• Susan Thyer Thrush

DOES YOUR SKIN NEED A THERAPIST? How your feelings show up on your skin.


Blame Cortisol. This hormone is released any time you feel tense, triggering a fight-or-flight response that enables you to react quickly in life-threatening situations. While it’s beneficial if

you’re being chased by a bear, it’s not quite so helpful in daily life. Yet these hormonal shifts accompany every kind of stressful experience: a bad day at work, grief over the death of a loved one or prolonged anger over current events.

Cortisol is meant to be pumped out for only a few seconds or a minute at a time. When it’s chronically elevated for days or weeks on end, it has all kinds of negative effects on the skin. Excess cortisol breaks down collagen, increases moisture loss, triggers inflammation, dilates blood vessels, slows cell turnover, and increase sebum production (oil). Translation: Say hello to wrinkles, dryness, irritation, redness, dullness and breakouts. When skin ailment strikes, it’s on display for the world to see, which is why skin issues have such an intense emotional impact. As soon as we sense that people around us are judging our appearance, we feel stressed. It’s a vicious cycle.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on your skin care.

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