We all know that we’re supposed to avoid stress, but it’s not exactly possible for any of us to simply abandon our jobs, bills, and troubles that life throws at us. Regardless of how privileged and lucky we might be, stress is an unavoidable part of our reality and the best thing we can do is learn how to manage it and minimize the way it affects us. As something that influences not only our cardiovascular and neurological health but the quality of our skin as well, it can have a significant impact on our beauty and confidence. If you’ve been having trouble with keeping your complexion clear and radiant, here’s how anxiety could be causing the problem, and what you can do to solve it.

Lack of sleep

Unless you’re a fan of puffy dark circles under your eyes, you should get some rest. Stress frequently causes insomnia because we can’t find a way to stop worrying before we go to bed, and as a result, we end up with a dull complexion, swollen eyes, and health that’s slowly worsening. If anxiety is keeping you awake at night one of the best ways to deal with it is through exercise—working out several hours before bed can stimulate endorphin production and get rid of stress, and if you couple this with a hot shower after exercising you’ll be a lot more relaxed. Other things that can help are a cup of hot chamomile tea, reading a book, and avoiding the use of electronics in the evening.

Dryness

It’s no secret that dry skin can be caused by stress, and the condition is usually made worse because when we’re tense, we rely on caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol to help ease the symptoms. All of these things can lead to dehydration and thinning of our epidermis (outer skin layer), and the result is a parched complexion with a lot of flaky patches and redness. To soothe it, you can turn to hydrating serums with hyaluronic acid and collagen, creamy moisturizers, and even face oils. The best option is finding a 100% organic cold-pressed rosehip oil and using it as the last step in your skincare routine at night.

Uncontrollable acne

Stress raises inflammation levels in our body, and if you have sensitive skin it could trigger acne. It could show up in the form of occasional small blemishes, but it could also appear as big, cystic nodules that you can’t get under control. There are several ways you can treat the condition, and you should start with a good diet—increase your veggie and lean meat intake, and cut out sugar and dairy. Your doctor can also prescribe several topical solutions, zinc and antioxidant supplements, antibiotics, and even birth control to help get your hormones in check. Bear in mind that hormonal medication might help, but that acne after birth control is a common problem for a lot of people. Keep your hygiene on a high level, consult a dermatologist if you have a more severe case, and use the highest quality, fragrance-free skincare that you can find to nourish your face.

Inflammations

Besides acne, stress can also trigger other kinds of inflammations all over your face. Eczema and rosacea are the most frequent type of issues, and both of these conditions can be a hassle to deal with. While rosacea seems to be genetic in origin and merely triggered by stress, eczema appears when our immune system is lowered due to constant anxiety. The most common spots where it shows up are your hands, your elbows, around your scalp, and around your mouth and eyes. Corticosteroid creams and ointments can be prescribed to get more severe cases under control, but you can also use fragrance-free, gentle moisturizers or organic oils (though not essential oils) to soothe the irritation. Here’s a list of popular creams to relieve your inflamed skin.

Wrinkles

Stress is a huge contributor to premature wrinkles, and being constantly worried and tense will easily lead to more fine lines appearing around your eyes, mouth, and on your forehead. Good, hydrating skincare can help smooth out the wrinkles, but the best way to keep them at bay is a combination of everyday sunscreen use, and developing stress-fighting techniques. Exercise, meditation, music, and any sort of creative work can help you release the pent-up tension and finally learn how to relax.

To control stress, make self-care your priority. You need to put yourself first at least occasionally and care for your wellbeing, and as long as you do that, you’ll have a bright, radiant complexion every day.

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