How to Combat Holiday Stress-Induced Acne & Hair Loss

The Straight A

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but what isn’t talked about as frequently is that many people find the season stressful and not so relaxing, to say the least. Whether you are traveling to visit family or hosting family and friends, you may be feeling a little stressed this season.

When stressed, it's not just our mental health that suffers. Our bodies can experience physical symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, inflammation - and even hair loss.

Here are some tips to help you have a less stressful holiday season:

+ Set aside time to relax and unwind. Find time every day to do something that makes you feel good. Take a bath, read a book, meditate or listen to music

+ Eat well and exercise regularly. When stressed, our bodies produce cortisol — the hormone that helps us deal with stress — which can lead to weight gain and health problems if it's produced for too long or in large amounts. Exercise helps us manage stress and keep cortisol levels down, so try to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity five days a week.

+ Get eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is when our bodies rest and recover from the day's activities, so get plenty of sleep every night, so you don't feel tired during the day.

+ Connect with others who care about you. Family members and friends are especially important during this time of year because they give us love, support, and compassion when we need it most! 

Stress can make you feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. You may even find yourself eating more or less than usual. But you can take control of holiday stress by setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family, making time for relaxation, and getting organized.

Stress & Hair Loss

Cortisol is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands that kicks in when you're experiencing stress. It increases blood sugar so that you have more energy to deal with the problem at hand — but it also signals to your body to stop producing new cells, including baby hair follicles (anagen phase), which can lead to thinning hair.

The release of this cortisol can cause both short-term and long-term hair loss by preventing your body from producing enough protein that your hair needs to grow. Cortisol also causes inflammation, which can contribute to permanent scarring in the scalp. This is one reason stress is linked with alopecia areata (AA), an autoimmune disease that causes patches of hair loss on the scalp or other parts of the body.

To read more about how stress causes hair loss, read this article.

 Stress and Acne

Stress can impair your immune response, including how the skin defends against the elements around you. For example, your skin prevents dangerous bacteria and viruses from entering your body. These changes to your immune response could lead to skin inflammation which results in more acne. It is important to use a good cleanser that effectively removes all makeup and bacteria build-up from your face. The Great Cleanse Nourishing Supercritical Cleansing Oil uses a proprietary blend of oils to gently and effortlessly dissolve makeup and impurities. The formulation emulsifies and rinses clean with water so it’s a breeze to use. 

 When your stress levels are more manageable, your skin can repair itself much faster. Higher stress means a slower healing time, which can prolong breakouts—using a gentle retinol such as The Straight A - Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum helps to speed up cellular turnover. This product uses encapsulated retinol, therefore, is gentle on the skin and won't dry out the surface.

 In addition to altering your immune response, stress triggers acne-causing hormones. For example, chronic stress is known to trigger CRH production. CRH (Corticotrophin-releasing Hormone) can cause acne lesions to develop. The Refresh Mint - Exfoliating Moisture Mask works to resurface, brighten and moisturize the skin. The Refresh Mint can be used as a spot treatment as well.

There is a common misconception that face oils clog the pores or should not be used when breaking out, when in fact, face oils are great for regulating the sebum in your skin. Stress causes our brain to release chemicals that increase oil production. Believe it or not, using a facial oil actually helps keep this oil production at bay. Both the Super Naked Plum + Chia Face Oil and the Super Couple - Ultra Luxe Face Oil Serum contain one of the worlds most powerful antioxidants, Astaxanthin. These face oils are great for combating the appearance of dull, tired, aging skin.

We hope you find this information helpful - as well we hope you take time this season to be kind to yourself - and to take a deep, nourishing breath during times of stress.