The ugly side of stress

Shape (Singapore) - - Look Great News -

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.

TIRED EYES

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 BREAKOUTS

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.

HAIR PROB­LEMS

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.

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