Ever noticed that you tend to break out just before an exam, that big presentation, job interview or first date? That’s stress. And it can literally wreck havoc with your skin. In fact, studies have shown that extreme stress can lead to accelerated ageing. While it’s impossible to give up your job and move to the mountains where you won’t have road rage or train breakdowns, angry bosses and deadlines, there are ways to minimise the effect of stress on your skin.
What really happens to your skin when you’re stressed
Thanks to evolution our bodies are primed for a fight or flight response the moment we get stressed. The body is flooded with stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol – great when you have to run from a wild animal – or mugger – but no so much when you’re in the same room with your boss and about to start the presentation. Cortisol increases the levels of sugar in the blood, which creates Advanced Glycation End products when it comes in contact with proteins like collagen. AGEs (as it is appropriately called) degrade collagen increasing lines and wrinkles and skin sagging. Cortisol also lowers the production of hyaluronic acid – the skin’s natural moisturiser that keeps it plump and looking healthy – and increases oil production making skin simultaneously dry and oily.
Adrenaline also has an adverse effect on the skin, leaving you with a dull complexion as blood flow is directed away from the skin limiting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen and allowing the build up of toxins. While a one off occurrence of stress wouldn’t be so bad, as city dwellers we’re constantly facing stress on a daily basis, which can eventually lead to premature ageing.
What you can do about it
While you can’t completely avoid stress, there are ways to deal with it. Yoga, meditation, exercising and getting enough sleep can lessen the consequence of stress on your skin. Using the right skincare also helps. The Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense serum is packed with ingredients that not only help you destress after a long day, but also repair damage to your skin. Frankincense resin from the Dhofar region of Oman helps rejuvenate the skin while promoting a feeling of relaxation and hyaluronic acid plumps any fine lines and wrinkles. There’s also micro algae, ribose – a naturally occurring sugar, and linseed oil to boost skin elasticity, energise skin cells, hydrate and nourish. The serum is also certified organic.
I started using the Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense serum during my spring vacation. I know a vacation doesn’t sound like a stressful event, but long haul flights, changing time zones and climate all take a toll on the skin. Luckily, I had this serum. A few drops in the palm of my hand, I first deeply inhale the scent, which instantly helps me forget the day’s botheration. The serum itself would instantly calm my tired skin from being out in the sun and cold wind the whole day.
You only need a few drops of this rich, luxurious serum to leave your skin feeling hydrated and plump. The texture is quite thick, slightly sticky and feels a tad bit oily because of the linseed oil, but spreads easily and is quickly absorbed. It leaves a sheen on your skin, so I use it only at night. It works really well for my dry, ageing skin, but might not be the best for those with oily skin types. Though, if you’re between 35-to-45 years of age this is a good option irrespective of skin type as sebum and hyaluronic production drop causing skin to feel tighter and dryer.
Throughout my trip, I didn’t break out, nor did my skin look dull despite moving through cities every two days. Back home, the Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense serum helps keep my skin in great condition every time I have a job interview or when I’m up at night thinking about the next post on here. My skin is bright, even toned and hydrated from using it every night under my moisturiser. The fact that I just celebrated my birthday and people who don’t know me cannot tell my age is proof that this serum really does work. At SG$268 the price is a bit prohibitive, but you only need very little and it does last a while.
I was sent this product for a review. I found it really worked for my skin and hope it will help you too!