Our Freya + Bailey founder talks to Simply Vegan magazine about the impact of stress on our skin and how a plant powered regime can effectively combat it.

You may well have heard the cheery phrase ‘there’s nothing certain, except death and taxes’, but thanks to the frenetic pace of modern living, we can add stress to that too. It happens to everyone; I can vouch for that personally. And that sense of heightened anxiety, irritability and loss of sleep can also affect your skin.  I’d just come out of a particularly stressful period at work and the pressure was on to deliver another record year of growth. Something had to give and it was my skin!

Developing stress acne was mortifying. I felt out of control, but I eventually managed to clear it through diet (I ditched processed food and ate raw, organic food instead) and an overhaul of my skincare routine — ultimately that was the thing that really made a difference for me: using natural products and understanding more about my skin. You could say I became a ‘skintellectual’, through hours of research. It eventually led me to the clinical team I now partner with at Freya + Bailey Skincare which I foundered last year. Here’s what I learned  along the way…

It’s natural. The stress response — whether we’re being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger, a deadline, or having trouble with family or love, it’s all the same. The body is emitting chemicals to get battle ready. Thankfully, the resultant skin flare ups can be resolved via a regime that’s not only natural but more importantly works in harmony with the body’s natural processes using plant chemistry. 
Stressed skin is often dry skin.

For a quick hydration fix, use a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that naturally occurs in your body and pulls moisture from the air into the skin, hydrating it and leaving you with a gorgeous glow. 

Sneak time in for self-care. If you’re in the office, try misting an aromatherapeutic toner to refresh your senses and hydrate your skin or use a face moisturiser with lavender and vanilla oils to calm your skin and mind.

If stress is leading to furrowed brows or pursed lips, use a nutrient-rich night cream derived from vegan collagen or a day cream with plant retinol to erase fine lines and wrinkles and illuminate skin. Use on your lips, too.

Don’t skimp on sleep. It’s really important and though stress disrupts it, try to get some proper shut eye. Turn off your phone an hour before, drink some green tea, listen to calming music and breathe. If tomorrow‘s to-do list prevents this and you’re waking up with puffy eyes, try a jade quartz roller (pop it in the fridge first). Hold it up to your under-eye area and massage it from the inner to the outer corner of your eye to jumpstart the fluid‘s drainage.

  If stress acne is an issue use an oatmeal scrub two or three times a week (dependent on tolerance) and an activated charcoal face mask to remove toxins and clarify skin. Of course, the best option of all is to tackle the underlying causes of your stress. Your skin will thank you for it. So go on, get glowing! 

T H E AUTHOR Abbie Oguntade is CEO and founder of the award-winning natural, organic  vegan skincare brand Freya + Bailey