Stress can manifest itself in many different ways. You may experience headaches, low energy levels, chest pain, frequent colds, and insomnia. But what you may not know is that stress can also play havoc with your skin. In times of heightened stress levels, your body produces an excess amount of adrenaline and cortisol – hormones that cause inflammation and a whole host of other side effects. For example, eczema and acne can be aggravated, plus your skin can begin to lose its elasticity. However, know that there are some simple things you can do to ease the effects of stress on your skin. Read on as we discuss what your skin may experience and how to correct it.
Dryness – Look for Hypoallergenic Products
As mentioned, high levels of cortisol are produced when you are stressed, and this reduces your skin’s ability to retain moisture. For this reason, it is a good idea to make moisturizing a part of your daily routine but look for a product that is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. This further helps to eliminate any inflammation. If you do suffer from redness, you can always tone before you moisturize. For example, rose water toner reduces inflammation and helps to brighten and even your skin tone, helping to make you look on form rather than stressed out.
Tired Eyes – Use Cucumber!
Stress can cause many a sleepless night, and when you don’t get enough sleep, it will show in your eyes. You can experience dark circles, puffiness, and even premature crow’s feet. The perfect remedy for this might just be lying in your fridge! Cucumber thinly sliced can act as tiny little ice packs for your eyes. These slices are packed full of vitamin C and folic acid – both help to stimulate antioxidant activity and new cell growth. With its high water content, cucumber also acts as a moisturizer and works towards rebuilding your skin’s elasticity.
Of course, the obvious advice would also be to try and get some more sleep each night. It might be an idea to consider sleep-inducing methods of an evening such as meditation, practicing mindfulness, creating a schedule, and reducing your consumption of sugar and caffeine-rich food and drink past lunchtime.
Fine Lines – Anti-Wrinkle Cream Works!
If the impact of stressful events is already becoming apparent in the increase in fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, mouth and on your forehead, it would be a good idea to invest in a good quality anti-wrinkle cream. If you look for retinoids in the ingredients list, you will find that it helps to boost the production of collagen and stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin. You will need to keep using the cream for a good 3-6 months before you start to notice a difference, but if you also try to drink more water, give up smoking if you are a smoker, and add more antioxidants to your diet, you should start to see the effects more quickly.
Acne – Salicylic Acid
Unfortunately, stress can also cause acne. The increase in cortisol levels and the resulting inflammation can lead to breakouts, which aren’t always the easiest to deal with. However, before you seek professional treatment, try over the counter topical creams that contain salicylic acid. This gently removes dead skin cells so that clogged pores become less likely when oil secretion is at its highest. You should also look for benzoyl peroxide due to its antibacterial properties.
Stress is inevitable in life, but there are ways to ease the effects on our skin. Try the tips listed above and see what a difference it makes.