There are obvious reasons to avoid stress, as it can do some serious damage to your body. Did you know that it affects your appearance as well?
Between work deadlines, social obligations, paying bills and taking care of other responsibilities, sometimes it’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed. However, you might want to consider ways to keep your calm once you realize the potential impact on your complexion. Here are just a few ways that stress is sabotaging your skin, hair and nails:
It’s no secret that stress can affect mood and energy levels, but it also makes you look olde. Daily Makeover explained that when you’re under a lot of pressure, your body continually churns out cortisol, a hormone that can break down collagen – not to mention also make you gain weight. When your cortisol levels are high, it’s more difficult for the skin to reproduce elastin and repair damage, leading to faster formation of wrinkles. Dr. Doris Day told Woman’s Day that it can be helpful during a particularly stressful day to stop and take a deep breath, thereby relaxing the muscles in your face to prevent fine lines.
One of the major negative effects of stress is that it can disrupt your sleep, and as a result, you end up with tired, puffy eyes. Daily Makeover noted that when you don’t get the deep sleep you need, your body is unable to rid itself of excess liquids. Therefore, that fluid ends up settling in the undereye tissue, causing dark circles and bags. It’s crucial to get an adequate amount of shuteye, but when you still need some extra help, use a moisturizing eye cream and a yellow-based concealer to fake an awake look.
Unfortunately, you’re also more likely to get pesky blemishes and breakouts when you’re tense, which can be frustrating and exacerbate the problem. According to She Knows, one of the other effects of a spike in cortisol is increased oil production and an inability to control inflammation. Therefore, you’re a lot more likely to see redness and clogged pores. Skincare expert Lavinia Borcau recommended looking for cleansers and toners that are formulated with green tea or chamomile, both natural anti-inflammatories.
If your skin is looking flaky and feeling dry, stress might be the cause. Borcau told She Knows that when you’re especially strained, your skin can’t hold moisture as effectively. She suggested using a rich cream that contains shea butter and avocado oil. Not only will your complexion feel softer, but these ingredients can also act as a barrier from irritants, free radicals and bacteria in the environment.
Your digits are also dealing with negative impacts when you’re under pressure – and not just because you might be nervously biting your fingernails. Dr. Flor Mayoral, dermatologist and clinical instructor from University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla., said that many people make a habit of pressing their fingers over their thumb nail, leading to a raised ridge in the center. On top of that, your nails may become weaker, peel or even begin to show white horizontal lines. When they’re looking particularly brittle, nix the lacquer for a week and brush on a strengthening treatment.
Is your hair starting to shed? Daily makeover explained that hair loss is another issue that can be caused by anxiety. Your hair follicles immediately go from a growth phase to a resting one. Dr. Mayoral noted that the “fall-out” phase that follows typically lasts for up to three months after a stressful time, and it can take six to nine months for the hair to re-grow. In the meantime, switch to a shampoo that can energize your scalp and a nourishing, thickening conditioner.