If the responsibilities of daily life are leaving you feeling overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to try to de-stress: for your skin, for your health, and your overall wellbeing. Whether that means taking more time for yourself or simply cutting back on work, it’s essential to be able to de-compress and prioritize self-care when you need it.

As we all know, stress is bad for the skin. Stress often shows up on our faces in the form of dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and overall dullness

Unfortunately, that’s not all.

Studies have also proved that prolonged stress can make your skin vulnerable to the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals age the skin and break down our natural collagen, leading to dull, sagging complexions and fine lines. 

So, before we panic – how can we de-stress and develop more balanced and healthy daily routines? We have gathered our best tips for self-care and de-compressing to ensure that you can maintain a glowing complexion no matter how busy and buzzing your day-to-day life is. So, follow our top tips outlined below to de-stress for your skin.

Why Am I Stressed?

woman biting nails

To de-stress for your skin, it’s first important to get to the root of your problem. Why do you feel stressed? The responsibilities of everyday life can be common causes of stress for most people, but if you feel that your stress is recurrent and linked to a particular part of your life, you should try to get to the bottom of it.

Common Reasons for Feeling Stressed:

  • Unsociable working hours
  • Lack of sleep (both quality and quantity)
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not eating well
  • Marital problems
  • Stress-related to work
  • Money problems

Don’t worry, we have your back. Here are our top ways to de-stress for your skin:

Take Some Me-Time (Or Should We Say, Some You-Time!)

woman relaxing on couch

It’s important to take time for yourself and take a break from your responsibilities. Even if you have a high-stakes job, family responsibilities, and children to look after, try to always reserve a time of the day where you can organize your thoughts, have some quiet time and pamper yourself.

If you can, try to take an hour out of the day and treat yourself to some relaxing face masks and a manicure. Face masks can help to firm up any sagging skin and give you a smoother, more youthful complexion.

Cut Back On Caffeine 

Coffee is a stimulant, which means that it will exacerbate whatever problem or anxiety you’re facing and put it into overdrive. Instead of your morning cup of coffee, try herbal tea or green tea. These are packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants and will help keep your anxieties at bay.

Not only will your stress symptoms improve with less caffeine, but replacing coffee with a herbal drink will help you to de-stress for your skin and gain a more radiant, bright complexion. You’ll also more likely sleep better if you consume less caffeine throughout the day, resulting in a better night’s beauty rest.

Eat a Balanced Diet

woman eating healthy

We’ve all heard the adage: you are what you eat. When we’re stressed, it’s common for us to reach for the cheeseburger instead of the chicken or a bar of chocolate instead of a bowl of fruit. The problem with comfort eating is that it can often cause more stress. When you’re undernourished and filled up with processed foods and refined sugars, your body won’t be on optimal power mode. When we follow a bad diet, all our problems will seem magnified:

  • We’ll be more irritable
  • We get less sleep
  • We feel overall sluggish and lethargic

If you want to de-stress for your skin, follow a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins and occasionally indulge in some treats. 

What to Eat to De-Stress for Your Skin

Certain vitamins and amino acids present in whole foods can help you de-stress, and a balanced diet is essential for your wellbeing. Food items rich in tryptophan (a serotonin-boosting amino acid), Vitamin E, and Vitamin C will keep you perky, productive, and more able to manage the stresses of everyday life. 

Foods Rich in Tryptophan, a Serotonin-Boosting Amino Acid:

  • Lean chicken and turkey
  • Whole Milk
  • Tuna
  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts and Seeds

Foods Rich in Vitamin E, a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory and Fighter of Free Radicals:

  • Red bell pepper
  • Sunflower oil
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Avocado

Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C: An Ascorbic Acid That Helps the Formation of Collagen:

  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits

Listen to Music

woman listening to music

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pop on some of your favorite music and let yourself de-stress for your skin through your favorite songs.

Studies carried out by Stanford University found that listening to music could deliver positive, calming effects (akin to prescription medication) to those who described themselves as stressed. Listening to music can help us process and liberate our emotions. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, pop in the Air Pods and detach from the world for a moment. 

Take a Relaxing Bath

woman taking a bath

There’s nothing like a good bath to relax the body and quieten the mind. Fill up the tub, take in a book or magazine and spend an hour detaching yourself from the world and your responsibilities.

While you’re in the bath, you can also treat yourself to somebody’s exfoliation to help you feel renewed. Try a body scrub to flake away any dead skin and leave the bathroom feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready for a peaceful night’s sleep. 

Get Enough Sleep

Speaking of which…

Getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress. It’s vital if you want to de-stress your skin. Getting at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night is recommended for optimal cognitive performance. Being well-rested will also help you better manage any stress during the day. 

Struggling to fall asleep – or finding that your sleep is often interrupted – is a symptom of stress. When there is too much of the hormone cortisol in the body, your thoughts can turn constantly and make it difficult for you to nod off easily. To help your sleeping pattern get back on track, it’s a good idea to incorporate an hour of a relaxing “pre-sleep” routine before bedtime to help calm your thoughts and sleep more soundly through the night. This routine can involve reading, meditation, an intensive skincare routine, or watching a film. Do whatever you find puts your mind at ease. 

Look at Your Working Hours

Whether you have an unscrupulous boss or unsociable working hours, jobs can easily become sources of acute stress. Job-related stress can be related to many factors. For example, if you feel underpaid or feel obliged to respond to work calls outside of work time, or feel obliged to work more than you initially agreed to.

If you feel overwhelmed by your job, it might help to speak to a direct supervisor and explain how you’re feeling, even asking to cut back on work or take a short break for your mental health. Asking to work from home could also be an option: being at home in a comfortable environment could help you de-stress for your skin, health, and wellbeing. 

Treat Yourself Now and Again

With bills that always seem to be rocketing and the cost of living always seems to increase, we can often forget to treat ourselves now and again to a bit of retail therapy. Whether you’re working full-time, part-time, or are a full-time parent, everybody deserves to spend a bit of their money on themselves.


woman sitting meditating

The benefits of meditation in treating chronic stress are well documented. One study found that patients who reported chronic stress saw their condition improve after 8 weeks of practicing “mindfulness” daily. Respondents even reported a decrease in certain stress-induced side-effects, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, PTSD, and Fibromyalgia. 

Meditation is a great way to de-stress your skin. It’ll help you compartmentalize your thoughts and approach the problems of everyday life differently. For optimal results, it’s better to practice meditation or “mindfulness” at the same time every day, whether it be first thing in the morning or before bed.    

Exercise Regularly

When it comes to treating mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, an exercise program is always recommended alongside any other more intensive treatments. Why? Exercise produces endorphins and helps us connect to our bodies, giving us a serotonin-boosting sense of satisfaction after every finished workout.

The science also agrees: studies have found that regular exercise helps adults develop resilience and mental agility, no matter their physical fitness level. You don’t need to run cross-country to enjoy the pleasant side-effects of physical activity: even a short daily walk can help put your mind right. Try exercising daily – even just for 15 minutes – and see if your stress levels improve. 

Keep a Journal

Sometimes it helps to chronicle our thoughts, especially during periods of stress and anxiety. Writing things down often helps liberate emotional blockages in our brains – a bit like writing an angry letter to an ex then ripping it up!

Keeping a journal can also help you identify any stress triggers. You can look back on what factors were the most likely to induce stress on a day-to-day basis and try to cut back on them.  

Distract Yourself with Engaging Books, Shows, and Films

woman reading a book

Sometimes, the simple things are the best stress-busters:

  • Popping on a movie
  • Diving into a book
  • Relaxing in front of a TV series

These are all great ways to turn off your brain and stop any whirring thoughts. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, put your feet up, relax in front of your favorite TV show or film and let your troubles float away.

If you want to upgrade your alone time and de-stress for your skin simultaneously, why not try out a nourishing face mask and give yourself a DIY spa evening?

Find Productive Ways to Manage Stress 

And finally, if stress is becoming a part of your daily life – for example, if you have a stressful job – it’s a good idea to try to channel this stress into a healthy hobby or coping mechanism. Of course, most people’s coping mechanisms will only exacerbate their problems, but if you can turn your stress into a creative or productive hobby, you should be able to cope better and gain a new skill or passion at the same time! 

Some ways to channel your creativity and liberate your stress include:

  • Coloring books: these aren’t just for little ones! Many people who suffer from anxiety and racing thoughts swear by coloring books to calm their anxiety
  • Taking up a sport (solo or team sport): many who suffer from chronic stress swear by certain sports: swimming, football, boxing, and running can all help manage stress – even more so if you can engage in a little healthy sporting competition with peers at the same time
  • Reading: with our lives so hectic, who has the time to read books anymore? If you’re feeling perpetually stressed, set aside an hour of reading a day to help slow down your thoughts and prepare for sleep. Not only will you help to manage your stress, but you’ll also reap the benefits of reading.

Verdict: How to De-Stress for Your Skin?

If you want to de-stress your skin, you first have to overhaul your daily routine and prioritize healthy habits. Cutting back on caffeine, getting enough sleep, and putting the right nutrients into your body is a great way to start.