Stress reduces the lipid (protective) barrier of the the skin, allowing fluids to evaporate more easily. In addition, cortisol also reduces the skin’s ability to retain water, leading to excessive dryness.
Quick fix: Try a weekly moisture mask, and apply a hydrating serum along with your moisturiser. Also, avoid using toners and cleansers that contain harsh ingredients such as Ammonium Laurenth Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which can dehydrate and irritate the skin.
4. Itchy, ugly rashes:
Stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, while also inhibiting the skin’s ability to repair itself. Besides this, it also releases histamines into the bloodstream. The result? Flareups of immunity-related conditions such as hives, cold sores, psoriasis and eczema.
Quick fix: Try looking for soothing ingredients which contain avocado oil, almond oil, aloe vela, shea butter, sunflower oil and chamomile. Also, cut down on the variety of skincare products that you use – the fewer products you use, the lesser amount of ingredients they contain, and thus there is a lower risk of an allergic reaction.
Cortisol increases oil production from the sebaceous glands, which blocks the pores and results in breakouts.
Quick fix: Keep skin clear of surface dirt, oil and dead cells. Use oil-free products and wash your face gently with a soft cloth. Don’t scrub, as this can irritate acne and make it worse.
6. Skin infections:
The epidermal skin cells lie on top of each other and are packed tightly together, forming a strong barrier that blocks the penetration of bacteria and other pathogens. When you are under stress, this protective outermost layer becomes more permeable, allowing harmful bacteria to infiltrate the deeper layers of skin.
Quick fix: Keep skin scrupulously clean with a mild soap. Use warm, not hot water, and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing; put moisturiser on immediately.
7. Premature ageing:
During times of distress and anxiety, our body redirects the flow of blood to areas that are considered vital for reacting to the stress – such as lungs and heart – and in doing so, leaves our skin without essential blood and oxygen. This leads to impaired antioxidant enzymes, increased free radical production and tissue-damaging oxidants, all of which combine to make skin age prematurely, speeding up the onset of wrinkles, fine lines and so on.
Quick fix: Try some facial exercises and massage. These help release tension along with increasing oxygenated blood flow to your muscles, tissue and skin, which makes your complexion look vibrant and healthier.