In spite of the conveniences of modern life and with almost everything being at our disposal, stress parameters have still been flaring up since the past 30 years. Stress is a natural state of mind which very often cannot be controlled, but with certain help and advice from experts, friends and family, can be managed. Stress has psychological effects on humans which leads to the exacerbation of many stress effects on the skin like acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
Our skin is the largest organ of the body, and gets the most amount of exposure from various environmental stressors like the harmful UV rays, pollution, dirt, external oil, and chemicals.
What are the effects of stress on skin?
When you feel stressed, you must have noticed you start breaking out more compared to when your mind is calmer and more relaxed. Why does this happen? Why does stress cause pimples? Stress leads to the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline from the sympathetic nervous system into our body. Cortisol is a hormone which leads to the excess production of oil and sebum in our sebaceous glands, resulting in breakouts and acne on the skin. It also leads to stress bumps on the face.
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Anxiety, depression and other psychological problems lead to stress rashes on the face. Stress when taken a lot, very often has the power to weaken our immune system. A weakened immune system is susceptible to attracting viruses and bacteria which causes an imbalance in our skin and gut known as dysbiosis. This causes stress rashes on the forehead, hives or bumps. There is another explanation for stress bumps and rashes on the skin. Humans have a tendency to scratch their forehead or neck when they are stressed, which eventually manifests in the form of hives, rashes and inflammation on the skin.
When the mind is stressed, it receives a threat. The threat is then transmitted to the immune system of the body, seen as inflammation on the skin. Stress hormones often exuberate the existing skin problems and make it worse. The skin starts becoming more reactive and sensitive leading to inflammatory skin problems like redness, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. Stress also causes facial swelling.
There is an outer layer on our skin known as stratum corneum which has protein and lipids that have the ability to keep our skin cells well-nourished and hydrated. It also acts as a barrier which protects the skin underneath. When this barrier is disrupted by psychological factors like stress, anxiety and depression, it hinders the functionality of the stratum, resulting in dehydration, itchiness and dry skin. Hence, it is recommended that one must never forget to keep themselves hydrated even under stress, to keep the skin looking and feeling smooth and bright.
Stress only multiplies into creating more stress if not managed well. Stress on the skin can be seen easily if you don’t take care of your skin, follow a few basic skincare routines, and try to incorporate a healthy diet in your daily lives. Well, if you want glowing skin irrespective of the other external stressors in life, you gotta work for it!
Here is how you can manage stress for the benefit of your own mental, physical and facial well-being. You can incorporate a few small steps in your daily lifestyles, and transform the way you think, eat and live; exactly what metamorphosis is all about!
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Simple and Effective ways to combat stress
Sleeping on time:
Getting adequate sleep is essential for the health of your skin and body. Sleep gives your body the time to heal, reset, and recharge for the next morning. It helps your skin cells feel energized, calm, and stress-free.
Having a balanced and nutritious diet: A diet full of fruits, leafy vegetables, foods rich in antioxidants, and good fats is your ticket to having glowing, radiating, and fresh-looking skin. It is true when experts suggest that when your inner gut is feeling strong, happy, and healthy, the outer always gleams in glory. What you put inside your body is always visible on the outside - on our skin. Also, one of the main causes of stress are skin problems. Whenever you meet a new person, the first thing that they might notice is your skin. When your skin isn’t feeling or looking the best, you automatically start stressing over it. Hence, it is imperative that you must eat healthy, to look healthy!
Keeping yourself hydrated:
Hydration is the key to glowing skin. People who drink at least 3 liters of water in a day alleviate the signs of aging - wrinkles and fine lines. Water maintains your skin’s elasticity, balances the body level temperature and keeps it well hydrated and soft. Drinking eight glasses of water in a day is essential. You can also download the water app on your mobile phone and not stress over keeping a tab on your water consumption in the day.
Maintaining a religious skincare routine:
Very often out of tiredness and procrastination people tend to forget to remove their make-up. This leads to the formation of acne, breakouts and stress rashes on the face. To avoid such dysphoria, you must remember to wash your face twice a day and inculcate a well formulated skincare routine before going off to sleep. These steps seem small in the beginning, but over a period of time have long lasting effects on the skin.
Take care of yourself:
Happy hormones are real. When people are happy from the inside, it can be seen on the outside. To de-stress yourself, participate in activities or hobbies like reading, listening to music, playing a sport, learning a new instrument - or anything that makes you happy and keep your mind at peace.
Exercising releases certain happy hormones called endorphins which help in releasing stress and keeping the body energized and active. Exercising also releases certain toxins from the face, leaving your skin feeling the best with an alluring glow and shine.
The bottom line is, stress isn’t solely a mental state, there are other factors as well that aggravate it and result in many stress effects on the skin. So, eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly and take some time out for yourself, and then you’ll be on the right track to achieving the healthy-looking skin you’ve always wanted irrespective of the various external and internal stressors hampering your skin journey.