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Everything you need to know about the brain-skin connection

You know that feeling when you spot an attractive person across the room and you blush a little, or you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed with deadlines at work and your eczema begins to flare up. That's the brain-skin connection in action. It’s in these moments that our skin reflects what we’re feeling on the inside.

This new and emerging area of modern science is known as psychodermatology and psychoneuroimmunology. It's the interplay between the mind, skin, and our immune system. Here, I breakdown everything you need to know...

The science

The brain plays a major role in the stress response and its effects on the skin occur through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When we are under heightened stress, the brain releases stress hormones which causes a wide range of physiologic and immune reactions. It's these reactions that can trigger or exacerbate skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and rosacea.

We've all been in high stress situations and then seen a small eruption or outbreak of acne in the days after. And now there is science to show this is far more than just anecdotal.

What we think, feel, and see all play a significant role in how our skin responds, reflecting back our emotions like a living mirror.

One study found that the number of participants’ acne lesions increased the day after a stressful interview, while another found that high stress during exams was associated with worse acne. 

On the flip side, when we are feeling happy, hopeful and relaxed, we reduce our skin’s hypersensitivity by calming the parasympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response), and decrease the skin’s reactivity to environmental stressors and allergens. Phew, some good news!

The power of words

Modern science increasingly reveals that we express our emotions not just on our face but also across our body’s largest organ: our skin. And one of the best ways we know to nurture positive emotions is through the words we use.

We believe that words are powerful. They can bring joy or sadness. Words shape the narrative of our lives. And given just how intricate the brain-skin connection is, the By Sarah London approach to transformational living is based on a holistic approach that includes taking care of our minds and bodies.

We believe in living with a full heart, with a positive mindset and healthy body. We believe that every thought is a seed; you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds. We choose to grow flowers.

By Sarah London 10 Day Reset

The 10 Day Reset

To help you navigate the brain-skin connection, we've created The Day 10 Reset; 10 beautiful affirmation cards to develop your self-belief, emotional awareness and manifest what you really want.

You can change your mind, your skin, your energy - all without compromise.

Shop the new 10 Day Reset and begin your journey to transformation. Share your results with us, we can't wait to see you bloom!

 

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Written by: Sarah, Co-Founder, By Sarah London

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