During uncertain times – a slow economy, a volatile stock market, a tough job market – dermatologists and surgeons are seeing busy patients who present stress-related skin problems.
Pimples appear out of nowhere, dry skin in desperate need of hydration appears overnight, folds around the nose and deep lines in the brow and around the eyes appear more pronounced. If you had problems with your skin before, stress just makes it worse.
Many people say they notice differences in their skin when they’re stressed out, which can persist for weeks and months, even years. Parenting, work and your social life can be stressors for many busy people, adding to your “epidermal anxiety” and preventing you from looking your best.
Our bodies are reacting to external challenges. Stress creates an adrenaline surge that elevates the level of a hormone called cortisol in the blood. Cortisol tells fat cells to dump sugar into the bloodstream for energy – which is great if you need to outrun a raging elephant but not so great on your body or your skin. Over time stress can damage your body in ways that are not so attractive when you examine yourself in the mirror. Many of us also deal with stress in ways that cause more harm. We sleep less, drink more and eat all the wrong foods.
While all these issues can be resolved, first you have to relieve some stress. Until that time comes, here are 5 skin care tips on how to “reduce skin stressors.”
- Keep your hands away from your face, stop touching and stop popping those pimples! Keep your hands busy with a pencil or squeeze one of those strengthening balls. For goodness sake, get rid of that magnifying mirror.
- Go visit your aesthetician or cosmetic surgeon and pick up a few acne fighters.
- Get yourself a facial, even if you’re on a budget. Treat yourself to some downtime; even bring your teenage kid in for a facial with you. A twofer! It will be therapeutic and quite relaxing for you both.
- If you’re using benzoyl peroxide, be sure not to use it at the same time as you’re using bleaching products (Hydroquinones) or copper peptides. You can use both products, but not at the same time. Use one in the morning and the other in the evening.
- If you’re using high quality skin care products, try a light chemical peel. Because a peel removes the built up dead skin on the surface of your face, it allows therapeutic products to penetrate and get the job done more quickly and more effectively. Even a rejuvenating mask or anti-acne mask will give you a great head start on de-stressing your “epidermal anxiety!”