When you think about stress, what immediately comes to mind is clammy palms, pools of sweat and jittery hands. Whether it's because of an upcoming presentation or a squabble with a friend, what you may not know is that the reach of stress is far wider than just its visible effects on the body. Along with creating a sort of mental block that clouds your focus, prolonged stress can have long-lasting effects on the skin too. The worst part is, barely anyone ever realises this, so it's time to find out how exactly stress affects the skin in 5 ways.
1. It Aggravates Skin Conditions
If you already have pre-existing skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea or eczema, stress can worsen it further by breaking down the immune system which is responsible for combating such conditions. Additionally, it also aggravates tic behavior like picking or scratching your face, which can only worsen your skin.
2. It Makes Skin Oilier
Oily-skinned types, this doesn't bode well for you. When one's body is faced with stress, it reacts by producing more androgen hormones. This in turn causes more oil to be produced, and we all know what happens when excessive oiliness strikes, right? That's right - clogged pores, one of the primary causes of acne.
3. It Leads To Fine Lines
Those fine lines that seem to crop up around your eyes and mouth could be the result of too much pressure. When stressed, the stress hormone cortisol is released, which elevates the body's blood sugar level. When it increases too much, it can damage the skin's collagen, which can lead to wrinkles, lines and saggy skin.
4. It Causes Dryness
On the other end of the spectrum, stress can also make skin excessively dry. The release of cortisol breaks down the skin's ability to retain water. When that happens, the skin loses its natural ability to hold onto moisture, leaving it dry and dull.
5. It Makes Skin Inflamed
Once stress hits, it activates various glands which release a flood of chemicals. This is primarily responsible for making the skin red, inflamed and itchy, which you've probably noticed in highly stressful situations.
So how do you stop this from happening?
1. Be mindful and realise that you can only change things that are under your control.
2. Exercise regularly -- it's the perfect way to channel stress productively.
3. Step up your daily skin care routine and make sure to always keep your skin moisturised and clean.
Have any tips on how to combat the effects of stress on the skin? Tell us in the comments below.