Skin Intel is a new series in which we break down the science behind skincare issues in an approachable way to help you tune in, better understand your own needs and concerns, and treat them accordingly.
When it comes to addressing skin problems, we’re often taught to treat symptoms instead of root causes. Have a pimple? Extract it. Wrinkles? Peel ‘em off. Sun spots? There’s a laser for that. And while we believe in the benefits of many of these procedures—if carefully and strategically implemented—if you’re experiencing a real problem with your skin, there might be something bigger at play…and more often than not, that thing is stress. (Sigh.)
Skin fatigue is a term that applies to skin that is stressed from internal and/or external factors. Crazy deadlines and not enough sleep, for example. Starvation “cleanses,” poor diets, or too much booze. Overexposure to environmental pollutants. All of these very common issues can heighten our stress levels, causing our adrenal glands to release cortisol. When these stress hormones are released, a chain reaction is put into place: our blood vessels begin to restrict blood flow to our organs (the skin being our biggest). This reduces collagen, which in turn makes it more difficult for the skin to repair and rebuild. And then you begin to see the signs: dryness, wrinkles, age spots, rough or scaly texture, enlarged pores, or sagging.
Is Your Skin Fatigued?
- Has the texture of your skin recently changed? Be sure to closely check the most reactive areas: around your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Does your skin feel extremely dehydrated or sallow?
- Do you notice new lines, wrinkles, and spots that don’t seem to respond to products?
The good news is: skin fatigue is treatable. There’s no magic bullet, but a little effort to reduce mental and physical stress while building healthy habits goes a long way.
Here’s where you start:
We don’t need to tell you to drink lots of water, eat salmon, stop smoking, and wear sunscreen, because you already know all that. (Seriously, though…these things will really help.)
The 4-2-4 Method: If you’re not familiar with our proprietary cleansing method you can read all about it here. It increases circulation in a very real way, which counteracts the negative effects of cortisol. Not only that, but it gives you a minute—10 minutes, actually—to breathe, meditate, or just calm the heck down.
Comfrey oil and Nourrit are also known for their circulation-boosting properties.
Turmeric, which is found in our Calendula oil, is a natural source of niacin (vitamin B3), which is known to help maintain the skin’s barrier and increase the rate of natural exfoliation. Energissant (part of our Made In Japan line) is also high in niacin-rich plants.
Don’t forget about your body! A full-body oil massage (following dry brushing and bath) promotes circulation and lymph flow, detoxification, and relaxation, which in turn lowers stress levels.