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  • Nelufer Beebeejaun

Straight Stressin

S-T-R-E-S-S. We all know there is no way to escape it. Jobs, relationships, minor annoyances can all cause us to be stressed and anxious beyond belief. After this *trying* week dealing with one shit storm after the next, I found that my skin was less than desirable. So I thought today I would write about how the effects of stress break down your skin and how you can attempt to regain control when this occurs.

Besides not sleeping well, stress is a huge factor in determining if my skin is going to play nice with me that week.  Here are somethings that are actually going on. When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol which can stimulate pore clogging oil production and trigger inflammatory acne, which are the BCZ’s I talked about in an earlier blog post. This is why the texture of your skin might change during the stressful time. My skin gets way oilier when I am stressed and is very hard to control no matter what primers or mattifying products I’ll use.

Cortisol is the natural enemy of collagen, breaking down the tissues that keep your complexion firm. When cortisol is released, your sugar levels in the blood increase, which can encourage a process called glycation, which damages collagen. When you damage that collagen, you better believe your skin is losing its elasticity and those facial expressions you make all the time (furrowed brows, forehead lines etc) will start to be etched in your skin as your skin becomes drier with less collagen to keep it plump. Asides from the texture of my skin, I notice too that I might look puffier and my skin is lacking its normal lustre. Cortisol can also decrease your skins natural production of hyaluronic acid.

It’s important to note that stress can actually make your existing acne worse! The reason behind this is due to your gut health! When the microbiome is disrupted, (the internal ecosystem of bacteria which is in your gut) can have quite the effect on your skin.  When this internal system is thrown off, acne related bacteria is more likely to come to the surface. So there’s that. Yay. Not.

When you are stressed, your body also tends to heal at a slower rate. Too much stress can wreak havoc on your immune system, making you more prone to skin infections and could result in longer times to rebound from that stress zit.  Stress is said to delay the skins healing process by impairing the outer most layer.

So all this information is great and dandy I know. So what can do to mitigate these effects?

I think the following are pretty good universal stress busters, ones that I have implemented many-a-times, including this week!

-Make a list of goals you want to achieve -Realize it’s not a bad life, just a bad day! -Look at why you are actually stressed, what is truly in your control? -Seeing friends and sharing a good meal/good laugh

-Taking a bath with soothing bath bombs/bath salts


-Taking a mental health day

-Going to bed ridiculously early and get a head start on your next day

-A good cry! (It majorly helps sometimes!)

-Make a list of all the things you are grateful for

If you want to take care of a stress zit for some good tips for treating your skin, please read my blog article here.


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