When it comes to identifying the root cause of skin concerns, it’s all too easy to blame external factors such as UV exposure, the central heating, too much cake, too little sleep, pollution, or a poorly managed skincare routine. But, if your most trusted products no longer seem to work, maybe it’s time to reassess your bathroom shelf as well as the contents of your mind.

Regular stress, recurring anxiety and burnout can all lead to acute skin issues (including visible signs of ageing such as fine lines, dull skin and extra sensitivity) so looking after your inner emotional and mental health can make a difference. So, too, choosing products which don’t just tend to your skin but also support your mood.

Skin and cortisol

Not all stress is equally harmful to our health. Short-term cortisol release refines our senses, increases clarity of thoughts and can even stimulate collagen production which aids in wound healing. According to skincare chemist Laurent Nogueira, micro stress positively activates the cells but the same cannot be said of its long-term effects. Chronic stress provides a slow but steady release of cortisol into the bloodstream. It is this kind of influence that can manifest itself in fine lines and other early signs of ageing.

When stress takes over our lives, dull complexion is actually the least of our worries, albeit the most visible one.

Prolonged stress impacts our bodies in their entirety, influencing the heart and blood vessels, lowering our immunity and overwhelming our nervous system. When stress takes over our lives, dull complexion is actually the least of our worries, albeit the most visible one.

In a nutshell, cortisol and skin do not get along. Cortisol blocks the production of beneficial skin oils and lipids, which, in turn, has an adverse effect on our skin. The epidermal barrier is the first to suffer as the first line of defence against external allergens, pollution and other environmental factors. Take it down and our skin becomes more sensitive and experiences a whole range of issues.

Tackling the root cause and treatment

The best solution is to tackle the root cause and address the source of stress itself. The good news is that internal balance is affordable to anyone. It can take the form of a morning meditation or regular grounding technique. The important thing is to let go of tension in the body and anxiety in the mind. The opportunities to do so are endless: be it breathwork, aromatherapy or a simple walk in nature. Let your favourite beauty rituals (calming masks, massages or spa treatments) come to your rescue.

Stay away from too much experimentation with new products until the dust has settled. Any drastic changes in your beauty routine at this time will only stress your skin’s barrier out even more. Your skin will thank you for products containing hydrolipids, ceramides or fatty acids, which help restore its acid mantle.



This is a super de-stresser. Best used in the shower once or twice a week. Apply liberally across the whole body using sweeping movements towards the heart to improve circulation. The physicality of massage helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and reduce cortisol. Jade is reputed to calm the nervous system and protect against negative energy. The sensuous soothing organic essential oils of Sandalwood, Jasmine and Vetiver transport you to a warm and happy place. Wash away dead skin cells, wash away the day.


Perfect for that little lift throughout the day. Keep this with you on your desk or in your handbag to spritz across your face and wrists. This mist has a beautiful combination of Rose Damascena Hydrolat to help reduce anxiety, and Wild Indigo which reduces cortisol production, coupled with Arnica to calm and regenerate. Spritz, breath in, breath out. Repeat.


Use this luxurious body cream before bed to induce a deep and restorative sleep. Divinely-scented organic essentials oils cocoon and cushion both your skin and senses. Breathe in the gorgeous aroma of Damascus Rose, Indian Jasmine Grandiflorum and deep, balsamic Sandalwood. Awake refreshed and de-stressed.