Some of us are really good at hiding our stress and acting like we got everything under control, but the reality is, we wish we had an off switch or a pause button to relax and unwind (and don’t get me started about the pandemic...)
Stress is mentally tiring and of course, physically too. Stress makes us tired, groggy, grumpy, and even anxious. Stress affects us in so many ways and it can also show up on our face.
Actually, for people of colour, it can show easily. How? Because, we have bigger melanocytes - these are melanin-producing cells. We tend to experience hyperpigmentation easier through small triggers like burns or scratches. Being cognizant of this means we have to be gentle and educate ourselves on how to manage our skin through stressful times.
Raise your hand if you’ve sleep due to stress…
Our mind races when we’re stressed so we can’t sleep, like, at all. When we sleep, our bodies naturally perspire and naturally replenish our skin, but with no sleep - this isn’t possible. Our skin gets dry if we’re constantly up all night, and dry skin leads to irritation and your skin may develop a rough texture.
And lack of sleep leads to dry skin which then leads to wrinkles because of the lack of moisture, our skin creases and produces fine lines. AND lack of sleep leads to bigger eyebags!
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is - stress causes premature aging. Overall, lack of sleep due to stress prevents our skin from looking supple, young and fresh.
Here are some skincare tips during times of stress:
- Be generous with your hydrating moisturizers and serums and physically provide yourself with hydration.
- If you’re noticing fine lines and bigger eyebags, look into retinoids/retinol and gentle eye creams.
But that’s not all!
When we’re so stressed, our lack of sleep increases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol that are released in our bodies. Why is this relevant? Because, when our cortisol goes up, our oil production or sebum production goes up too. And as you may know from our previous articles, overproduction of oil will lead to clogged pores and can lead to acne, if not treated. Exfoliating once or twice a week should help you unclog those pores and balance the oil production.
Finally, environmental factors and the products we use can also cause stress on our skin.
Now, some of you may not be stressed out, but still experience oversensitivity, irritation, rashes and so on. If that’s the case, consider your surroundings and the environment you’re in.
Air pollution, dust, the weather, UV radiation are only some of the environmental factors that could be impacting your skin. Adjust your skincare routine when you notice a change in the environment and adjust accordingly. With me, I tend to be very dry during the winter so, I make sure to apply more hydrating products to combat the dry weather.
The products we use are also large triggers that could stress our skin. If you’ve been religious with your skincare routine but things aren’t changing or aren’t getting better, it’s time to switch it up. Sometimes, your skin just doesn’t react very well to certain ingredients so, consider looking up gentle products.
As you’re treating your skin, don’t forget to look after your mental health as well. It’s so important to acknowledge your feelings and the discomfort that you might be feeling. Evaluate and consider the changes that should be done, whether it’s asking for a personal day off from work, treating yourself out after a long day with the kids, asking your peers for help with your studies or leaving your phone in a separate room.
Ultimately, Invest in Yourself.