You might know that stress is the biggest factor causing ill health. Almost all disorders are connected somehow to stress at least to a little extent. No wonder, effects of stress are seen on our skin too. So, no matter how regularly and keenly you take care of your skin, if you are stressed, your skin will look tired and wilted. Stress causes a spike in cortisol which messes up with messages that your nerves decide to send and this can cause anything from fine lines to an outbreak of hives. Earth’s Wisdom today wants to show you how your skin can react to physical and mental stress, and what you can do to manage the skin-damaging stress.
Skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, hives, rosacea and eczema are caused by inflammation. However, studies show that your skin’s protective abilities are compromised when your brain is on overdrive. In other words, stress makes it difficult for your skin to stay balanced and regulate. It’s natural to get a breakout after an extreme argument or during a sleepless week.
Even acne can be caused by stress. But it’s important to get a treatment for correctly diagnosed disorder as rosacea also looks like acne.
Solutions: The reason behind the stress should be identified and removed. But if that’s difficult, it should be tamed with right therapy (yoga and meditation), food (avoiding artificial sweeteners and eating more fruit, replacing margarine with olive oil and choosing fish over red meat) and workout.
Sun is one of the biggest factors that stresses out your skin and exhausts its defenses, the main damaging component being the ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Whether the UV rays penetrate your skin in natural form or artificial form such as tanning beds, they can induce blood cells to hurry up towards the exposed area to try to repair it. This may show sunburns but the damage doesn’t end there. Ultraviolet radiation can further cause moles, darkened blemishes and even skin cancer.
Solutions: The best way to protect your skin from UV rays is to apply sunscreen every morning. Oil-free versions are available which are easy to use and carry around.
Natural oils too can form a film over the skin protecting it from sun damage. These include coconut, olive, lemongrass and tulsi.
Apart from this external protection, you can also protect it from within by taking in certain nutrients like limonene (extracted from the skin of citrus fruits). So, eating those fruits & especially their skin can benefit. Fruits rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants such as pomegranates and strawberries can also protect your cells from oxidative stress caused by sun exposure.
When cortisol levels are abnormally increased, the skin may become more sensitive and thinner, because cortisol causes breakage of dermal proteins which can even may make your skin look paper-thin, and can tear and bruise easily. However, this is most markedly linked with Cushing syndrome, also known as hypercortisolism wherein other symptoms are seen too like weak muscles, glucose intolerance and weakened immunity.
Solutions: If you have Cushing syndrome, see your doctor. In majority of cases, medications for managing cortisol levels are prescribed.
Some people’s faces easily frown with stress. The frown lines become permanent over time. Even eye creases, smile lines and mid brow lines become permanent after repeated facial expressions.
Solutions: Face yoga is by far the best solution to avoid facial lines and wrinkles. It’s arguably safer than Botox. Another solution is pointed massage techniques that target facial muscles in high-tension areas like brows, forehead and jawline.
All in all, if you want your skin to look blemish-free, smooth, radiant and healthy, you should learn to manage physical as well as mental stress.
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