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 side-effects of tension
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 equally harms it. 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.
1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 Acne and pigmentation: 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 highfibre diet. Your skin specialist will prescribe topical and oral medicines, depending on the severity of your acne. 5 Under-eye bags: Lack of 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
Pomegranate and prunes are rich in antioxidants that help in skin rejuvenation