When you 'stress out' your body is 'stressing in'

Everyday living is fast-paced and we feel time-poor, often overwhelmed by commitments signaling psychological stress, add to this not having adequate sleep, and throw in a few poor nutrition choices and boom! Internal breakdown and external breakout! Constant stress creates cortisol this shows up in the skin as oxidative stress creating an inflammatory process that is known to accelerate skin aging, and that's just the beginning...

The Affect of Stress on your skin

Psychological Stress Deteriorates Skin Barrier Function - Stress impairs the permeability barrier, homeostasis, and stratum corneum (SC) integrity and reduces both the innate and adaptive immunity of the epidermis. 

The skin acts as an endocrine organ, it can synthesize cortisol along with estrogen, testosterone, and endorphins via the peripheral HPA axis in the skin; meaning the skin can create its own stress response independently from other organs/body systems - Incredible!

It has been noted that 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), which converts inactive cortisone into active cortisol, is present in the keratinocytes (an epidermal cell which produces keratin). The role of 11β-HSD1 in the skin has been recently studied. 11β-HSD1 is associated with:

  • Delayed wound healing in the skin.
  • The inhibited proliferation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts (synthesizes the extracellular matrix and collagen).
  • Increased 11β-HSD1 (activation of cortisone) upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV).
  • Resulting in transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

Stressed skin appears as:

  • Dehydrated.
  • Blotchy.
  • Sensitive.
  • Breakout-prone.
  • Lack of elasticity.
  • Dullness.

So our now stressed skin has an impaired barrier function, making it even more penetrable by chemicals and pathogens. This seems like a good time to talk about pollution, let us say hello to tiny particles known as particulate matter (PM). 

These PM nanoparticles, generated from components such as internal combustion engines, cigarette smoke, and industrial processes, can all contribute to signs of premature aging. Pollutants (PM) are up to 30 times smaller than our pores, they penetrate into the skin and damage its DNA, causing changes. Urban city dwellers have more:

  • Age spots.
  • Deeper skin creases/fine lines.
  • More wrinkles.

The cumulative effect of daily stress along with the bombardment of PM thanks to pollution especially if you are an urban dweller, your skin is in crisis, it is very important to remember this - just because you cannot 'see it' does not mean it is not happening! 

The world’s cities are growing in both size and number

At the turn of the century in 2000, there were 371 cities with 1 million inhabitants or more worldwide. By 2018, the number of cities with at least 1 million inhabitants had grown to 548* and in 2030, a projected 706 cities will have at least 1 million residents. Cities with more than 10 million inhabitants are often called “megacities”. Globally, the number of megacities is projected to rise from 33 in 2018 to 43 in 2030. 

Between 2018 and 2030, the urban population is projected to increase in all size classes, while the rural population is projected to decline slightly.

In 2018, an estimated 55.3% of the world’s population lived in urban settlements. By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60% of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. This my friends means we are only going to be exposed to more pollution and environmental stressors along with the unknown and ongoing effects of climate change.

How Cell Affinity Coactive Serum | TANU can help

Inadequate sleep, stress, pollution, and UV radiation alter the skin’s normal cellular processes, which include DNA methylation, glycation, oxidation, and inflammation. Inflammation is the skin's immune response to stress, whether that is caused by psychological stress or environmental stressors.

Oxidation - Cellular free radical attack.
DNA methylation - External factors influence cell functioning.
Glycation - Sugars (lifestyle choices) attack collagen and elastin fibers.

I can’t stop the world from actually spinning, or relocate you, but I can encourage you to consider your daily food choices and how they play a role in the health of your skin, and I can explain how TANU can help slow down your body's response to the constant bombardment of stress. TANU is so much more than just a face oil, it has been formulated to both treat and prevent skin damage caused by environmental and lifestyle stressors in these 5 synergistic ways:

  1. Tackle inflammatory stress.
  2. Protect the dermis from inflammation. 
  3. Protect the dermis from water loss.
  4. Enhance skin cell turnover.  
  5. Provide aroma 'therapy'.

Tackle inflammatory stress /
Fatty acids and esters improve cell signaling, cell immunity and provide anti-inflammatory activity preventing deterioration of connective tissue collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Tanu offers both agents to reduce inflammation by suppressing the development of inflammatory agents and by reducing free radicals.

Protect the dermis from inflammation /
Offering multiple plant sources of antioxidants, these compounds prevent the harmful effect of oxidization caused by free radicals which damage the skin's lipids, proteins and DNA. The antioxidants in TANU reduce the negative effect of UV radiation which leads to photoaging along with a small amount of photoprotection as a solar filter.

Protect the dermis from water loss /
By both preventing and treating skin dryness, phospholipids act as a humectant attracting water outward to the stratum corneum (SC) from the dermis below and bind water in the SC. Occlusive agents provide a barrier on the top layer of skin by providing a physical barrier to prevent epidermal water loss. Emollient agents can help to increase the rate of skin barrier repair while smoothing the appearance of flaking skin cells. Essential fatty acid-rich lipids increase cell membrane fluidity, protect the barrier function improving moisturization levels.

Enhance skin cell turnover / 
Crithmum Maritum encourages epidermal rejuvenation by speeding up the elimination of dead cells, revealing new skin cells underneath. Plant-based acid offers gentle exfoliation properties to clear pores and stimulate new skin cell formation.

Aromatherapy /
The aroma of TANU is a signal to your body via your olfactory sensory organs to slow down, and to switch from Sympathetic (the response referred to as fight or flight), to parasympathetic (rest and digest mode) this response can be further enhanced via deep inhalation of the aroma which, is both grounding and a reconnection to self.

No ingredients have been added into the formulation process to offer a particular scent, unlike many other skincare products. The unique aroma of TANU is the cumulative effect of the 'whole' plant constituents coexisting together, synchronously. We humans should take note. 

Tanu offers exceptional skin health care.

Until next time,

be human, be kind, be you.

love letter



Psychological Stress Deteriorates Skin Barrier Function by Activating 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase 1 and the HPA Axis


McEwen, B. S. & Kalia, M. The role of corticosteroids and stress in chronic pain conditions. 

Nowotny, B. et al. Effects of acute psychological stress on glucose metabolism and subclinical inflammation in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Garg, A. et al. Psychological stress perturbs epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis: implications for the pathogenesis of stress-associated skin disorders. Arch Dermatol 137, 53–59 (2001).

Choi, E. H. et al. Mechanisms by which psychologic stress alters cutaneous permeability barrier homeostasis and stratum corneum integrity. 

Aberg, K. M. et al. Psychological stress downregulates epidermal antimicrobial peptide expression and increases the severity of cutaneous infections in mice. 

Kleyn, C. E. et al. The effects of acute social stress on epidermal Langerhans’ cell frequency and expression of cutaneous neuropeptides. 

The World’s Cities in 2018 - United Nations

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