The lockdown has resulted in stress for a lot of people – the stress of being cooped inside for weeks together; the uncertainty looming large has taken a toll on people’s mental wellbeing. Stress cannot be hidden; it is seen right on your face. The first tell-tale signs of stress are reflected on your face as pale skin and mild eruptions…writes Puja Gupta
Stress causes hormonal imbalance which leads to acne, rashes, hair thinning and fall, and various other skin break-outs. It is imperative that people follow good skincare hygiene while they’re locked indoors. Staying inside does not necessarily mean you can forego or overlook skin and hair care. These are prone to more damage owing to stress, Dr Geetanjali Shetty, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist on behalf of Cetaphil India tells. “Hence we encourage people to follow a strict, if not elaborate, skincare routine, which involves cleansing, toning and moisturizing.”
She adds: “Similarly, nourish your hair with basic steps – oil your hair regularly, brush & comb hair – staying at home isn’t a license to not comb your hair, shampoo and condition your hair at least thrice a week. These are simple steps that can help you take your mind of the current situation and at the same time it will help maintain the health of your skin and hair.”
Most important of all, keep yourself hydrated with water and lots of liquid, she says.
The expert lists the impact of stress on the skin, how to keep skin and hair healthy and the role of diet in it.
Side effects of Stress – Oily Skin and Acne
Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. When our body is stressed it releases cortisol which is our fight or flight hormone. The cortisol (stress hormone) weakens the skin’s immune system, leading to oxidative (free radicals) stress, which manifests itself as wrinkles, lines and lacklustre skin. It also increases inflammation in the body and conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis can flare-up.
Keeping your hair and skin health
Hair is non-essential to physical survival and so it will always be the first part of you to suffer when something is off-balance in your body. But maintaining it is equally important. Using a warm, natural hair oil can do wonders for hair health and texture, while it aids repairing damaged hair, it also helps nourish your scalp. You should ideally warm around 100 ml of your chosen hair oil and then gently apply it on your hair every alternate day.
While for skin, the stress is quite evident in various forms like redness of skin, acne, etc. If there are skin breakouts and eruptions – it is advised to avoid exfoliation and stick to cleansing your face thrice daily. Similarly, those who are on the drier side should aim to wash their face only twice a day with a foaming cleanser. Should your skin need a little boost, indulging into Vitamin C will help combat the loss.
So if you know you’re about to enter a stressful period, try to build in time for the activities that will help you to feel calm and rested – your skin will thank you.
Role of Diet!
Yes, it is highly imperative that one pays heed to what they’re eating. The lockdown can result in redundancy, as your physical activities will be down by notches – this can cause your digestive system to slow down leading to poor digestion; the effect of which can be seen in multiple ways including your face – oily skin, acne, skin eruptions etc. It is highly recommended that people eat a nutritious and balanced meal to ensure the overall wellbeing. Important that we stay away from fried and spicy food. Vitamin E is the superfood of the skin – you can apply it on the skin topically or you can choose to consume it through Vitamin E rich foods like almonds, corn oil, cod-liver oil, hazelnuts, lobster, peanut butter, safflower oil, salmon steak, and sunflower seeds. The most essential thing to bear in mind is to keep you hydrated – drinks lots of water, juices and liquids.
Finally, keep up your skincare routine – cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Keep a sunscreen handy for the times that you may have to make a quick (only necessary) dash to the grocers. Even if you’re not wearing makeup, your face still gathers sweat, sebum and dirt build-up throughout the day.