How stress and worry affect your skin

15 Nov 2021

Acne, irritation, peeling, redness - the number of complaints about skin overreactivity has significantly increased over the past year and a half. There are several reasons for this. But chief among them is increased stress and anxiety about the future.

In the past, the greatest number of cosmetic innovations used to appear in the anti-ageing segment. But last year and this year have broken records for the release of products to relieve irritation and the effects of stress. The reason is obvious: the pandemic.

Some people's skin reactivity has increased after an illness, others due to the constant wearing of masks and rubbing of sanitizers. But experts blame stress, oppressive atmosphere and a lack of confidence in the future as the main reasons for increased skin sensitivity. So why is your skin affected by stress? Because the skin and the nervous system are close relatives.

Biology lessons

During intrauterine development, the fertilised egg develops in three directions, which are called leaves. Bones, muscles and connective tissue are formed from the ectodermal. From the entodermal, the internal organs are formed. And from the mesodermal leaflet, the nervous system and skin are formed.

They can be compared to twin sisters constantly exchanging letters when separated. That's why negative emotions have a disheartening effect on the skin. Tense nerve endings in the skin send out random impulses that disrupt blood flow, cell function and oil production.

They can also trigger spontaneous allergic reactions or, conversely, blunt self-protection, increase moisture loss and release pigmentation out of control. Add to this the friction of the mask on your face, which disturbs gas and water exchange. And the very fact that your nose and mouth are covered by a cloth creates an internal feeling of captivity, which exacerbates stress.

Yes, the mask regime in our country is weakening, but there are still plenty of reasons to increase skin irritability. And while it's not always possible to get rid of tension and inner fears without help, it's quite possible to get your face back to normal.


Sensitive skin used to be equated with dry skin and products for it were available in rich textures. Now, manufacturers recognise that excessive oil production and acne in adults may be the result of stress. So they're releasing soothing products in a range of textures. 

Skin behaves like a moody child, using the language that is available to it to scream out its problems. As far back as 100 years ago, the Swiss doctor with Russian roots, Nadia Pajo, said that skin sensitivity is an increased susceptibility to physiological and emotional factors.

She also created the first remedy for this problem, Crème No. 2, which remains the brand's bestseller. Today, it has evolved into a line that tackles the irritability of many skin types.

Many brands have rethought the composition of their soothing products, now their main goal is not only immediate relief, but also a cumulatively prolonged effect, which is provided by special complexes.

Their aim is to calm the nerve endings and "persuade" them to function normally. This is done using targeted neuromolecules, soothing plant extracts such as Centella asiatica in so called Cica creams. Mineral complexes based on magnesium and selenium are also used.

Another reason for skin sensitivity is a change in the skin's microbiome. This complex of beneficial micro-organisms on the surface of the epidermis maintains its balance and provides protection. If changes in the microflora are caused by various factors, the skin reacts painfully even to conventional cosmetics. Pre- and probiotic products can therefore also help restore normalcy to the skin.

There is a seemingly endless choice of products that are effective in reducing skin reactivity. But many people hesitate to swap their anti-aging creams for them, fearing that their skin will start to fade faster. In fact, tension and internal inflammation can age skin much faster. And if you get your skin's cells and nerves in a comfortable state, you'll look younger and fresher. And that, in itself, is anti-stress.




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