There's A Reason Your Skin Looks Exhausted Lately + The Fix You Need
If you find yourself looking in the mirror or at all of those video calls and feel like you look more "exhausted" or "worn out" lately, you might be right. In fact, most of our complexions likely look a little lackluster of late. There's a perfectly normal reason why—as well as a perfectly easy solution.
How stress makes your skin appear duller and thus more tired.
We equate vibrancy with energy. On the flip side, we equate dull, sagging skin with being tired or worn out. Why do we inherently make this connection? Because there's something biological to it: The relationship between stress and skin health1 is a well-researched one. In acne-prone individuals, stress triggers breakouts. For those with sensitive skin, it can cause inflammation and rashes.
And just generally, stress causes your skin to look tired. Here's why: The onset of stress triggers the fight-or-flight response. As more circulation is diverted to other organs, such as the heart, brain, and lungs, blood flow is taken away from your skin1. When this happens, your skin cannot produce collagen as effectively—resulting in less plump, bright-looking skin. "Less collagen is produced in high-stress states since more of the body's resources are used to combat stress and the inflammation it produces," says board-certified dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Not to mention over time, chronic stress (you know, during a global pandemic) can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress further depletes our collagen levels and contributes to premature aging.
What can you do about stress-induced collagen loss?
We can't always control our stress levels (there are, of course, plenty of stress-reducing techniques you can and should try), but we can support our body's internal collagen production.
The most effective way to do this is through collagen supplements.* Hydrolyzed collagen, or what makes collagen supplements, is able to be absorbed by the body where it is used all over to keep joints, muscles, bones, the gut, and skin healthy.* It has been shown in studies to promote collagen and elastin production2, as well as healthy moisture levels and smooth fine lines.* It does so by supporting your skin cells' fibroblasts, or the parts of the skin cell that produce collagen and elastin.*
mindbodygreen's grass-fed collagen+ also includes a host of other skin-healthy ingredients.* First up, it's formulated with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that not only supports collagen production as well, but it stabilizes the collagen in your body.* This means it maintains the levels you have while promoting more.* (Quick note: If a collagen supplement does not have vitamin C, it is not a well-made supplement.) It also has hyaluronic acid for supple, soft, moisturized skin.*
If your skin has been losing vibrancy lately, it's because stress triggers collagen loss and can lead to slower collagen production over time. If your goal is healthy, firm, glowing skin, then keeping healthy collagen levels is vital—and supplements are the most effective way to do that.*
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.