April is #StressAwarenessMonth so we asked our beauty salon manager Kim to explain how stress can harm our skin and hair.
Skin reacts to stress
“Our state of mind and emotions play a central role in triggering or exacerbating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne,” explains Kim.
“And it doesn’t stop there. Stress can make our skin age more rapidly too. When we become emotional or anxious our central stress response system kicks in releasing stress hormones which can trigger or worsen skin conditions and ageing.
“If you’re feeling under pressure and overstretched it’s also tempting to comfort eat highly processed foods packed with sugar, starch and chemicals or indulge in too much alcohol, all of which can make skin health worse,” adds Kim.
Stress and hair loss
Did you know stress can cause hair loss and thinning? Kim explains why this is…
- Hair is the second fastest growing cell in the body. However, because it’s not essential to our survival our body gives priority to keeping essential organs and tissues healthy and functioning. Hence, our hair is often the first thing to suffer from any illness, stress or shock and also the last to benefit when life improves.
- Our bodies increase the production of adrenaline when we’re under stress, which in turn can lead to higher levels of the male hormone, testosterone. An excess of this hormone in the body frequently results in hair loss and thinning.
- And finally, when we’re stressed we often neglect our diet by skipping meals or relying on highly processed foods. Research confirms poor nutrition is a leading cause of hair loss, especially in women.
Have you tried our Aveda Comforting Tea?
We offer it to all Stress Exchange salon guests. This soothing, certified organic, caffeine-free herbal infusion (with liquorice root and peppermint) calms the senses, promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Unwind and relax with ‘me-time’
Professor Cooper, stress advisor to the NHS, lists planning in quality ‘me-time’ as one of his top 10 stress-busting tips.
It’s important we make self-care a priority. Quality downtime is simple, yet promotes well-being and is often overlooked. Make time for you.
Looking for some relaxing ‘me-time’?
Chill out and unwind with a soothing Aveda stress-fix body treatment proven to reduce feelings of stress using the science of aromaology and the power of pure essential lavender, lavendin and clary sage oils.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage it more effectively. As well as planning in quality ‘me-time’ Professor Cooper recommends:
Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will help reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.
Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful, says Professor Cooper. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day.
Accept the things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over. If your company is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it, says Professor Cooper. Instead, focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.
Sleep and skin health
Did you know that the stress hormone cortisol naturally decreases while we sleep, allowing the skin to refresh?
Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep when we’re under pressure is a vicious spiral, increasing feelings of stress and anxiety and often leading to stress-induced skin and hair problems including psoriasis, eczema, hair loss and acne.
“When I’m feeling pressurised and suffering with disturbed sleep I reach for Aveda’s stress-fix range,” says Kim. “This certified organic cruelty-free collection of body cleansers, body oils, lotions and creams contains a unique formulation of scientifically proven stress relieving ‘aroma blends’ including lavender, lavandin, clary sage and frankincense to help calm, soothe and relax both mind and body.
“Aroma helps to relieve feelings of stress,” says Kim. “When you inhale aroma molecules, an electric impulse is sent to the limbic system, that part of the brain associated with memory and emotions, creating a psychological reaction. An electronic impulse is also sent to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the body’s stress cycle, creating a physiological reaction.”
Having problems relaxing and sleeping? Try this deeply soothing and calming audio from NHS Scotland designed to relax and de-stress you.
To book a hair or beauty treatment call…
020 7357 7006