How your mental health affects your skin

Having bad skin can really stress you out and make you feel miserable. But did you know that in turn, your emotional state can also have a severe impact on the way your skin behaves?

Stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological issues can all wreak serious havoc on your skin, causing conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and even premature ageing. Stress is also known to trigger cold sores and contribute to alopecia.

When you think about it, your skin is often affected by your mood. Have you ever blushed when you felt embarrassed? Have you gotten sweaty palms when you were nervous about something? Or have you gone red in the face when you've gotten angry? Those are all events where your skin is directly reacting to your emotional state. Considering your skin is your body's largest organ, it's not surprising it can be severely impacted by your mind.

From work-related problems to family issues, relationship conflicts, and financial difficulties, we are all bound to experience some level of stress in our daily lives. You may notice you tend to break out at times of extreme stress, or you may also experience dryness, redness or irritation. This is all down to various hormones that are released when the body encounters stress, including cortisol.

As the largest organ in your body, your skin plays a vital role as a barrier and in immune functions. It's the body's main sensor for everything from heat, to cold, and pain. When your body is stress-free, your hormone levels remain relatively balanced. But when dealing with high levels of mental or physical stress, the body’s fight-or-flight response is triggered, and your nervous system sends signals to your adrenal glands to flood the system with adrenaline and cortisol.

In small doses, cortisol is great. It helps your body cope with short-term stressors and triggers your adaption reflex. But over a long period, cortisol becomes an enemy to your skin.


Most people can relate to having a pimple or two pop up during stressful times. That's because acne is triggered by inflammation.

Stress and anxiety can trigger chronic inflammation in the body, which causes your cortisol levels to spike and your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. It can also encourage bad bacteria to grow, creating the perfect environment for nasty breakouts.

Rosacea, Psoriasis and eczema

Beyond acne, stress can also result in disorders like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

Recent research has found that around a quarter of all people who had psoriasis were experiencing stressful life events such as unemployment, major personal illness or a family death, while a separate study showed 45 per cent of people with psoriasis suffered from anxiety.

The stress hormone cortisol can hinder your body's ability to produce hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin moisturised. This can make your skin dry out and become more sensitive, triggering conditions like psoriasis, as well as rosacea and eczema.

Premature ageing

Cortisol can speed up the skin's natural ageing process, leaving you with a loss of volume and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as enhanced pigmentation.
Ways to de-stress your mind and skin
  • Do what you can to eliminate any unnecessary stressors in your life.
  • Do things you enjoy: spend time doing a hobby or interest that makes you feel good and rejuvenates your mind
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Indulge in some "me" time
  • Go outside and spend time in nature
  • Exercise: physical activity can boost your endorphins and help combat those cortisol levels.
  • Eat well: treat yourself to balanced meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants
  • Stay well hydrated: drinking enough water will help hydrate your body from the inside out. Aim for around two litres of water per day
  • Develop a good skin care routine, focusing on natural and cruelty-free products
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Limit your sun exposure: too many UV rays can cause extra stress on the skin. Try and keep your time in the sun to less than half an hour per day
  • Meditate: mindfulness and meditation has been proven to counteract stress, lower your cortisol levels and positively impact your health
  • Pamper yourself: take a bath, give yourself a facial, and moisturise your body with our Intensive Skin Therapy Moisture Lotion
  • Indulge in a massage, get your partner to provide you with a relaxing massage using the My Little One Relaxing Touch Massage Oil.

Skin care for stressed-out skin

Cleanse your skin daily and exfoliate regularly

Using non-abrasive products that are free from chemicals prevents further breakouts. Choose natural products containing moisturising properties. Paw Paw is regarded in the beauty industry as nature's very own cleanser, as it has the natural ability to clear the skin of any impurities completely. This magical fruit also contains a high amount of vitamin C - helping your skin with sun damage and promoting youthfulness.

Moisturise twice per day

Invest in a natural moisturiser made from with active ingredients (such as paw paw or aloe vera) to keep your skin soothed and well hydrated. If you allow your skin to dry out, it will only inflame and irritate your acne even more.

Use natural skin care products designed for sensitive skin

Be selective with the products you use to care for your skin. Many popular skincare products contain a raft of synthetic chemicals, which can end up doing you more harm than good. Certain chemicals can affect your hormones, which can cause your skin to react badly.

Always read the labels and actively avoid products that contain:

- Petrolatum
- Ethanolamine
- Benzophenone
- Placental extracts
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
- Polyethene glycol (PEGs)
- Parabens and phthalates
- Artificial fragrances

These chemicals can irritate the skin, and cause allergic reactions and dermatitis.

Instead, choose products with all-natural ingredients that won't put extra stress on your already sensitive skin.

Here at Natralus, we deliver effective and all-natural products that protect you. For this reason, our products are free from parabens, petroleum and any nasty chemicals that are hidden. Ultimately, taking care of ourselves is the most important job, and when your skin is the first line of defence, it’s essential to protect that.

We only use ingredients that are sourced from organic farms in Australia, so you can trust what you're applying to your skin. We do this by guaranteeing the following:

1. We only use the best, natural, organic ingredients in our products
2. Our formulas are tried and tested to ensure they deliver real results for your skin
3. We provide results that last for hours, rather than minutes

On top of this, our products are certified toxic free and cruelty-free. We take the Natralus Natural Touch Promise seriously: if our products don’t meet these standards, you'll get your money back. Our Intensive Skin Therapy and a range of other products are now available in Big W nationally too!