• Mahla Sefati

How stress is related to youth

The bond of brain and skin


Image source: Camila Quintero Franco

One feels ashamed, the other blushes. One has pain; the other shows it through the eyes. One feels stress; the other gets a pimple. One loses a loved one in life; the other adds a small line just beside the eye. This bonding is inseparable. Experiencing stress is inevitable. We all have had it to some degree. However, the big difference is how we and our bodies respond to it.


The biology of stress

According to Let’sTalkScience, “stress is a biological response to things that happen to us. If we perceive a situation as stressful, the hypothalamus region of our brain begins the stress response. It starts by sending a message to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then sends a message to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are found on top of our kidneys. These glands then release the stress hormone cortisol; Then, we feel it.”



Adrenal Glands: (Adapted from Vodo Gram website) 
produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress, and other essential functions.

Pituitary Glands: 
(Adapted from Cleveland Clinic website) 
is a vital pea-sized organ. If your pituitary gland doesn’t function properly, it affects essential parts like your brain, skin, energy, mood, reproductive organs, vision, growth, and more. It’s the “master” gland because it tells other glands to release hormones.


How stress affects Your Skin

According to a New York Times article, cortisol causes increased oil production in our skin glands, leading to an unhealthy face that has acne and clogged pores. So, the more stress we have, the worse the skin gets. It means that within chronic stress, the nervous system releases more and more cortisol that slows down the production of beneficial oils.


The skin gets dry, rough, and much more irritated because those healthy oils act as a protective layer for us. Without adequate lipids to seal in hydration, the skin starts to “leak” water in a process known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Chronic exposure to cortisol also prevents the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. These are what keep the skin soft and youthful.


When facing a stressful situation, acne, wrinkles, dry skin, face flushing, sore lips, rashes, and all are on our skin. No matter who we are or where we live, these symptoms remain the same.


How to rescue your skin

According to the Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center website, there are ways that you can help your body, especially your skin to stay fresh, clean, and soft.

-Make sure you have a proper healthy routine for your skin; the least you can do is buy and use day and night cream, eye cream, and sunscreen.

-I know that you might not have enough time, but do not underestimate the power of exercise.

-Schedule time for activities that make you feel relaxed.

-Do not forget about vitamin F; talk to your friends and spend time with them. It is always fun.

-Take time for yourself. Take a warm bubbly bath, read a self-help book, take a warm bath, get a massage, listen to music, meditate, and so on.

-Keep your hands off your face. As soon as you touch your face, dirt, germs, and oil transfer from your hands to your face.

-If you have an unwanted guest on your face; avoid picking, popping, or squeezing pimples as this can cause scarring.

-Know your skin type and do not shop randomly. Understanding your skin type will help you learn how to care for your skin and select skincare products that are appropriate for you. Try not to shop based on brands and prices; shop for the product that suits you the best.


Image Source: Canva


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