While we may spend time shielding our skin from harmful irritants like UV rays and pollution, we might forget that what’s going on inside can affect it too. Especially when we’re stressed out. Stress isn’t just a recipe for poor sleep, irritability, and fatigue – studies have shown it can manifest itself in skin conditions such as dryness, redness, dullness, and breakouts.
This is all thanks to a hormone called cortisol, which floods our body when our stress levels soar. There is a proven link between cortisol and inflammation, resulting in blemishes, redness, and skin conditions like psoriasis. It also causes a spike in our blood sugar levels, triggering a process called glycation, where our natural collagen (which keeps skin plump) gets damaged, leading to lines and wrinkles. If your skin’s been feeling the effects of stress lately, there are ways to treat and take care of it. Read on to find out how.
Avoid harsh cleansers
Using cleansing products that are too aggressive can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving the skin barrier even more vulnerable and prone to flare ups – not ideal when it’s already stressed and off-balance. Instead pick a cleansing balm, which will sweep away dirt and makeup without leaving your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable afterwards.
Pick ingredients for sensitive skin
If stress has made your complexion easily irritated, your usual moisturiser might make matters worse. Take a break from products that are full of actives and chemical exfoliators. Actives refer to active ingredients – an ingredient that is added to target a particular skin problem. For example, in a product that targets acne, the active is the ingredient that treats the acne, like salicylic acid.
Instead, opt for serums and moisturisers that are specially created for sensitive skin. These usually have gentle plant extracts such as aloe vera and chamomile that are known to calm and nourish, soothing any discomfort.
Try a cooling facemask from the fridge
Stress can lead to sleepless nights, resulting in a tired and puffy complexion the next morning. Applying a facemask that has been kept in the fridge overnight can instantly wake up your skin – like an espresso shot for your face! Plus, for the ten minutes you have the mask on, you can enjoy some relaxation such as meditation or reading a book to calm your mind and help ease your stress levels.
Don’t forget the eye area
Stress and fatigue can be a pesky duo where the eyes are concerned, especially as the skin around this area is the most thin and fragile – not to mention prone to bags, dark circles, and redness. Making sure you care for the eye area with a collagen-boosting eye cream or serum. Keep this in the fridge for an extra wakeup call!
Massage away toxins with facial oil
Facial massages can boost sluggish circulation and ensure toxins and waste fluids are drained away from the face. Massaging not only relieves stress-induced tension in the face but can also reduce puffiness and swelling at the same time. Massaging in a face oil every night is an easy way to make this a part of your routine (and prevent dry skin at the same time).
Take care of your skin
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