Maintaining a healthy skin during stressful times
2020 was a very challenging year for most people. The outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted normal lives as we know and led many countries to close down their economies in order to contain it. This weird situation has resulted in many people sent on unpaid leave or fired, businesses shutting down (some permanently), and the restriction of movement as people were asked to stay at home. Furthermore, this new reality and the uncertainty on how things would unfold have increased the stress and anxiety levels at many people.
It is natural to feel stress every now and then, however when stress becomes chronic it may have a serious impact on our health as well as our skin. Some of the ways stress can impact our skin include:
1. Acne and breakouts
When we feel stressed, our body produces more of the hormone cortisol which may lead to the overproduction of oil (sebum) in the skin glands which may clog the pores and lead to the formation of acne.
2. Exacerbation of existing skin conditions
Stress may also exacerbate existing inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
3. Dry skin and wrinkles
Stress may damage the outer layer of the skin, and hence may affect the ability of the skin to retain water. Furthermore, stress may cause changes in several proteins in the skin which may reduce its elasticity and, ultimately, for the formation of wrinkles.
To avoid these impacts of stress on our skin it is very important to manage the stress level on a regular basis. Some of the methods that may help include:
1. Skin maintenance
It is important to regularly maintain a good skincare routine which includes cleansing your face, applying a serum and a moisturizer which would provide the skin with the nutrients it needs.
Regular exercise can help lower the stress level hormones while releasing "feel-good" hormones.
3. Healthy lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes eating a balanced diet as well as getting enough sleep can help in managing the stress level in the body.
4. Sharing the feeling with a trusted person
Whether it a family member, a friend or even a professional, talking about how stress impacts your health may help better manage it.
5. Taking time for yourself
It is important to find time for yourself to do things that make you feel happy and relaxed such as watching a show, listening to music, meditating, practicing yoga etc.
6. Thinking positively
Finally, I always found that staying optimistic and thinking positively in tough times really helped me better manage my stress level.
* This Blog was written to provide general information only and should not be seen as a replacement for a professional medical consultation. It is highly recommended to always consult your healthcare provider prior to trying a new treatment or a product.