Just because you’re stressed doesn’t mean your skin has to be

Stress stimulates a chemical response in the body that makes your skin more reactive and sensitive. This can make it much harder to heal your pre-existing skin problems.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not a stranger to stress-related flare-ups. In majority of the cases, people, both men and women, do break out more when they’re stressed because the body is producing a myriad of hormones, including cortisol, which triggers the sebaceous glands in your skin to produce more oil. Oily skin is the breeding ground for bacteria, which makes it more prone to acne, among several other skin problems.

Experts are now beginning to call this mind and skin link, psychodermatology, a field in which a person’s emotions is related to the skin. Numerous nerve endings are connected to your skin. They wrap around your organs as well so when your emotions come into play, your body finds a way to somehow express it through your skin – the same way as stress can be manifested through gastrointestinal symptoms, hypertension and anxiety disorder.


Stress worsens skin issues, regardless of what you’re naturally prone to. However, in the case of acne, stress stimulates the release of cortisol, throwing off other hormones in the body and leading to severe acne on the face and body. Furthermore, stress wreaks havoc in your digestive system and can disrupt the bacterial balance in your gut, thereby, boosting your susceptibly to breakouts.

Researchers at the Stanford University found that students who were highly stressed due to their exams had acne that was much worse than students who were calmer and less tensed.

Several researches show that relaxation techniques may help reduce the severity and frequency of acne in teenagers and adults. One great technique is deep breathing, which involves taking deep breaths and holding for a few seconds each and exhaling very slowly through your mouth. This technique can calm your mind and body in any situation. You can also try guided meditation, yoga and aerobic workouts to relax your body. Additionally, it’s best to avoid dairy, trans fat and sugar if you’re acne-prone and consume generous servings of fruits, vegetables and high quality proteins.

Eye bags

Unfortunately, all our coming day’s plans are constantly buzzing through our minds when we finally hit the bed to relax and not think about anything that’s troubling us. Staying up late in the night can cause fluid to accumulate in your lower eye lid area, resulting in a puffy situation when you wake up. Furthermore, people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs will experience severer puffiness due to gravity.

The obvious treatment for this is to get enough sleep in the night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try the relaxation techniques explained above and take a warm bath, sip some chamomile tea and keep your cellphone out of the way. If you still have puffy eyes and dark circles in the morning, a good night cream in the night and a concealer in the morning can do the trick.


Dry skin


Most people, when stressed, don’t drink enough water. In addition, stress can be exacerbated by consuming coffee and soda which is diuretics – they dehydrate you. Therefore, to prevent your skin from looking like a crepe paper mess, it’s important that drink water all the time! Pair this with a diet full of hydrating foods and drinks that pack an antioxidant punch, such as green tea, cucumbers, berries and celery.

You can also try hyaluronic acid due to its ability to hold water thousand times its own weight. It also draws moisture from the air and lets it absorb into your skin, leaving your skin hydrated and dewy.


Fine lines


Most people are highly likely to constantly make negative facial expressions such as pursing the lips, furrowing the eyebrows, maintaining a frown or raising the eyebrows that can lead to fine lines and deep wrinkles in these areas overtime.


To prevent this, it’s important that you are mindful about certain facial expressions that you make when you’re just idling, for example sitting at your desk. Some of us tend to furrow our eyebrows or create a prolonged frown face when we stressed. Once you are aware of the unconscious expressions you make, constantly remind yourself to relax your facial muscles and maintain a neutral expression.

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