A guide to understanding the battles and tools available to maintain a healthy well-being and skin complexion.
It is safe to say our mental health, for many, has been tested over the last 1-2 years with COVID-19 and all the restrictions, changes and uncertainty that this has brought with it. Understanding some personal journeys within the community, the team, our clients and from our own loved ones, we felt it a fitting time to write a guide on strategies you can implement to strip-back your skin routine and still achieve a healthy functioning skin no matter the woes of the day.
Also know, we are looking forward to our doors opening once again and being there for you to get your skin back on track and assist in boosting your well-being!
First, let’s look at how stress affects our skin: depression, anxiety, and even stress (to name a few) can all affect your skin complexion in conjunction with many other organs of the body. For example, those prone to breakouts and acne may experience more breakouts due to the increase in oil production that occurs, and stress can also trigger eczema flare ups in those dry skins. Studies have shown that stress can affect the skin’s barrier function (protective shield) and reduce its ability to regulate water retention, resulting in dehydration and sensitised skin. This alone can alter the effectiveness of your day-to day skincare routine absorbing correctly into your skin. Since poor sleep is another common symptom of depression (or lower mood), you may find that your under-eye area and skin appears more tired than usual.
Depression affects neurotransmitters in your brain, which can impact on how motivated we feel. These neurotransmitters are responsible for a wide range of daily habits, regulating everything from how we sleep to how easily we recall information. Changes in levels of serotonin and dopamine can impact whether you feel like completing your usual tasks including your skincare routine. So, it’s normal to not feel like doing certain things when you are struggling with low mood and/or chronic stress. There are things you can do to try and switch up your habits and skincare routine, however, to something more basic, so this feels more manageable.
Let’s go back to basics: The two most important elements of a skincare routine is cleansing and sun protection, especially in New Zealand. A decent cleanser will remove surface secretions, dirt, dead skin cells from throughout the day that have naturally sloughed off, as well as sunscreen and product from the day. SPF will provide you with basic protection from UVA throughout the windows and UVA/UVB from outside if you’re out on walks or in the garden. Add in an antioxidant serum such as ‘Balanese Antioxidant Lift FX’ for ultimate protection against free radical damage.
Leaving your cleanser in the shower could also be a way of ‘breaking down barriers’ and making it easier to manage on tough days.
Beyond this, incorporating something extra like the below can target specific skin concerns and be less effort compared to a in-depth skincare routine.
- Acne Prone and/or Oily Skin: Gel cleansers and products containing Salicylic Acid, and/or niacinamide in your skincare routine can assist in regulating oil production, maintaining regular cell turnover to reduce congestion and address scarring, as well as antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Selecting at least one of these can help maintain some control against breakouts. We recommend either ‘Balense Oil Control Serum’ or ‘Balense B3 Serum’.
- Combatting Ageing and Pigmentation: Retinol and/or niacinamide can be very effective. Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A is a powerhouse ingredient that maintains efficient cellular regeneration and stimulates collagen and elastin production. It also can strengthen and maintain a healthy skin barrier function, as well as prevent and treat hyper-pigmentation. This would be my number one suggestion to maintain and an ingredient not to skip. Try our ‘Balense Vitamin A Concentrate Serum.
- Dry Skin: If needing more moisture or noticing a flare up in your dry skin condition, having a product containing squalene and/or hyaluronic acid are crucial. We love ‘Balense Dry Skin Moisturiser’ or ‘Balense Recovery Cream’ for ultimate hydration.
Also, and importantly, please do not hesitate to seek help if you are struggling. Keep in touch with your loved ones, friends and/or colleagues that you have a great relationship with. Us extroverts can also find this time difficult, so, schedule a few virtual social outings! It can make all the difference to your health, well-being, and your skin.
Disclaimer: This content is not to be substituted for professional advice. If needing professional help, please reach out to the below helplines.
The Cosmetic Clinic
This post was kindly written by our Clinic Manager, Michelle Black from our Newmarket Clinic.
• Lifeline 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) –- for counselling
• Samaritans 0800 726 666 – for confidential support or in emotional distress
• Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 – to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions
• Healthline 0800 611 116 – for advice from trained registered nurses
• www.depression.org.nz – includes The Journal free online self-help tool