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Stress and skin; an interactive relationship

Stress is the normal human response to demanding situations. When experienced in certain intensity and frequency, it proves to be creative as well as beneficial, since it keeps people alert, prompting them to manage their busy modern life schedule satisfactorily. However, when stress increases, when it becomes daily, chronic or uncontrollable, it affects both people’s personal life and health negatively.

Stress leaves a mark on our skin

Many people believe that stress is exclusively an emotional – psychological condition. That is not true. Emotions produce physical responses, thus whatever we feel reflects on our body, especially on our epidermis. Changes in our psychological state due to increased stress may affect our skin, manifesting:

Oiliness or acne: When we get stressed, the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increase. Cortisol triggers sebum secretion, which may lead to an oily or even acne-prone skin type.

Skin conditions: Chronic stress causes inflammation, which not only impedes the effective acne treatment, but may also lead to skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or psoriasis.

Dry – dull skin: A long period of intense stress, may disrupt the skin’s ability to retain its natural moisture, resulting in drier skin, with a dull and tired appearance.

Premature aging: Increased stress, combined with lack of sleep, can intensify the expression lines (around the eyes, forehead and mouth), create or worsen dark circles and under eye puffiness, accelerating the natural process of aging.

Stress and skin; an interactive relationship

How to “come to the rescue”

The biggest problem with stress is that it also works vice versa: stress causes skin problems while skin problems reinforce stress. Consequentially, it is essential to act in time, limiting this vicious circle. What we can do:

  • Take care of our skin daily and meticulously with deep cleansing, moisturization and sun protection.
  • Eat healthy. Whatever we choose to nourish our body with directly affects our skin and physical condition. Thus, it is important to eat properly, consuming small, frequent meals, rich in nutrients. Processed or sugar-laden foods are responsible for inflammation; therefore, they should be avoided.
  • Exercise regularly. It is strongly recommended by all experts since it benefits people’s physical, mental and psychic health.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 liters of water a day.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night.

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