There’s no doubting the fact that this time of year can be extra busy and stressful. Try as we might, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to simply relax and enjoy the holidays without getting anxious about shopping, cooking, traveling, and everything else on your holiday to-do list.
Stress, however, can wreak havoc on your entire body, including your skin. So even though you may feel merry and bright, your skin might not look it. Keep reading to find out what anxiety and worry really do to your skin, and what you can do to protect or help restore a smooth, radiant complexion.
The Effects of Stress on Your Skin
Stress triggers a variety of symptoms within the body that can have a domino effect, toppling over onto one another and creating larger and larger problems. It triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which increases glucose levels in your bloodstream, inhibits immune system response, and suppresses the digestive and reproductive systems . Regarding skin specifically, cortisol can increase sebum (oil) production, which can lead to oily skin and acne breakouts. Stress can even decrease your skin’s ability to fight off infection by inhibiting its natural antimicrobial barrier .
In addition, stress often interferes with sleeping and eating patterns, which negatively affects the condition of the skin. Sleep gives the body a chance to repair tissues, but if we’re not getting enough good-quality sleep, repair doesn’t happen. During sleep, the skin also recovers lost moisture, restoring a healthy balance of hydration. Without a healthy sleep pattern, skin is prone to puffy, dark circles under the eyes, diminished barrier function, and even accelerated aging .
Similarly, eating poorly can deprive the skin of vital nutrients needed for proper cell function. And excessive sugar consumption has been shown to accelerate the signs of aging through the process of glycation .
How to Revitalize Stressed Skin
If all of this sounds like bad news for your skin this holiday season, don’t worry. There are some things that you can do to help restore a more youthful radiance to your skin. First, taking steps to reduce and manage stress can have a profound effect on not only your skin but on your overall health and wellness, too. Consider taking a walk around the block on your lunch break, listening to calming music, or trying meditative and breathing exercises.
Secondly, you can pair your newfound stress-reduced lifestyle with some of the most advanced ingredients in skin care to help repair skin damage and achieve the healthy-looking skin you want. Some of the most effective skin care ingredients to look for include:
• Amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are two key components of your skin’s structure. While your body naturally manufactures some amino acids, others, called essential amino acids, cannot be produced by your body and need to be obtained through diet or topical skin care products.
• Peptides: Peptides are chains of two or more amino acids. When combined in various sequences, peptides perform a number of functions within the skin and body. AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair, for example, which contains 17 amino acids, is now enhanced with a new “super” peptide called Synthe’6 to offer an even more comprehensive approach to skin repair and rejuvenation.
• Antioxidants: Antioxidants are extremely beneficial ingredients, both in skin care and in your daily diet. These compounds neutralize the oxidization of free radicals in the body, which can otherwise cause cell damage. Nearly any skin type can benefit from using an antioxidant serum like AminoGenesis Perfect Reflection, which contains four powerful antioxidants to help brighten the skin’s appearance while offering free radical protection.
• Anti-glycation: Anti-glycation formulas like AminoGenesis A.G.E. Control and S.U.N. Control are truly revolutionary products that can help to prevent and reverse the effects of the natural glycation process. These products are perfect for those with stressed, weathered, or aged skin.
Don’t let the stress of the holiday season ruin your skin’s health. Instead, treat your skin to a few of the most effective ingredients to help restore a healthy-looking, beautiful glow to your complexion just in time for holiday festivities.
 Mayo Clinic