The impact of stress on ageing

date_range 2022/07/27
The impact of stress on ageing

Long-term stress has a huge impact on the condition and appearance of our skin. It slows down the regenerative processes, interferes with the skin's protective functions, making it more susceptible to irritation and making it age faster. How can we prevent this?

What is stress?
Stress is the body's reaction to events of all kinds. They upset the balance of the system and cause tension. Under normal circumstances, stress has a positive effect on us. It motivates us to act and this is its physiological role. However, when it persists over a long period of time, physiological dysfunctions occur. Negative emotions and stress affect the whole body and all systems: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, muscular or endocrine. Studies show that prolonged mental tension increases the risk of heart disease and lowers metabolism. In addition, stress causes mood disorders, sleep problems and reduced concentration. There is also a greater tendency to fall into addictions and even to develop depression.
However, the extent to which stress affects our health depends on two key factors. Namely, the ability to regulate emotions and self-control. This is why those with the highest mental resilience live longer.

How does stress affect our skin?
Prolonged mental stress is not conducive to either beauty or skin, which loses its radiance over time. What's more, dermatologists agree that more and more skin problems have an emotional basis.
Chronic stress primarily damages the hydrolipidic barrier. The result is increased sensitivity and susceptibility to harmful external factors. This in turn causes a number of symptoms, e.g.
the skin becomes dry and dehydrated,
skin lacks radiance and its colour becomes grey,
the symptoms of AD (atopic dermatitis) are exacerbated,
collagen production, responsible for firmness and elasticity, decreases,
stress also increases acne lesions,
excess also promotes the formation of cellulite.

Stress and accelerated ageing
Research confirms that stress shortens cell life. The physical effects of stress are thought to resemble those of smoking or obesity. It has been observed that people under chronic stress look up to a few or several years older than their peers who are able to cope with stress.
In stressful situations, the main priority for the body is survival, and most functions go down the drain. As a result, the skin does not regenerate its structural components, namely collagen and elastin. This has a negative impact on the renewal process and accelerates ageing.
Furthermore, stress can also lead to behaviours that further enhance the ageing process, i.e.: drinking alcohol, smoking, an unhealthy diet (eating too little, overeating or eating highly processed foods), lack of rest and physical activity.

How to protect the skin from stress?
It is impossible to escape from stress, but it is possible to mitigate the symptoms of its effects on the skin. In this case, it is worth taking care to:
drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside,
protecting your skin from exposure to the sun's rays - UV rays amplify the negative effects of stress,
going to bed before midnight - this is when the highest amount of melatonin is produced in the body, a hormone that has antioxidant properties,
incorporating relaxation methods, such as yoga or reading. Relaxation has a beneficial effect on the whole body. Relaxation, when the body does not have to defend itself against anything, promotes youthfulness.