Have you ever noticed that your skin starts looking horrible, even though you’re doing everything right? Maybe you’re drinking plenty of water, using multiple products and exercising regularly, yet your skin keeps looking worse. What’s the problem? Stress!
After noticing my skin looked terrible, I headed to the dermatologist to figure out what I could do to improve my skin. I thought my dermatologist would have a quick fix. However, he started giving me a “life questionnaire,” and soon he had the answer. He figured out what was wrong with my skin. Yes, it was stress that was causing all my skin wows.
Sure, I’m aware that stress has some serious health implications. I know it can cause heart disease, depression, obesity, migraines, high blood pressure and other health problems. However, I didn’t realize that it could wreak havoc with my skin. After doing some research, I found that there’s a new area of dermatology known as psychodermatology. It focuses on the connection between the mind and beauty. Experts in the field focus on treating skin issues that are affected by stress.
In my research, I found that many skin problems are either caused by or made worse by stress. I also came across some helpful quick fixes that will help you deal with the problem. Just remember, these “quick fixes” are just that – quick fixes. To completely eliminate these skin problems, you need to work on reducing your stress. It won’t just improve your skin, but it also will improve your overall health.
#1 – Skin Sagging
Stress results in the production of cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones. When cortisol is regularly produced, it can result in the loss of elastin and collagen, which can cause sagging skin, slackness in the skin and reduced elasticity.
Quick Fix: For a fast fix, work on eating foods that increase the production of collagen and improve skin health. Eating soy products will block certain enzymes that age and break down your skin. Look for topical products that include hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. However, avoid using retinoids, since they may make stressed skin worse.
#2 – Dull Skin
Cortisol, the stress hormone, also slows down skin cell production. This makes them take longer to get to the surface so they can flake away. This results in the buildup of dead skin cells, causing the lifeless, dull skin.
Quick Fix: Make sure you exfoliate weekly and drink as much water as possible.
#3 – Skin Infections
Your epidermis includes a dense barrier of skin cells, which helps to keep toxins and bacteria out. However, stress reduces the effectiveness of this layer, which may allow bacteria to get deep into the layers of your skin.
Quick Fix: Use a mild soap to ensure skin is well cleansed. Wash skin with warm water and gently pat dry after washing. Moisturize skin right after cleansing.
#4 – Dry Skin
When skin is stressed, the lipid barrier of your skin doesn’t work like it should, allowing moisture to easily evaporate. Cortisol production also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, which results in dry skin.
Quick Fix: Use a moisture mask once a week. Regularly apply a good moisturizer and a hydrating serum to skin. Skip toners and other products that may include harsh ingredients, such as Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Ammonium Laurenth Sulphate and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. All those ingredients may dehydrate your skin, irritating it more.
#5 – Skin Breakouts
The stress you’re experiencing increases the production of sebum, which clogs your pores and causes skin breakouts.
Quick Fix: Make sure you are cleansing skin, eliminating dead skin cells, dirt and oil. Only use beauty products that are oil-free. Gently wash your face and avoid scrubbing, since this may irritate skin and increase the problem with blemishes.
#6 – Skin Rashes
The skin isn’t able to repair itself as well when you are dealing with stress. Stress also causes the body to release histamines in your bloodstream, which can cause allergic reactions. This can lead to problems with psoriasis, rashes, eczema, cold sores and hives.
Quick Fix: Choose skincare products that have soothing ingredients in them, such as almond oil, chamomile, sunflower oil, Shea butter, avocado oil and Aloe Vera. Try to use fewer skincare products, which reduces the risk that you’ll have an allergic reaction.
#7 – Sallow Skin
Your digestive system is affected by stress and your body stops digesting important nutrients the way it should. This often causes impurities to build up within the body. The result is sallow, lifeless, dull skin.
Quick Fix: Start eating more high protein grains, fruits, lentils, leafy greens and healthy fats. Avoid skipping meals and reduce the amount of caffeine you consume.
#8 – Premature Aging
When the body is stressed and feels it is dealing with a crisis, it ensures that your blood flow goes to the most important areas of the body for dealing with stress. This includes the heart and the lungs. Unfortunately, the skin doesn’t get the oxygen and blood it needs, resulting in an increased production of oxidants and free radicals. They speed up the signs of aging, such as lines and wrinkles.
Quick Fix: Use facial massage and facial exercises to help increase blood flow. This also helps to relieve some of your tension. As more blood flows to your skin, you’ll enjoy a healthier, younger looking complexion.
#9 – Skin Cancer
Studies show that people who have dealt with stressful events are more likely to end up with a skin melanoma, which is the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Quick Fix: Make sure you always wear sunscreen, even if you’ll be inside all day.
#10 – Skin Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is caused by prolonged stress. This inflammation results in hyperpigmentation, premature aging and problems with your skin’s texture and tone.
Quick Fix: Make sure you’re sleeping enough. Sleep helps to reduce inflammation and lowers cortisol levels.