MINI SERIES: STRESS – SKIN & WELLBEING
One in six people in the workplace are affected by stress, anxiety or depression at any one time in this country, according to the leading UK charity MIND.
The drive to work longer hours is now a reality for many. Work life balance is harder to achieve and the digital economy adds pressure to personal and professional performance. Stress is a natural part of life today and hard to avoid. However, managing stress and recognising the signs are important [the good and the bad news is that your skin will often be a visible indicator of stress).
CORTISOL – ANGEL OR DEVIL
When stress occurs, the body produces two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline helps the body to react to perceived ‘danger’ and once that threat is over, will return to normal levels. Cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, also helps your body cope with stress and is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, however if allowed to continue at high levels, can have a negative impact all over the body. Signs include thinning skin, weaker bones, higher fluid retention and bloating, a higher risk of bruising easily, delayed wound healing, weight gain and overall hormone imbalance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
KEY FACT – STRESS AND INFLAMMATION
Stress causes high levels of cortisol leading to increased inflammation. As prolonged stress causes irregular levels of cortisol, this results in the gut becoming inflamed. Specifically in skin, multiple neuroinflammatory conditions can be triggered or aggravated by stress, such as: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne and contact dermatitis.
If skin receives high levels of vitamin A too quickly, it can experience a transient retinoid reaction. “Ironically, the people most likely to react to vitamin A are the ones who need it most”, says Tracy Tamaris, Director of Education at the International Institute for Anti-Ageing (IIAA). “Clients with sun damage are likely to have far less vitamin A receptors in their skin, which means that they are deficient. The key is to introduce it very gradually so that the skin slowly becomes acclimatised. That’s why the Environ® Step Up programme is unique, it has been designed so clients are introduced to vitamin A in a controlled way to maximise positive benefits and minimise risks of retinoid reaction which is simply the skin’s way of saying ‘ Wait – I’m not ready yet’. Always start on the first level and only progress to the next level once your skin is fully accustomed to it.”
This is one of the most common myths and often arises from confusion about the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA) for oral consumption. The RDA is the minimum amount needed to prevent diseases such as rickets and scurvy, NOT the maximum. According to the European Food Safety Authority, the upper tolerable level is 10,000 ius daily, and experts argue that it should be much higher.
Dr Fernandes is a strong advocate of supplementing with vitamin A. “When we apply vitamin A to the skin, only a fraction of it penetrates down to the level of the dermis and even the most sophisticated modern tests have barely been able to detect any vitamin A in the bloodstream even when very high doses are applied”, he says.
“I feel nervous if I don’t apply it every day via my Environ® creams, and feel more assured if I take 40,000 – 50,000 ius of vitamin A daily”, he adds. “It works with our DNA to determine how skin cells behave, how they differentiate into specialist cells and how they mature, not just in our skin but throughout our whole body… It is fundamentally the most important molecule in addressing sun damage and anti-ageing. There is nothing else like it”.
Lorraine Perretta, Head of Nutrition at the International Institute for Anti-Ageing (IIAA), agrees that taking vitamin A orally is key. “It’s important to feed the skin internally as well as externally. Unless you eat liver a few times a week, you will find it very hard to get adequate vitamin A levels from your diet, so I’d recommend at least 5000 ius a day.”
Adapted from a post in the September 2017 IIAA Bulletin
Studies show that vitamin A compacts the stratum corneum and thickens the epidermis, which runs completely contrary to the idea that it has a thinning effect. It influences the genes that cause epidermal stem cells to grow into fully functioning keratinocytes and mature into healthy layers of the epidermis. Vitamin A increases the growth of the basal layer which is why the epidermis becomes thicker and therefore more tolerant to damaging environmental effects.
“You can thicken the epidermis by up to 100 per cent compared to not using vitamin A” Environ® Founder Dr Des Fernandes
Adapted from a post in the September 2017 IIAA Bulletin
What is it?
Quite simply, it’s a 100 day journey to healthier skin. A proven way to forget quick fixes and learn a longer term solution
How does it work?
It is carried it out in 3 phases.
Phase 1: Getting started. In this stage you’ll receive an in depth consultation to really allow us to understand you, your skin and your lifestyle. Based on your concerns, we’ll slowly build you a personalised skin health programme. Days 0-30
Phase 2: So at around day 30, you’ll come back in to us and check your progress. You’ll see changes as your skin responds to your tailor-made regime. Here is where we’ll make any adjustments or add something to really keep you going. Days 30-60
Phase 3: You’re over half way here! Its around day 60 you’ll really be seeing the differences to your complexion. You’ll have an extra glow, be maintaining more moisture and your skin will be more plump. We’ll make any final changes and marvel at your results! Days 60-100
If you want to know more details or book a consultation, either send us a message or call us on 01283 561208