It’s a fact generally known to everyone that stress takes a toll on the body. It can lead to ‘minor inconveniences’ such as restlessness, over or undereating, to some more severe ones like fatigue, sleep issues and even heart problems, among many other things. Now, another well-known fact is that everything that goes on in our bodies reflects on the skin – our skin gives us away every single time. So, you may not have noticed any internal symptoms caused by stress, but just by taking a careful look in the mirror you’ll become immediately aware that there is something wrong, and we’re here to guide you on this ‘hunt’ so you can easily spot if your skin is in distress and start fixing the situation. Let’s get that skin to beam with health today!
Telltale Signs That Your Skin is Stressed Out
Hormones and dryness
When you’re under stress for an extended period of time, your cortisol levels spike, which in turn results in dry skin due to its inability to retain water. Now, the last thing you want in any season, but summer, in particular, is dry and lifeless complexion, so the first course of action is to a) try to get your lifestyle back on a healthy track – meditation does wonders for getting rid of stress, anxiety and many other negative side effects of the modern and hence hectic life. Try to eat plenty of greens and berries which are packed with vitamins and antioxidants – this is step two. Finally, when it comes to topical solutions, which are also crucial, turn to deeply nourishing serum, quality face oils and light and nourishing moisturizers and try to look for those which are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, as the skin at this point could be sensitive and fragrances can aggravate it. In addition to that, try to steer clear of heavy full-coverage foundations as they are usually matte and can dry the skin further and turn to a light and sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer that won’t only give you an instant glow but actually contains ingredients that will improve the texture of your skin over time.
Hormones and worst enemies
No one cares for wrinkles and fine lines, especially when you believe you’re way too young to start noticing them. Well, point your finger at cortisol once again because this hormone is also responsible for the rise of your blood sugar levels which, in turn, hinders collagen production and the result – the appearance of those dreadful fine lines. This is where retinol steps. According to Vogue’s dermatologists, ‘retinol improves cell communication, which enhances the skin’s overall quality, and is said to increase collagen production with impressive results’. Now, with great power comes great responsibility and retinol is a strong ingredient that can at times cause redness and slight irritation, so for starters, use it in the evening and consult with your dermatologist or salesperson at the skincare counter about the mildest solution for beginners.
When sleepless nights meet dark circles
As mentioned before, stress can lead to restlessness and poor sleeping patterns, and we know what that means – tired puffy eyes and dreaded dark circles. There are three ways to go about this – the French way, the Spanish way or worldwide-known way. The French girls use ice cubes – they massage their entire face to get the blood flowing and focus on the under-eye area and they swear by this trick. Spanish beauties use slices of potato to get rid of dark circles and reduce puffiness and there is the oldest trick in the book – cucumbers. Try to sleep with them (and cool them in the fridge before applying), as during the night they constrict the blood and lymph vessels that bring fluid to the area and you’ll look awake and alert by the time the sun rises.
A never-ending battle
Just when we thought that once puberty is over we’ll be done with the confidence-ruining acne, but at the first sign of over exhaustion and stress, here come the breakouts again. A study published in Time magazine, conducted by Dr Alexa Kimball kicked off this study in order to debunk the myth but found that the correlation between acne and stress is all too real. Her further findings are even worse: stress and acne usually affect women and chronic stress can lead to constant breakouts and acne scars. Her recommended course of action – meditation and yoga for stress relief. You also need to force yourself to stop checking your email constantly and try to practice the art of mindful living. Good sleeping patterns and healthy nutrition will also be of great help, and of course, topical solutions for acne-prone skin are never a bad idea, and if you hit a wall, your dermatologist will always be there to prescribe more aggressive topical treatments or even antibiotics.
We underestimate stress and toss the word around like it’s nothing, but as proven, it can highly decrease the quality of our life as well as our skin. Luckily, there are still great solutions to turn to, so if you notice any of the signs, don’t wait too long before you act.