6 Stress-Related Skin Concerns & Their At-Home Treatments

Have you ever heard of a stress-free life? No, right? Because it doesn’t really exist. Adulting and stress go hand-in-hand –– there’s no two ways about it. And if you’re doing something right in life, know that it won’t come easy. Unfortunately, stress has a domino effect on your health, including your skin. The moment your stress levels start to sky rocket, the first place it shows up is on your face (amongst other things).

Breaking it down…

When you get stressed your sympathetic nervous system releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. An increase in cortisol equals overexcited oil glands, which only leads to excess oiliness. Secondly, a stressed mind leads to inflammation in your body –– it’s an immediate reaction your body’s immune system sends to tackle any intruder. Stress causes the immune system to overreact. Your skin is also connected to your stomach, aka the gut. We all have a certain amount of bacteria in our body, however, stress can tip that balance. This results in inflammation too, which shows up on your skin.

Stress can be the linchpin to many skincare issues –– here are 6 stress-related skin conditions, and ways in which you can remedy them at home.

#1 – ACNE

Let’s do the math here –– stress equals increase in cortisol levels, which equals an increase in oil production around your hair follicles. Excess oil in your skin becomes a magnetic field for dust, debris, and grime, and this often results in clogged pores aka acne, blackheads, and other blemishes that mess up your skin. Research conducted in 2017 showed a strong correlation between acne and stress in women aged 22 to 24.

The fix…

Go for a honey and cinnamon mask that’ll help tackle the bacteria, while deep cleansing your skin and reducing any inflammation. Mix two tablespoons of honey with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and turn it into a paste. Cleanse your face thoroughly and apply the mixture to your face and neck for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off, pat dry, and follow up with moisturiser –– if you want to go with a natural anti inflammatory then opt for some cooling aloe vera gel.

#2 – DRY SKIN

The outer layer of your skin contains proteins and lipids that help retain hydration and protect it from external factors. When this layer is impacted, you often find your skin feeling dry and itchy. An increase in stress impairs this very layer (known as the stratum corneum), and hinders your skin’s ability to retain any hydration and heal itself when damaged.

The fix…

Replace your harsh cleanser with olive oil. Olive oil is a natural cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin off its natural oils and acts as a natural moisturiser. Apply an avocado face mask once or twice a week to keep it nourished and supple. Mash half an avocado and mix it with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Leave on for about 15 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.

#3 – UNDER EYE BAGS

No, under eye bags (even if you claim they’re Chanel) aren’t nice to have around. The skin around your eyes is super thin and often loses elasticity as you age. Sleep deprivation caused by stress plays an important role in reducing elasticity and therefore results in heavy under eye bags.

The fix…

Cold compress is the key! Skip the creams and go for a DIY cold compress to help reduce the swelling around the area. Refrigerate two green tea tea bags that have been soaked in cold water. Apply the cold tea bags on your eyes for 10-15 minutes and repeat through the day. Green tea contains antioxidants and tannins, both of which help decrease swelling and puffiness, along with any inflammation.

#4 – RASHES & HIVES

As mentioned above, stress impacts and weakens your immune system leading to an imbalance of bacteria in your stomach. This often results in rashes, hives, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

The fix…

This can be treated topically, as well as internally. Make sure you are consuming Omega-3 rich foods such as flaxseed oil, nuts, soy, and fish like salmon. Studies have shown that including omega 3 in your diet helps treat these skin conditions, especially psoriasis.

Salt baths FTW! Soak yourself in a salt bath (common salt or Dead Sea salt) for about 20 minutes everyday.

#5 – WRINKLES

When you’ve got dry skin, your face is a minefield for wrinkles or other signs of ageing. Like under eye bags, stress also causes a loss of elasticity in the skin. The result? Wrinkles and fine lines.

The fix…

Mix one egg white with half a cup of cucumber pulp and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply it on your face and let it dry for about 20-25 minutes before rinsing. Egg whites naturally smooth away wrinkles, while the cucumber helps hydrate and moisturise the skin.

#6 – DULLNESS

Dullness is often a red flag your skin shows you when it’s not getting the right nutrients it needs to stay happy. It is often caused by dehydration, poor diet, and of course sleep deprivation –– all of which can be triggered due to stress.

The fix…

This problem has many triggers, and therefore all of those need to be monitored. Even if you are stressed make sure you don’t let that impact your diet. Unhealthy habits will lead to your skin losing its natural radiance. Trick yourself into drinking more water in the day –– there are apps to alarm and encourage you to hydrate every hour. Other than following a regimented skincare routine, you can also use a DIY face mask every week in order to revive and rejuvenate your skin.

Exfoliate your skin with coffee grounds –– this’ll help get rid of the flakiness and will also remove the layer of dead skin cells that coat your face. Coffee also protects the skin from any sun damage. Just mix some coffee with sugar and coconut oil and massage it into your skin. Remember to always moisturise with some aloe vera gel afterwards.

KEEP IN MIND:

  • Always follow a proper skincare routine, even if you’re stressed out. Take your makeup off, remember to cleanse, and moisturise every single day.

  • Eat foods that are good for your skin. Keep away from dairy, processed foods, and sugar.

  • Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Make sure your body is getting enough sleep. This will also reduce your stress levels.

  • Give yourself an hour a day to unwind and relax your mind and body. You can do this either by meditating, listening to music, or even just going for a walk.

  • Don’t ever pick at your skin, no matter how stressed you are. This’ll just aggravate your skin condition.

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