Advice from sensitive skin experts on caring for Stressed Out Skin for Stress Awareness Month (April 2021)
More people are suffering from sensitive skin than ever before, according to new reports, and stress may be a cause.
As April is Stress Awareness Month, leading homecare brand Surcare is reminding people of the ways they can to be kinder to stressed out sensitive skin – from the inside and out.
Stress and skin
Claire Lancaster from Surcare’s Product Development team explains: “Because stress is something that we tend to feel emotionally it’s not always something we associate with a physical manifestation – but it can have a very real impact on skin. During times of tension and uncertainty the body produces excess cortisol (or the stress hormone as it is also known) which can impact on everything from blood pressure, the immune system and inflammation of the skin.
“It will come as little surprise that the stress of the pandemic has resulted in more people experiencing sensitive skin conditions, often exacerbated further by more hand washing, greater use of cleaning products and antibacterial hand gels.
“Mintel found that a whopping 32% of British women would now describe their skin as sensitive in 2021 (rising to 39% of women aged 16-24 and 40% among 25-34 year-olds).
“So if you have noticed changes to your skin because of stress, one of the best places to start is to try and regain some control over the anxiety that you are experiencing. This could be via yoga, meditation or simply talking to a friend or loved one. Tackling stress at the root cause is an important first step and should never be ignored.”
Eat to beat sensitive skin
“Many people have admitted to turning to alcohol, convenience and comfort food during lockdown as a mechanism to help them cope with boredom and stress. Unfortunately highly processed, high fat and sugary foods will only be adding to your skin woes. Your body needs to be pampered on the inside, just as much as the outside and an anti-oxidant rich diet, featuring fatty fish (such as salmon or mackerel), green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries and brightly coloured fruit and veg like carrots and oranges will give your skin the nourishment it needs.
“Alcohol is renowned for dehydrating the body and it can affect the way that oxygen and other nutrients travel through the skin. So if you are suffering from dry, chapped and sensitive skin then it may be a good idea to reduce your alcohol intake or cut it out completely.”
Changing the products you use can also help
“Using products that are made especially for people with sensitive skin can help to manage skin conditions and, alongside the increase in skin flare ups and skin irritation, is a marked rise in people searching for a solution. Google search data since the pandemic began shows a huge spike in searches for products linked to sensitive skin in April 2020, peaking again at the start of the third lockdown in January 2021, as people look for new ways to regain healthier, happier skin.
But when shopping for beauty and cleaning products when you have sensitive skin can be a bit of a minefield. Our advice is look for simplicity and transparency when it comes to both ingredients and claims – which is often not easy to find in a market full of big advertising promises!
Moisturisers, serums and face/body washes
“The first place that many people start is topical skincare products like moisturisers and bath soaks which you can physically ‘see’ and ‘feel’ working. Look for products with naturally derived and nourishing ingredients that have been dermatologically tested and formulated especially for sensitive skin sufferers. Ingredients such as natural butters, omega 3 and 6 vitamin E and oat lipids will provide natural but hard working moisturisation to boost the skins protective barrier and increase hydration.
“Self-care is an important part of helping to relieve stress and anxiety, so pampering yourself shouldn’t be overlooked. Luxurious bath salts with Epsom salts, soothing oils and healing crystals will not only help to relieve your skin, they will also help you relax and promote restful sleep.
“It’s also important not to overlook the other things that your skin comes into contact with. The products that we use to wash the clothes that we wear every day and the bed sheets we sleep in every night play a huge role in keeping our skin healthy and skin flare ups at bay. As do cleaning products such as washing up liquid.
“If your skin is sensitive then you should be looking for products that don’t contain anything that doesn’t need to be there – such as fragrances, enzymes, acids and dyes.
“Dermatologically approved and with a seal of approval from Allergy UK, Surcare’s range of laundry products have been created with the most sensitive of skin in mind and are designed to reduce skin flare ups.
“Switching your laundry products could be an important first step in helping your stressed and sensitive skin back to healthy by reducing additional irritation.
“With more of the family spending more time at home you will undoubtedly be faced with mounds of seemingly never ending washing up. This too can take its toll, leading to dry, cracked and painful hands. With nothing added in except exceptional cleaning power, Surcare’s washing up liquid is designed to reduce irritation and be kinder to your hands than other brands. And with a thumbs up from British Allergy Foundation, Allergy UK this could be another secret weapon in your fight against dry skin.
“It is clear that the past 12 months has made us more conscious about our health and wellbeing and as a consequence people are starting to pay more attention to the ingredients in the products that they use both on their body and in the home.
“Stressed out skin can be repaired and a 360 degree approach to self-care is the perfect place to start.”
For more advice visit www.surcare.co.uk