People are spending money on creams, facials, and cosmetic procedures, but if the stress is still there, it will still show on their face. Here is how.
Stress happens to everyone, but since you can't avoid your job, bills, or life, the best thing to do is learn to manage the stress. This includes eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and taking care of yourself in general.
If you don't, signs of stress can show up on your hair, skin, and nails in ways you won't like. Here are some:
1. Dry, flaky skin: If you're stressed, chances are you're not drinking enough water. You might also be drinking coffee or soda, which can be dehydrating. And if your body doesn't get the proper hydration it needs, your skin will end up feeling (and looking) like crepe paper.
2. Mini-menopause: The jury is still out on exactly how or if this is possible, but it appears that the constant flow of cortisol that goes along with chronic stress causes a dip in estrogen, one that mimics, on a smaller scale, the dip that occurs during menopause. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry.
3. Acne: Stress causes skin issues to flare up regardless of what you're prone to, whether it's acne, psoriasis, or eczema. When it comes to acne, stress releases cortisol, which can throw off the other hormones in your body and cause breakouts on your face or body. Stress can also disrupt the balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
4. Rashes and Hives: Both are both caused by a dysbiosis, aka an imbalance in your gut. They crop up when stress takes over and too much bad bacteria outweighs the good. Breathing exercises can help minimize the chances of getting a rash or hives when you're stressed.
5. People asking if you’re feeling okay: When the Starbucks barista or guy at the dry cleaners asks if you’re feeling okay, pay attention. These people may not know the details of your life, but they know how you look because they see you quickly.
6. Hormonal mood swings: There is a lot of interaction between hormone physiology and mood that works both ways. Our mood can impact our physiology, and our physiology can influence the balance of our hormones. If stress can sit at the top of a cascade of events that lead to undesirable hormonal changes in the body, then what we want to do is find ways to gain the upper hand on our stress level and ensure that we keep all those hormones in check.
7. Fine lines: Constantly making certain facial expressions, like furrowing your brows when you're stressed or pursing your lips, can lead to deeper wrinkles in these areas over time, Day says.
8. Thinning Hair: Stress causes your hair to go from the growing phase to the resting phase to the falling-out phase quicker, accelerating its natural cycle. Hair loss is usually a reaction to significant physiological stress caused by an extreme change in your diet, medical issues, or sudden lifestyle changes, like switching your birth control, an illness, or, in extreme cases, the stress of breaking up with your boyfriend.
9. Under-Eye Bags: Tomorrow's to-do list can weigh on your mind, keeping you from getting enough beauty sleep. This can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, and what you end up with is a puffy mess in the a.m.
10. Increased jaw size – Heavy jaw: Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action.
The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it. When you notice changes in your facial appearance, take inventory of what is going on in your life and what may be stressing you out. Simple things like sitting quietly for 10 minutes focusing on breathing, writing in a journal, exercising or taking a walk outside, reading, baking, painting, listening to music, and reaching for an activity that takes focus off the stress is helpful.