How does stress affect the skin? You must have heard your doctors tell you many times that stress is causing the problem. But is stress really the culprit? When it comes to skin, stress can cause acne, rosacea and can aggravate many skin conditions like psoriasis, vitiligo, alopecia, etc. So what happens? When we are tensed, our body produces hormonal steroids like cortisol, which lowers skin immunity and triggers many skin conditions. In addition, it can lower your confidence, cause depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, etc.
How to deal with stress and its effects on the skin:
- A regular skin care regime consisting of face wash, sunscreen and moisturizer is a must. Also, 1-2 times a week, depending on your skin, exfoliation must be done.
You can even try a homemade scrub of besan (gram flour) mixed with a few lemon drops and rose water. However, a skin polishing (microdermabrasion) once in 6 – 8 weeks done at a professional place and trained person, will be good maintenance.
- Try avoiding straining your forehead muscles while reading a close print. Also just before you step out of your car or house out in the glaring sun, put on the dark UV protected sunglasses as that is the time we really strain our muscles around the eyes which lead to early wrinkling around the eyes, so beautifully called crow’s feet in the animal world.
- Smoking has been the greatest enemy of good skin since ages. The toxins released not only makes your skin dull, dark and lifeless but also sets in wrinkles early causing premature aging.
- For people working in closed air-conditioned places for long hours (which most of us do) skin needs more moisturizers. AC drives out all the essential oils and natural moisturizing factors (NMF’s) out of our skin and so these have to be supplemented on a 4 hourly basis to ensure the hydration level of skin is maintained.
- Like a wardrobe, skincare is seasonal. Your skin gets flaky and dry in winter more so than in summer because cold weather destroys the lipid layer that keeps the skin from drying out. To keep your skin feeling dewy and moist even in the harsh winter weather, a stay on moisturizer every 2 -3 hrs is required.
- For those getting tanned and skin getting patchy, start taking high doses of Vitamin C (up to 2000 gms) either in natural or in tablet form. Vitamin C rich foods are sprouts, lemon, orange, amla, etc. Vitamin C being water soluble is very safe even if consumed in excess.
- Don’t use soap on the face from the very early in life. Soaps tend to leave a thin layer on your face which makes your skin look very dull and lifeless. Use a face wash. There is no logic in avoiding using face wash on the face for the fear of it being a chemical. We need to get rid of the grime and dirt that we accumulate whole day on our skin and for that, a face wash is a must, just how shampoos are for the hair.
- Puffiness under your eyes Common causes of this puffiness are lack of sleep and drinking excessive alcohol. To reduce the puffiness, you can apply a cold compress until the area returns to its original state. If alcohol is the culprit, increase your intake of fluids to rehydrate the skin.
- Detoxification removes the toxins and other waste from the body that make our skin look dull and lifeless. Just a simple paste of coriander leaves, mint and curry patta, mixed 1/3 each taken early morning is a good detox formula and also helps in weight control.
- Deworming is a must for all at all ages. Tab Albendazole 400 mg once in six months is a good health care regime.
- Tanning is something that is inevitable at times. Don’t panic !! Take a piece of ripe papaya or ripe banana and rub it for 15 min on the tanned area of the body. Wash it off and use a moisturizer containing AHA’s or tea tree oil.
- Try this too. Pinch your facial skin at 20 places on your face for a few seconds and then leave it. Do this more at places where you feel the skin getting loose or sagging. This helps in increasing the blood supply and adds to skin glow. U could even blow 2 big balloons a day.
- Never go to bed with makeup on. Makeup left on overnight seeps into your pores clogs them and congests your skin. Make sure that you wash your face twice at the end of the day.
- Hydrate your face throughout the day. Whether it’s a commercial product or one you make yourself (fill a spray bottle with distilled water, add a few drops of chamomile or essential oils, shake it gently before each use, and spray it on) hydrate your face, even over makeup, frequently throughout the day.