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It’s written all over your face

Are you familiar with a situation when you are in the middle of a meeting and you are asked a question that you do not have an answer to. You feel embarrassed and your face starts to feel prickly, clammy and warm. Your chicks are getting red. You are blushing. This an example of a mind-skin connection. There is a strong physical connection between the brain and the skin. The brain and the skin are essentially formed from the same group of cells, thus establishing a fundamental physiological connection between the skin and the brain from the uterus.

Scientists split the mind-skin interactions into three groups: 1. The mind touching the skin: How our mental state can affect the physical state of our skin, such as exacerbating psoriasis. 2. The skin touching the mind: Living with a visible skin condition can have various emotional and psychological effects, such as depression that so often accompanies acne. 3. Psychiatric conditions that manifest themselves in the skin: Self-inflicted damage to the skin, such as obsessive skin-picking or chronic hair-pulling are symptoms of an underlying psychiatric disorder. These categories were determined by a field in medicine called psychodermatology, which addresses skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques. Emotions, in particular stress and anxiety, that originate in your mind can seriously impact your skin.

Scientific research points that chronic stress can interfere with the immune system, disrupting the function of the skin's permeability barrier and affecting the skin's ability to heal. This resulting, among others, in skin infection and loss of fluid from skin cell layers. (*) A few skin conditions known to be affected by stress are psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, contact dermatitis and erythema. An example of a vicious cycle of skin-mind interaction is the adolescent’s acne. Teens are stressed about it and want to get rid of it as soon as possible. They are concerned about social implications due to the visible manifestation of acne, which increases stress levels and even anxiety and results in aggravated acne.

While not everyone will react the same way to having a skin problem, nor respond emotionally through their skin, when dealing with a skin condition, it is advised to assess your mental state, since decreasing stress levels, could be the secret ingredient to your arsenal of skin-clearing techniques.

Help your head, help your skin. Here are some tools at your disposal that can help you:

• Acknowledging that stressors are affecting your life is the first port of call. • Decide which stressors you can easily do something about and those that may take a little longer. • Exercise regularly – it’s great for your head and your skin. • Establish a really good skincare routine – cleanse and moisturize your skin every morning and evening (try ours!!). • Moisturize all over if your skin is dry and itchy. • Take a little time for yourself, every day. This doesn’t have to be hours and hours, just 10 minutes can be highly beneficial. • Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga have serious benefits to our nervous system. Again, you don’t have to do them for hours, short bursts are perfect. Try a 10-minute minute routine when you get up in the morning. • Get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. • Avoid too-hot baths, sulphates and parabens Remember – stress affects your entire body and not just your skin. So, keeping stress at bay is about your entire well-being. (*) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082169/ (*) https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Recognizing_the_mind-skin_connection.#:~:text=The%20brain%20and%20nervous%20system,may%20respond%20to%20psychological%20stress.


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