4 tips for stress-free skin, according to a naturopath

How stress affects the skin, according to a naturopath 

I know how busy and stressful this time of year can be! Work demands, deadlines, more family and social activities can all take their toll on our skin.

Acute stress can increase cortisol production which in turn can increase inflammation and oxidative stress. This can show up on our face in a few ways:

  • Increased redness and sensitivity – stress increases inflammatory molecules which can make skin dry, red and sensitive.
  • Larger pores and breakouts – stress can dial up the release of a neurotransmitter substance P that ramps up sebum production leading to more breakouts.
  • Pronounced fine lines – cortisol can actually accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin by binding to skin cells


4 tips for stress-free skin, according to a naturopath


4 tips for stress-free skin, according to a naturopath

My top four tips for getting stressed skin under control are below! The bonus of putting these activities into practice is that they can also significantly reduce your stress and anxiety:

1. Keep it simple.

When we are stressed our skin’s barrier function is compromised. So now is not the time to bring out your highly active serums! Treat your skin delicately (like you would your body), reduce your number of skin steps and focus on soothing and hydrating ingredients which will calm your skin and protect your skin barrier. My favourite trio of ingredients for stressed skin include:

No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk
Our gentle cleanser protects your skin barrier and calms and soothes delicate skin. Brightening Apple and Strawberry extracts along with Wattleseed refine pores whilst a blend of nourishing oils purify the skin, keeping oil production in balance.


Edible Beauty's No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk


Beauty Reset Drops
Squalane is the base ingredient in this formula. It helps to soothe and calm irritated skin whilst rebuilding the skin barrier and reducing barrier loss. Bakuchiol is a strong antioxidant which works to reduce breakouts in the same way as retinol, without the irritation. I love the soft, smooth and bright skin that results from using these magic drops.


Edible Beauty's Beauty Reset Drops. The plant and natural alternative to traditional retinol.


Microbiome Calming Milk
Postbiotics are the super star in this milky formula. They help to rebuild the skin barrier so that it becomes resilient and less likely to react to any internal or external stressors. Magnolia Bark and Snow mushroom reduce skin inflammation and balance the damaging impact of cortisol.


Edible Beauty's Microbiome Calming Milk Booster Serum


2. Increase your vitamin C intake.

An increase in cortisol can leave our skin and body craving Vitamin C. Vitamin C can assist in balancing cortisol levels and boosting collagen production, which is being depleted by increased cortisol production. I love drinking our Beauty Dew – Hair, Skin Nail Support, which not only provides 3 x RDI of vitamin C, it also contains silica and an abundance of antioxidants from Prickly Pear and Black Rice to combat antioxidant damage and inflammation. It is also a great alternative to an alcoholic drink. I love drinking mine with cold sparkling water as a refreshing treat.


Edible Beauty's Beauty Dew - Hair, skin and nail support


3. Avoid sugar and processed foods.

I know it is easy to reach for sugar and processed foods when you are stressed. But they really do increase the damage being done by cortisol to your complexion. Firstly, they increase your body’s insulin levels which in turn increased sebum production. This means breakouts! Avoid sugar – if you are craving something sweet, take a bit of extra dark chocolate (80%+), use stevia to sweeten your tea and balance your blood sugar levels with healthy snacks like nuts, fruit and veggie sticks.

4. Sleep is king.

You may be tired of hearing this advice so won’t keep harping it on! Having a good night sleep will assist your body in regulating its cortisol response. When you sleep your body releases growth hormones that aid in cellular tissue repair and collagen production. It also helps to increase blood flow to the skin and repairing damaged caused by increased cortisol production, all helping to reduce the appearance of stressed and frazzled skin! If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, botanicals can be really beneficial in improving your body’s production of GABA and relieving anxiety – my favourites for doing this include Passionflower and Valerian. Our Botanical Sleep Support Formula has a beautiful synergy of herbs to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.


Edible Beauty's Inner Essentials - Botanical Sleep Support


When your skin is showing signs of stress, it should be a very strong signal to slow down and reset! There is always something you can do nourish and nurture your skin, mind and body and bring some balance back to your life and a glow back to your complexion!

Want expert skin tips and advice sent straight to your inbox?

Anna Mitsios

Adv. Dip. Naturopathy. Adv. Dip. Nutrition. B.Com (Honours)

Anna is a certified naturopath and nutritionist and founder of leading Australian natural skincare and wellness company, Edible Beauty Australia. Anna has been featured in various publications including Mind Body Green, Women’s Health and Allure. She is committed to the natural transformation of her client’s skin using proven botanicals, nutrients and herbal formulations, both on the inside and out.  

Anna’s career began in the corporate sector, where she specialised in corporate finance and private banking for over ten years working in Sydney and New York for a large Australian bank. Anna’s career change was sparked by her own health journey, following a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at 18 years of age.  Her diagnosis triggered her intense study of botanicals and nutrition to manage auto-immune condition and assist others in attaining optimal health. Anna’s naturopathy career has included working as a naturopath within a reputable natural fertility clinic in Sydney, within a pharmacy and health food store and running her own naturopathy practice. 

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