Fight environmental aggressors eight saints organic skincare

Everyday Stressors That Can Age the Skin and How to Address Them

News flash: your skin is under attack every day.


This might sound dramatic, but it’s true! Your face and body come in contact with tons of stressors each day -- like smoke, UV rays, and even dirt -- that irritate your skin, damage your cells, and try to make you look older than you really are. It sucks, and it’s actually pretty terrifying if you let yourself think about it for too long (or consider the long-term repercussions - yikes!).


The good news? You can actually do something about it if you actually know what’s going on and how to stop the damage in its tracks (take that, environmental stressors!).


Here’s what you need to know.


Everyday Stressors That Are Damaging Your Skin

First thing’s first: what exactly is damaging your skin? Well, there are both internal and external exposures to take into account (collectively known as the exposome).


All of these factors ultimately age the skin by:

  • Producing inflammation
  • Disrupting the skin’s barrier
  • Decreasing the skin’s ability to repair wounds
  • Decreasing elasticity, and
  • Increasing the risk of skin cancer

In all instances, avoiding the harmful exposures as much as possible is key to getting it under control. The right skincare can also help.


Internal Aggressors

First, there are the internal aggressors: bad habits or physical responses that can take your skin’s heath back a notch. These include:


Inadequate Sleep

Everyone seems to get inadequate sleep from time to time. Kids, meetings, the stress of getting through the pandemic - it can all negatively impact our day-to-day ability to catch up on some zzz’s.


And this can have more of a negative impact than you might realize. While you sleep, your cells repair themselves and dead cells are replaced with restored new ones. On top of that, restful sleep can restore hormone levels and keep you feeling solid.


Miss out on shut eye, then, and you can face consequences like:

  • Sallow skin
  • High cortisol levels, which can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and cause premature aging
  • Puffiness
  • Dark circles
  • Age lines and cell damage over time.


The Body’s Stress Response

Stress can seriously contribute to acne and other skin concerns. Think about it: acne is an inflammatory disease. Many stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, actually trigger more inflammation. That’s why, when you get an acne flare, you’ll also see typical signs of inflammation like redness, swelling, and itching.


And the problems don’t end there. Cortisol can also trigger increased sebum production - leading to oilier skin - and ongoing stress can weaken the immune system, making your skin more reactive and sensitive to triggers and rashes.


Poor Nutrition

We all know that sugar and processed food is bad - but you may not know exactly why.


For starters, an unhealthy diet full of refined carbohydrates and processed foods can actually encourage mild inflammation which, in turn, can trigger acne and other inflammation-related skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.


Additionally, when you eat lots of sugar, your body produces more insulin. Well, insulin alsoencourages increased sebum production and clogged follicles. Translation? Oily, broken out skin.


A healthy diet, on the other hand, can do wonders for your skin. For one, foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids - like fish, nuts, and oils - can increase collagen production and boost cellular turnover. What’s more, a plant based diet will be high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and carotenoids, all of which can protect your cells from the inside out.


External Aggressors

Next, there are external aggressors: environmental hazards and toxins that can wreak havoc on your skin. These include sun radiation (which includes ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and infra-red radiation), air pollution, tobacco smoke, and cosmetic products. Let’s break these down a little more:


UV Rays

The sun is the number one cause of wrinkles, hands down. In fact, 80% of the visible signs of aging are caused by UV rays, which means the majority of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of premature aging are caused by the sun.


Air Pollution

Even when the air around you seems fresh, chances are it’s full of pollutants, which the WHO separates into:

  • Particulate matter
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Black carbon
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Ground-level ozone

All of these pollutants generate free radicals,unstable compounds that steal from your cells to stabilize themselves (that’s an oversimplification, but you can read more about free radicals and what they do here). This wreaks havoc on the skin (after all, your cells are literally unstable messes!), leading to things like:

  • Premature and accelerated aging of the skin, including wrinkles and loss of elasticity
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Inflammatory conditions, such as acne and rosacea
  • Skin cancer

Not. Great.


Overly Harsh Skincare Products

This is a big one, and you may not even realize that you’re doing anything wrong. A lot of the “skincare tips” that we learned growing up are all wrong, and they’ve led to some seriously damaging habits.


Working hard to mattify the skin, for example, has led to the use of a ton of harsh acids and stripping cleansers. These products have badingredients like alcohol, detergents, or highly concentrated acids, and they actually strip away the skin’s natural barrier. This leads to oversensitive, dry, and damaged skin.


Similarly, many people have been taught to over-exfoliate or to blast a breakout with the toughest acne products. All of this, too, will strip away the skin’s natural barrier, leading to microtears in the skin, redness, inflammation, and a slew of other concerns.


It’s all about balance and caring for your skin’s microbiome - more on that later.


Cigarette Smoke

This one’s a no-brainer. Smoking not only internally increases your chances of developing serious illnesses, but also externally chokes skin cells with smoke. This can contribute to wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of premature aging.


Indoor Heating and Cooling

Indoor heating, indoor cooling, and too-hot showers can all strip the skin of its natural oils and dry it out.


The good news? All of these internal and external aggressors can be effectively addressed with the right skincare ingredients.


How to Stop These Aggressors In Their Tracks

The above aggressors ultimately cause five underlying skin concerns: inflammation, a compromised skin barrier, decreased ability to repair wounds, increased risk of skin cancer, and skin dehydration. Believe it or not, the right active ingredients can help target and even reverse all of these issues.



Antioxidants -- like polyphenols, vitamin C, and vitamin E -- actually stabilize free radicals, stopping the progression of damage in its tracks. They can also reverse existing free radical damage and:

  • Fight and prevent acne
  • Reduce common signs of aging, such as hyperpigmentation
  • Repair oxidative photo-damage
  • Moisturize the skin
  • Accelerate healing

Moisture, damage protection, and accelerated healing? Sign us up!


A Great Moisturizer and Face Oil

To repair a damaged barrier or dehydrated skin, you’ll want a great moisturizer followed by a biomimetic face oil.


The moisturizer, for one, should contain humectant and emollient ingredients.That’s the trick (and if you’ve used a moisturizer that doesn’twork super well, it’s probably because it’s either missing one or the other). Humectants like hyaluronic acid, on one hand, work by drawing moisture into the skin from the surrounding environment. Emollients, on the other hand, seal that moisture in for long-lasting benefits.


Our Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizer effectively combines humectants and emollients for lightweight hydration that lasts all day.


The right face oil - which should always be the final step - works as an emollient or an occlusive. This is the final seal that locks in your active ingredients while further restoring your skin’s barrier and providing lots of hydration. The key here, though, is to choose a formula with oils that are close in composition to your own sebum(like jojoba and squalane). That way, it won’t irritate your skin or clog pores.


Look no further than our High Society Botanical Face Oil. It locks in moisture with jojoba while smoothing away wrinkles with borage oil, keeping your skin ever radiant. 



If you want to stop damage from UV rays, you have to incorporate a sunscreen into your regimen (rain or shine). Look, specifically, for a sunscreen that offers:

  • Broad spectrum protection, as this will guard your skin against UVA and UVB damage.
  • An SPF of at least 30, which can block 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.
  • Water resistance
  • The right formulation for your skin type.

You can learn more about how to find a great sunscreen here.


Barrier Repair Ingredients

We mentioned this already, but there’s really no overstating the importance of a healthy skin barrier. Some ingredients that can help include:

  • Hyaluronic acid: A dry face is a compromised face. Hyaluronic acid is a protein found naturally in our skin that is capable of binding 1,000 times its own weight in water. A product that contains hyaluronic acid can replenish the moisture and provide long-lasting hydration that’ll ultimately help with your skin’s protection.
  • Peptides: Peptides are proteins found naturally in skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. Our skin is primarily comprised of collagen, which breaks down as we age. When topical skin care peptides are applied, they signal your body to produce new collagen. This minimizes wrinkles, plumps skin, and helps prevent signs of aging and damage.
  • MSM: MSM is found in all living things and forms organically from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. In our bodies, it is the “glue” that holds together our amino acid chains – which are the base of our body tissue. It’s known for inhibiting the breakdown of collagen, reducing inflammation, and making the cell wall more permeable so vital nutrients can flow through. In other words, it can strengthen the natural barrier immensely.

Ready to get started? You can find all the ingredients you need to start protecting and restoring your skin in the Daily Essentials Routine. Bye, bye stress - hello, glowing skin!

Daily Essentials Routine