Don’t let stress ruin your skin

You don’t want a dull face, es­pe­cially dur­ing fes­tive sea­son. Here’s how to save your skin from side­ef­fects of ten­sion

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - ENTERTAINMENT - Ab­hi­nav Verma

You can buy de­signer clothes for Di­wali and wear the best of gems and baubles, but if your skin isn’t healthy and glow­ing, you won’t be able to look your best for fes­tiv­i­ties. We of­ten blame bad diet and ge­net­ics for our skin problems, but stress harms it equally . In fact, with our in­creas­ingly hec­tic life­styles, it has be­come a ma­jor cul­prit. Der­ma­tol­o­gists Ra­jat Kand­hari and Lokesh Ku­mar tell us how stress im­pacts our skin, and how to fix the prob­lem. Dry­ness: When you are stressed, you drink less water, and con­sume more tea and cof­fee. This causes de­hy­dra­tion, lead­ing to dry skin. Stress also in­creases the level of hor­mone cor­ti­sol, which re­duces the skin’s abil­ity to re­tain water, again caus­ing dry­ness. Fix: First and fore­most, con­sciously drink more water when you are stressed. You can opt for warm water to calm you down, be­sides it also helps your skin. Go for foods and drinks rich in an­tiox­i­dants. Prunes, black­ber­ries, amla juice, pome­gran­ate, and green tea are all good choices. Fine lines: When feel­ing stressed, we tend to frown or purse our lips. Fa­cial mus­cle ten­sion can cause wrin­kles and fine lines. Cor­ti­sol also causes an in­crease in blood sugar, which through gly­ca­tion (the bond­ing of a sugar mol­e­cule to a pro­tein or lipid mol­e­cule with­out en­zy­matic reg­u­la­tion) harms col­la­gen. Fix: Take a deep breath, and re­lax your fa­cial mus­cles, es­pe­cially those around the eye­brows and cheeks. Chew­ing gum can also help. Red­ness: Our breaths tend to be­come short and shal­low when we feel stressed. The cap­il­lar­ies ex­pand to in­crease the blood flow, caus­ing red­ness and flush­ing in your face. Fix: To feel calm, sit down and con­trol your breath­ing, tak­ing deeper and longer breaths to in­crease blood flow. Acne and pig­men­ta­tion: n Cor­ti­sol dis­turbs the hor­monal bal­ance in the body. So, stress be­comes one of the ma­jor rea­sons for acne break­out, as it causes in­flam­ma­tion of the skin. It can also up­set the bal­ance of good and bad bac­te­ria in the gut, caus­ing acne and pig­men­ta­tion on the neck. Fix: Avoid anx­i­ety food such as sugar. Drink loads of water and con­sume a high-fi­bre diet. Un­der-eye bags: Lack of n sleep due to stress is a ma­jor rea­son for you hav­ing puffy eyes and un­der-eye bags. Stress also con­trib­utes to dull skin and lack of ra­di­ance. Fix: Most im­por­tantly, get ad­e­quate sleep — min­i­mum eight hours. To feel re­laxed, use frozen cu­cum­ber slices as ice packs for the eyes. You can also ask your der­ma­tol­o­gist to rec­om­mend a re­plen­ish­ing un­der-eye cream for you.

Stress can cause your skin to break out, and can also lead to pig­men­ta­tion

PHOTO: ISTOCK

Pome­gran­ate and prunes are rich in an­tiox­i­dants that help in skin re­ju­ve­na­tion

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