Have you ever had a big presentation coming and just a day before a big, perky acne makes its appearance on your face?
Or you have a job interview just when your skin is breaking out in eczema?
Or you have your wedding a week from now on and your skin turns dry and breaking out in hives?
You must be screaming inside your head: from all of the freaking time, why now?
But, there is a reason why skin problem always ruins you when you are in the middle of important events.
That reason is because during that moments, you are most likely to be stressed out.
And, how can stress affect you?
Too bad, it can affect your skin, your hair, and even your nail.
Seems like stress isn’t satisfied with only playing with your health and sanity.
Stress even wants to have fun with your appearance!
According to Karen Mallin, PsyD from the departments of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and dermatology & cutaneous surgery of the University of Miami, scientists and beauty experts had recognized how can stress affect you and your appearance.
It is even scientifically proven. A study reported how stress is associated strongly as a causal factor for psoriasis (skin disease). Another study found out that 50%-67% of atopic dermatitis patients have experienced psychological stress.
So, yes, it is real that stress affects your appearance.
But how, exactly? And what can you do about it?
We’ve compiled information on how can stress affect you, especially to things related to your beauty, and how to fix them below.
There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. (Proverb)
How can stress affect you: by controlling your skin health
Where does the relation between stress and skin comes from? How can stress affect you and your skin?
Apparently, when you were still in the womb, your brain and your skin are developed from the same cell. So it explains the physical connection between the two.
This relationship can be strong for some people and weak for others, depend on your genetic. For some people, stress means getting your skin losing its glow but for other people, stress can makes acnes sprout in their faces like mushrooms in spring.
A study in 2001 found out that stress destroy the barrier function of your skin, making them losing the water saved inside that dehydrates them. They also damage the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury.
It means, your skin will be dry and if you get scarred (maybe from acne), it’s rather hard for them to return back to its original condition.
The loss of barrier function also means your skin is more permeable with dangerous substance that come in contact with your skin, from irritants to allergens to germs, increasing the chance of break out due to allergic reaction or simply from dirt.
Also, when you’re stressed out, your body release chemicals called neuropeptides more than necessary. In normal circumstances neuropeptides is necessary to help your brain cells communicate with each other. But, when you’re stressed, neuropeptides will be elevated and can worsen the condition of psoriasis and eczema.
A look which reveals inward stress adds more beauty to the face, no matter how much tragedy and pain it bespeaks; but the face which, in silence, does not announce hidden mysteries is not beautiful, regardless of the symmetry of its feature. (Kahlil Gibran)
How can stress affect you: by controlling your hair too
Another body part that’s quite sensitive to your stress is your hair.
It is common believe that stress cause your hair turns to gray or even make you suffers from hair loss.
Not all scientist believe that stress cause you hair to turns to gray, but almost all will say that there are relationship between stress and hair loss.
When you’re stressed out, the hormones and chemical change in your body damage the hair follicle. In one case of hair loss, they can push this hair follicles into a dormant phase, causing them to be easily fall out when you comb your hair.
In another more severe case, the change of hormones attacks the hair follicle to death.
Beside the chemicals and hormones change causing damage, there is also stress coping behavior that adds to the damage: it’s when you cope with your stress by pulling out your hair. This is actually a psychological condition called trichotillomania and it requires help from professional.
Did you know?
Psychodermatology is a newly developed field of study that combine psychology and dermatology. It studies the relation between skin disorder and psychological condition.
In the future, dermatology clinic would not only give out recipes and cosmetics to treat skin disorder, but may also putting out treatment possibilities like relaxation therapy or counseling just like a psychology clinic.
How can stress affect you: your nail isn’t safe either
While the connection between stress and skin or stress and hair is pretty understandable, it is rather hard to believe that stress even affects your nail.
That’s because unlike skin and hair, nail isn’t affected with the fluctuating hormones and chemicals inside your body. But, it doesn’t mean they’re safe from stress!
There are many people who cope with stress using their nail. They bit or sucks their nail, leaving them unevenly shaped and ugly.
Other thing people like to do with their nails when they’re stressed out is running their fingers’ nail on their thumb’s nail, leaving a ridge that will distort the shape of the nail when they grow out.
How to keep being attractive despite stress
You’ve understood that there are two ways stress mess up with your appearance. First, their effects to your hormones affects your appearance directly. Second, stress also changes your behavior, causing you to indirectly affect our looks.
So, based on how can stress affect you, both by your direct physical change or by your behavioral change, we’ve collected the best way to defend your looks from stress!
Because stress affects your appearance with hormones and control your behavior, there’s no other way to avoid them unless you manage the stress itself. There are so many ways to keep your stress at bay, but let us recommend some of stress managements methods that also work wonder for your beauty!
Healthy diet is always the first solution for both stress and beauty problem. Open your refrigerator and throw away: sugary drink, nutritionless chips, and fat.
Sugary drink is not only prone to make you fat, but it also damages your collagen and elastin – these are two proteins in your skin that makes them firm and elastic. Nutritionless chips is rich in nothing except corn flour and refined salt – this refined salt can inflame your skin.
Fat is no less dangerous, especially trans fat or ‘bad fat’ that likes to clog your artery, causing your blood to not flow properly and gives you unhealthy complexion at the best and stroke or heart disease at the worst.
Instead, replace them with fruits, nuts, plain yoghurt, and various vegetables. You can eat the first three straight away, while vegetables can be made into delicious smoothie that’s just as delicious as those in cafe – but with less sugary syrup and toppings that ruin the whole healthy purpos e of a smoothie.
Make your own smoothie that specifically made to cleanse your body from toxic and other unnecessary substance that hinders your beauty. Use a proper recipe to make sure you put the right ingredients for your specific beauty purpose. Recipe book 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith is our recommendation.
Other recipe book to accompany that is The Whole30 that contains 30 recipes of made from whole-foods ingredients – this is to use all those veggies, fruits, and lean meat in your fridge. Complete your healthy diet with six week diet plan that also works wonder for your weight loss provided in Eat to Life by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Exercise is the second solution for stress and beauty problem. Set aside at least 30 minutes every day to move your body. Exercise works wonder for your appearance, of course, as they burn extra fat and calories and tone your muscle!
According to a study from McMaster University, exercise can help your skin resist the signs of aging and even reverse them. This is because as you exercise, your body release substance that can rejuvenates the skin called IL-15.
Your skin will be more supple and smoother and at the same firmer and more elastic.
Facial massage also effective stress is mild and you need quick relief for it. It relaxes you and evens help your blood to flow better, creating a healthy and glowy complexion to your skin. Follow this direction for facial massage:
Clean your hands, and put them on your forehead, rub them in vertical motion, up and down. Do the same with your cheek and jaw.
Put your finger on the outer corner of your eyelids under the eyebrows, move them with gentle pressure to the inner corner, following the shape of your eyes.
Watch the video below for reference.
Of course facial massage is not the only massage beneficial to your skin. There are other type of massages that’s popular in spa and massage therapist: it is foot massage.
Your foot is like the motherboard of all your nerves in your body. Massaging your foot means you’re massaging your whole body – improving your health and at the same time makes your appearance better. Nothing makes you more beautiful than a healthy body.
Start massaging your foot using your thumb. Start from your toes, move to the sole, and finish with the up side of your foot. There is no science in massaging: it’s all about finding the spot that you find more relieving when you press it.
For easier practice, take a tennis ball and roll it under your feet! The ball will give enough pressure to your sole, just like a massage, and the plus side is you can apply the pressure fairly to every inch of your sole.
Last but not least, get beauty treatment. If you have extra money, go to your favorite spa and treat yourself there! Not only you’ll become extremely relaxed, your appearance will improve after a full body treatment from beauty expert.
If you’re kind of tight on budget, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some beauty treatment. Simply draw a warm bath on your own bathroom (light some aromatic candle and put bath salt for simple luxury) or lying down on your bed with a cool facial mask can relax you tremendously.
Another budget friendly beauty treatment that double as stress relief is thermotherapy, or expose your body to high temperature. It’s like steam rooms or sauna, but you can simply bath your foot in a warm water. It’s not only tremendously relaxing but when experiencing heat, your body will think it has fever and increase its white blood cells production and boost your immunity.
A woman’s most beautiful outfit ever is charisma, the prettiest accecories is smile, and the best pair of heels is confidence.
Don’t let stress affect your appearance!
How stress affects you is mind boggling, now that you know how can stress affect you and your looks.
But, to be fair, there’s no problem without solution. Here we’ve compiled some ways to deal with stress that can specifically help with your appearance.
Have you tried any of our solution above? Or do you have some secret beauty tips that can also relieve stress? Share your tips with us below!