Is stress making us look older?

Pevonia Lessens StressWithout a doubt, and you probably don’t need a blog post to tell you this, stress is written all over our faces! You can see it in your skin tone, texture, elasticity and the absence of a youthful glow.

It would be easy to say, “stress less” but we know that’s easier said than done! However, if we understand why stress affects our skin as well as change a few habits, we will be able to manage the stress and in turn look a whole lot younger!

Dark Circles

When we are stressed our blood flow increases and the fragile capillaries beneath our eyes become engorged so dark circles become more obvious. Drinking more water can help, getting more sleep will certainly improve things, while gently massaging a good eye cream or gel to the delicate eye zone will to help increase blood flow. Apply a soothing eye gel around the eyes and slide your middle and ring finger around the orbital bone (slide outwards on the brow and inwards beneath the eye). We recommend Pevonia C Evolutive Eye Gel, the ginkgo biloba, this helps increase the circulation while soothing and hydrating the eye contour.


When we are stressed our body creates cortisol, which can lead to a drop in Oestrogen, much like it does when we are in menopause. Less Oestrogen means less collagen and less moisture. Nourish your skin from within with hydrating food such as fish, nuts, avocado, sweet potato, olive oil and cucumbers to name a few. And “up the hydration” with products rich in collagen and hyaluronic acid. We recommend Pevonia Power Repair Line for bringing back the bounce and youthfulness of dehydrated skin.


As our hydration levels decrease our collagen and elastin production decreases. The skin cells that form these vital proteins take a siesta and meanwhile our expressions seem to become indelibly etched into our faces. Maintaining hydration is key but to restore the damage already caused it might be time to get out the big guns and reboot the skin cells which have become lazy. We recommend Pevonia Micro-Retinol line to help rejuvenate the skin from within.

Pevonia Organic Skincare Australia - micro retinol - anti stressItching, flaking and hives

Stress leads to inflammation which may lead to rashes, rosacea, eczema flare ups and changes in skin moisture. It’s vital to maintain your skin’s barrier function with filmogenic products that trap moisture and to reduce inflammation in the skin. Take cooler showers and baths, avoid synthetics in warm weather and apply soothing products such as Pevonia Propolis Concentrate and Reactive Cream which provide both anti-inflammatory properties as well as restoring your protective acid mantle.

A Heavy Jaw

Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action. Be mindful of this habit by relaxing the jaw whenever you think of it, and massage the jawline every evening while cleansing your skin and applying your moisturiser. Take time out to completely relax with a warm bath, a short nap or just doing something that distracts you from over-thinking! Even though you might only be able to spare 10 minutes your body trains itself to be more relaxed over time and will thank you.

Pevonia Organic Skincare Australia - bath - anti stressHair Loss

Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. Avoid over-styling hair and using too many heat appliances. We recommend a weekly hair mask using the Micro-Emulsion Massage Oil Anti-Stress. This not only helps stimulate a healthy scalp, but leaves hair soft and conditioned too.

Adult Acne

Acne isn’t just for hormonal-crazed teenagers. Many adults can’t seem to outgrow it because of stress hormones. Cleanse your skin thoroughly every morning and evening and exfoliate every couple of days to keep skin clear and pure, we recommend Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser for mild breakouts or the Clarifyl Line for more serious adult acne. It purifies, calms inflammation and deals with pesky breakouts pronto.

Clearly there is a connection between how we look and how we feel and think. The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it!


How to Banish Blemishes

Shonagh Walker

About Shonagh Walker

Beauty Expert Shonagh Walker is one of Australia's leading beauty editors. Her work has been published in most major magazines, newspapers and websites both in Australia and around the world. She is currently relishing her freelance life, contributing to quality publications like The Sunday Telegraph's Body and Soul.

How to Banish BlemishesHi Guys,

Now that I’ve well and truly settled into the year, after a hectic holiday season, I’ve noticed my skin is a little worse for wear. Read: blemished.

Blemishes and acne are directly related to hormonal imbalance and triggers include poor diet, stress, illness, puberty, pregnancy or menopause, and more (like late nights and lots of imbibing). The unbalanced hormones creep into the sebum, enlarging the sebaceous glands, and allowing bacteria to infect the follicle. Blemishes result.

Then, there is habitual acne. Pimples can’t exist without bacteria and simple things contribute, like resting your face in your hands, using a phone with a dirty mouthpiece, rubbing your forehead when you’re stressed and even massaging your nose where your glasses rest. Exercising while you’re wearing make-up can cause blemishes too, as can using dirty make-up brushes or make-up past its use-by date. Sleeping in make-up is also a huge contributor.

Prevention is always better than cure. Cleanse your skin before any workout and if you use a towel to wipe sweat, ensure it’s clean. Clean your make-up brushes at least once a week, and consider swapping to mineral foundation or one that has been specifically formulated for troubled skin.

Hint: Never apply new foundation over old foundation when touching up make-up.  You’re simply pushing old make-up and bacteria into your skin.

There are also many other skin sins that contribute. Here’s my hit list, below:

1. Over Cleansing 

It’s about consistency. Not cleansing is bad, but over-cleansing is as much of a no-no. It’s natural to want to wash away blemishes, but you’ll only trigger more oil and exacerbate the problem. Use a gentle rebalancing cleanser morning and night, like Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $67, which has citric acid to help refine pores and clear away congestion.

2. Scrubbing

Exfoliating three times weekly will allow your skin to purge toxins, sebum and bacteria, but avoid harsh scrubs, as you’ll remove the protective layer of skin and trigger more blemishes. Choose a gentle, natural formula and apply using a slow, gentle, circular motion. Try Pevonia Clarigel Exfoliating Cleanser, $68.50.

3. Mask-erade 

Initially, a weekly cleansing mask might seem to intensify acne, but like a salon-facial, it’s drawing impurities from the skin, helping clear blemishes faster.

Try Pevonia Purifying Skin Mask, $74, which has zinc oxide to heal and draw out impurities, glycolic and salicylic acids to slough congestion and dead cells and chamomile and camphor to soothe and repair.  

4. To Moisturise or not to Moisturise?

People with acne tend to skip moisturiser, which is the worst thing they could do. Skin needs hydrating. Choose a product that’s non-comedogenic, without heavy oils, like Pevonia Problematic Skin Care Cream, $74, Problematic Skin Lotion, $68.25 or Mattifying Oily Skin Cream, $82, depending on the extent of your problem.


Be patient and diligent with skin care. It takes up to four weeks to deliver noticeable results (in tune with skin’s natural renewal).

Watch your diet, too! There’s a link between dairy and acne. Dairy is mucous producing. Mucous can block pores and slow lymph drainage, which means toxins are building in the skin.

Vitamin deficiency contributes also. Skin is healthy when intake of Vitamins A, C and E are adequate and zinc levels are maintained. Ensure you’re getting enough essential fatty acids too, which help normalise oil.

Avoid icy-cold drinks. Our internal body temperature is 37.5 degrees. Drinking cold liquids restricts nerves, which in turn can slow digestion and circulation. Keep drinks at room temperature or above.

Stress triggers oil-producing hormones, too. Regular exercise and quality-plus-quantity sleep are obvious solutions. Team them with breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Check your shampoo too. Healthy skin has a pH level of 5.5. When this increases, it’s open to infection. If shampoo pH is too strong, it can create an environment for acne around your hairline.

Use spot treatments products with bacteria busting glycolic or salicylic acid, like Pevonia Clarifyl Spot Treatment, $91, which also uses aloe to soothe and horse chestnut to diffuse redness.

Finally, don’t squeeze! Medium to dark complexions risk triggering melanocytes, and you’ll be left with a big, brown, pigmented scar. Pale skins can burst blood vessels, leaving a red star-like cluster on the skin, while all skin tones risk crater like pockmarks when squeezing cystic pimples.

Until next time.

Love and light (and clear skin wishes),

Shonagh xx