The ugly side of stress
Stress causes hormonal imbalance in your body which makes everything go out of whack, wreaking havoc on the regularity of your periods, causing hair loss, lowering your immune system, and also causing skin to suffer many ill effects. Here’s what stress does to your skin, and what you can do about it.
When people say “oh, you look tired”, it is more often than not in reference to your eyes. Stress can lead to sleeplessness, which translates to dark circles and eye bags as circulation is adversely affected. This mars the brightness of your peepers, making eyes look drawn, droopy, and dull.
We know that getting at least eight hours of sleep is easier said than done. But try to switch off and wind down an hour before bedtime. Read a book or watch a relaxing show. As for eye care, pick an eye cream with caffeine to boost microcirculation and use an eye massager to stimulate the area to zap eye bags and dark circles. To conceal those eye circles use a cream-based concealer that’s made for the eye area so the formula won’t cake and sink into fine lines and creases as your eye area moves a lot. Instead of just applying concealer to the small stripe under the eye, spread it in an inverted triangle shape extending down to the top of your cheeks, this will hide any dullness more effectively.
Skin can react in many different ways when you’re stressed. Basically skin becomes imbalanced, so you can bid goodbye to a perfectly flawless complexion when you’re under continuous pressure. To deal with acne breakouts, you need two things – a zit-drying solution and a pimple concealer that has anti-inflammatory ingredients. The former usually has salicylic acid and tea tree oil to disinfect and soothe the war zone. And the latter covers the offending spot and also has treatment benefits to help it heal.
DRY, FLAKY SKIN
Skin’s moisture levels can take a hit when you’re stressed, so load up on lightweight water-based moisturisers to replenish moisture. At night, use a richer lotion or cream formula which also helps to lock moisture in while skin repairs itself internally.
DULL, SALLOW COMPLEXION
When you’re all tensed and tired out, your skin will inevitably look it too as blood flow and circulation will take a dive. Slough off dull, dead skin and rev up skin’s turnover by using a gentle face scrub every alternate day. And use a tinted moisturiser to put some healthy colour into your face until the stressful period passes.
Even if your skin doesn’t show any obvious signs of the stress you’re under, the negative effects can manifest in other ways such as through your hair. It could be thinning, meaning growth is slowed down, greying, or worse… falling out. If you notice that your hair isn’t growing as fast as usual or if your shower drain cover is getting clogged with fallen strands at a faster rate, that’s a red flag. See a trichologist for professional assessment or advice. Or if you can manage stress on your own and just need a little hair help, try a scalp-stimulating lotion or even a hair supplement.