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Kerastase: How Stress Affects Your Beauty Routine

Read This Before Holiday Stress Starts Affecting Your Beauty Routine

The mind-body connection isn't just something you hear about in your morning meditation podcast — it's scientific fact. When you're stressed out, your body's natural response is to release hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, into your system. While these hormones are meant to help protect you — adrenaline, for example, can help trigger your fight-or-flight response in a crisis — too much can have an effect elsewhere, like your skin and hair.

While the holidays are traditionally described as a joyous time, we know that's not always true for everyone. Even in between the most celebratory moments, there can be bouts of excessive stress. Here's the thing: telling someone to lower their stress levels is a lot easier said than done. And while we do suggest dedicating some personal time to managing your mental health this season, it's just as important to have a backup plan in case you can't help but let the stress get to you.

Whether you're looking to curb the effects of stress on your skin, hair, and nails before you arrive at your parents' for holiday break or heal the aftermath of it all in the new year, we've got you covered.

Prevent Hair Loss and Breakage


Stress can cause hair loss, which likely explains the mass exodus of many women's strands since 2020. Although pandemic stress sets a new bar, holiday stress can still exacerbate any overwhelming feelings that continue to linger from COVID-19. To be clear, hair shedding is normal, and excessive hair fallout can also occur from other external stressors, like overstyling or brushing. Still, the result is usually the same: hair loss — and the frustration that comes with it.

The best way to stop stress-related hair loss is to de-stress, but once that's done, you may be eager to fill your routine with products that can get your hair back to a healthy state. So much fall out occurs in the shower, so your recovery routine can start there with an antifall shampoo. The Kérastase Genesis Bain Nutri-Fortifiant is a shampoo that strengthens hair against chronic fall out. It's especially helpful for dry and weakened hair that's struggling with breakage from styling. If you have naturally fine or oily hair, the Kérastase Genesis Bain Hydra-Fortifiant will work best thanks to its lightweight and clarifying formula.

Pair your shampoo with an equally fortifying conditioner, like the Kérastase Genesis Fondant Renforçateur, to protect hair from future fall out while also offering smoothing benefits. Want to go the extra mile? A hair treatment, like the Kérastase Genesis Masque Reconstituant, can help strengthen the follicle and restore hair’s softness and healthy shine.

Of course, hair care goes beyond your wash regimen; styling products can make an equally impactful difference in your hair health. Reducing as much damage as possible, whether it's in direct relation to hair loss or not, is an effective way to keep hair nourished. If you're a frequent hot tools user, consider a protectant blow-dry spray, like the Kérastase Genesis Défense Thermique, to safeguard hair against heat damage. Adding a daily serum, like the Kérastase Genesis Anti-Breakage Fortifying Serum, can improve hair's resistance to fallout.

Manage Stressed-Out Skin


You may be really good at hiding your stress from your friends and family, but your skin rarely fails to reveal it. Stress can lead to a lack of sleep, which can result in skin that actually looks fatigued (think: more fine lines and wrinkles). But the body's response to stress — a release of cortisol — can also affect your skin by disrupting a few key processes that help to keep it balanced and protected. For example, an increase in cortisol levels can weaken the skin barrier, which acts as a shield against external stressors (pollutants, allergens, irritants, etc.). A weakened skin barrier can be strengthened, though, specifically with ceramide- and peptide-rich serums and creams.

Increased cortisol levels in the bloodstream can also slow down healthy oil production, which can leave skin dry, irritated, and inflamed. Stress can also affect sebum production and cause it to go into overdrive. While sebum can be beneficial for skin, too much of it can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. It's a very delicate scale to balance, but with the right product routine, you can treat the side effects of stress when it does get out of hand.

Heal Weak Nails and Cuticles


Like skin picking, nail biting can be a physical response to increased stress levels and, in its wake, leave serious skin damage. But recovering from nail biting is possible. It’s important to know that before you start treating the cosmetic effects of nail biting, you need to ensure that there are no open wounds around the nail area. If there are, treat them with antibiotic ointment until they heal.

Once the wounds are closed, focus on promoting healthy nail growth by using a nail strengthening polish either as part of your weekly nail-painting routine or daily on bare nails. You can also use a cuticle oil before bed or, really, whenever you remember (cuticle oil pens are great for this). If the skin around your nails is callused, try to avoid trimming or cutting the area with cuticle scissors, if possible.

Nail biting isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue. For some people, it can start during childhood and, if done chronically, can sometimes be a sign of deeper emotional problems, in which case, seeking help from a medical professional is advised.

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