes feel that your skin is ‘playing up’, but you’re not sure why? When this happens, take a moment to think about whether you’re experiencing stress in your life. Whilst there can be other reasons you’ve got skin stress symptoms, there’s a good chance stress is playing its part. 

Skin stress symptoms can be there all of the time, but it’s very common to experience an increase during stressful periods, often referred to as a ‘flare-up’ for conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. If your skin stress is not related to an existing inflammatory condition, you may have new breakouts, sensitivities, or even rashes. 

When I’m working with clients, I recommend keeping a Skin/Lifestyle/Nutrition diary for 12 weeks, to try and notice any patterns or triggers.

Skin Stress, what are the causes?
woman with stress to show skin stress

Skin stress can be triggered by things that are going on in your life, that is causing you to be stressed. You might not even consider that you’re stressed, as you have loads of little micro stresses.  Here are some of the bigger skin stress triggers:

cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones
Stress, the bigger picture

Stress can have a huge impact on our body, and not just our skin. When we experience stress, our body goes into survival mode. It releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to help us spring into action, and get ourselves away from the threat/danger it perceives we’re in.  Stress hormones were helpful back in caveman times when we truly were in danger, but,  when we’re stressed all the time, these hormones can start to do more harm than good.  

Unfortunately, we live in a society that is far more stressed than ever before. We’re constantly bombarded with information, work, and social pressure. We aren’t supposed to be stressed, all of the time – but many of us are.

Thankfully, we’re not running from danger on a daily basis (phew, I do not want to be chased by a lion!), BUT – we have continual low levels of stress in our lives. Constant micro-stresses cause our cortisol and adrenaline levels to be higher than we need and make our body think we are in a state of stress.  This constant wave of micro-stresses is what’s damaging our health and affecting our skin. 

ageing skin
Skin stress and skin ageing

We’ve covered skin stress in the form of inflammatory skin conditions, but stress has a direct impact on our skin ageing too! 

When our body is busy releasing adrenaline and cortisol, in a bid to keep us ‘safe’, it is actually causing our skin to prematurely ageing, as a direct result.

Cortisol is the worst, it has the ability to break down collagen, which is the protein that keeps our skin looking plump and youthful. What you see in the mirror, is more lines & wrinkles, dull, sallow skin, and even sagging skin.

If you’d love to get your skin glowing again, then check out my blog HERE. 

There are many simple things you can do to reduce stress in your life. You might be reading this and thinking ‘yeah, right’ – I used to think the same, but you can do this! I used to rush around like a lunatic, always thinking about what else I needed to do, always in a state of anxiety. I looked and felt awful, for a long time. I was burnt out, and beating myself up for not being ‘good enough’ in the process. There are some ideas for you to try below. 

Skin Stress - How skin care and supplements can help
woman with beautiful skin

When it comes to skin stress, skin care, and supplements can help to protect and strengthen your skin, but it’s important to understand that looking after your skin from the outside in, alone, won’t make significant improvements to your stress skin condition/symptoms. I learned this the hard way, in my early 30’s! 

Using products that help to reduce inflammation and heal your skin is a step in the right direction. These will help to protect your skin from UV damage (which you are more susceptible to when you have skin stress). Targeted serums can also help to reduce inflammation, breakouts, and redness too.  

Equally, supplements can play a part in reducing inflammation too. For example, SkinVit C from Advanced Nutrition Programme is excellent, as it helps to support healthy collagen production, and zinc reduces inflammation and promotes healing.  If you have breakouts or an inflammatory skin condition, then Skin Accumax can really help. You can learn more HERE

woman with skin stress that looks unhappy
Skin Stress & treatments

The priority really needs to be working on reducing stress in your life, before investing in treatments.  And, let’s be realistic, we’re not looking for a stress free life, it’s just not possible! And some levels of stress are really healthy for us, we just don’t want to be in that high alert/super stressed state. 

Starting treatment during a really stressful period in your life isn’t the best idea. We talked about how cortisol can break down collagen, and how adrenaline can affect the quality of your skin. So, if you’re having treatment during this time – then you won’t see the full benefits. 

The good news is, that there are some AMAZING treatments that can help improve skin stress signs and fight those signs of ageing. Radiofrequency micro-needling and HIFU are the ultimate anti-ageing and collagen-boosting treatments, and they are right here waiting for you when you’re ready!  Find out more by clicking on the button below. 

food to support healthy skin
Skin Stress - from the inside out!

Never underestimate the power of nutrition for your skin! The nutritional therapist in me, won’t let me write a blog on skin stress (or anything skin related, for that matter), without mentioning nutrition. 

Eating foods that are good for your skin, will help to reduce inflammation in your skin AND your body, but will also help to support healthy skin production, including that all-important collagen. 

Eating foods to support skin health also helps to speed up healing, which is essential for inflammatory skin conditions.  I’ve written so many blogs on foods to help your skin, but this one is really helpful for inflammatory skin stress symptoms. Click HERE, to learn more. 

Some ideas on how to reduce stress

There are some simple and easy things you can do to reduce stress in your life and improve your skin stress.  You might be reading this and thinking ‘yeah, right’ – I used to think the same, but you can do this! I used to rush around like a lunatic, always thinking about what else I needed to do, always in a state of anxiety. I looked and felt awful, for a long time. I was burnt out, and beating myself up for not being ‘good enough’ in the process. The key is to start small, don’t commit to huge changes, that you’ll find hard to keep up – that will only add to your stress!  Here are some easy things you can try:

stress related skin conditions
Don't stress out about trying not to stress out!
stress related skin conditions

If you’re anything like me, change can cause you more stress! So, don’t put pressure on yourself to make massive changes. Don’t have a long ‘to-do’ list for your stress management, you don’t need to meditate for one hour a day, exercise 6 days a week, or switch to a strict diet. 

Just find some little changes you can make, that ultimately make you feel good and less stressed.  Tuning in to how you’re feeling is key – if it feels good, do more of that. If it feels bad, then do less – or better still, stop altogether!

Be mindful of the people you spend time with. If you’ve got people in your life that cause your stress levels to rocket, then think about how you can either limit your time with them or improve the time you do spend with them. 

Be kind to yourself, and don’t berate yourself if something doesn’t go to plan.  I always like to think about what I’d say to my best friend in any situation where I have a negative self-chat – that usually shuts me up and makes me much kinder to myself! 

This might all sound like madness in relation to skin, but trust me – stress is a real problem for your skin.  No one needs healthy, glowing skin in the middle of a ‘fight or flight’ situation – which is what your body thinks is going on when you’re stressed. If you can reduce your stress levels, you’ll see your skin improve and you’ll feel a whole lot better on many other levels too. 

Nikki Butler skin specialist
How can I help?

I hope that you’ve found my blog of skin stress helpful.  You’ll find lots more blogs and information throughout the website, where I talk about the importance of looking after your skin from the inside out, and outside in. 

If you’d like help with your skin and/or scars, then please get in touch. I’d love to be able to help you. 

My aesthetics clinic is based in Alton, Hampshire. I’m 15 minutes from both Basingstoke and Farnham, and at the end of a direct train line from London Waterloo. 

I offer both in-clinic and remote skin services. Many skin stress concerns can be treated remotely. It might interest you to hear that less than 10% of clients that contact me about skin stress issues, ever need aesthetic treatments!

You can book via the button below, and you can also download my Ultimate Skin & Scar Guides. 

And, if you haven’t taken my Skin Quiz yet, then you’ll find it HERE. It takes less than 4 minutes, and you’ll get immediate, bespoke results – with tips and advice you can action immediately! 


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