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Stress and Your Skin Series - Part 1 - Inflammation

Heading into the silly season, you might not know this but stress levels can seriously impact your skin, exacerbating existing skin conditions like eczema or rosacea, and causing side effects like dry patches, breakouts, and dull, lacklustre skin. Use this time of the year to take it easy and relax, enjoy the time with family and friends. Of course, everyone’s body and skin will react to stress in different ways, as we all have different genetic makeups, but there are things we can do to help our skin during this time. Over the next four weeks, we will be bringing you a series of blogs on how to combat the effects stress has on your skin; covering inflammation, hydration, hormones, and breakouts.

Our skin can’t tell the difference between types of stress, be it physical, emotional, psychological, or environmental. But the good news is, acute stress, is what you're most likely dealing with, its less detrimental to your skin health compared to chronic prolonged stress. The longer you endure stress, the more it takes a toll on your skin. Here’s your guide to combating the effects of stress on your skin during the silly season.

There is a powerful and deep connection between the skin, mind and digestive system. When our mind perceives stress, it can slow down digestion, and when your digestion slows, it can affect the bacteria in your gut. This causes an overgrowth of unhealthy strains of bacteria, disrupting the natural balance of gut microbes, leading to something called dysbiosis. This, in turn, causes the lining of your intestines to become ‘leaky,’ or more permeable, which triggers a bodywide cascade of inflammation.

We don't always eat the healthiest during this time so its important to remember that internal inflammation can trigger several skin conditions, especially if you are genetically predisposed to something. You may find your skin breaking out in acne or experience flare-ups of psoriasis or eczema when you’re under stress/eating food you're not usually consuming. During this time your body thinks it’s under attack and reacts by forming inflammatory markers or inflammatory cells to help treat that attack, these increased numbers of inflammatory cells are what cause your skin to react in different ways.

So, what can you do to help reduce inflammation and improve your digestion at the moment?

Eat real food, nutrient-dense, unprocessed and as close to nature as possible.  There are also two amazing ingredients that are likely to be sitting in your cupboard which can help reduce inflammation. Ginger and turmeric have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which help decrease pain and protect against disease. Ginger and turmeric are two of the most extensively studied ingredients in herbal medicine, and both have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, ranging from migraines to chronic inflammation and fatigue.

The Beauty Chef's Gut Primer is great for aiding digestion, helps to repair gut lining, supports healthy liver and immune functions - a great way to intake turmeric too. The Gut Primer is a FODMAP Friendly powder supplement to support a healthy digestive system. With slippery elm and milk thistle, traditionally used in Western herbal medicine for leaky gut and to soothe and repair the gut lining. Easy to consume, you just need to mix 1 level tbsp (10g) in 200mL of water once daily, and have it with your meal. Investing some time into your diet and nutrition will not only have an overall benefit on how you feel but also how you look. Remember to take the time to enjoy the holidays with your friends and family and look after yourself. 

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