You might not realize that if you’re not careful, those stresses and anxieties could turn into acne and other facial irritations.
The thing about stress that most people don’t connect is that it’s a physiological process. Your brain responds to outside and inside stimuli by producing hormones like cortisol that tell you there’s a threat nearby.
Fight or Flight? Or, Stick Around and Ignore the Stress
In early civilization, this threat was dangerous, hence the “fight or flight” name we give our adrenaline rush. But now, it’s more likely that the threat is to your peace of mind or daily routine.
These types of stressors are easier to merge with our lives, turning into chronic or ongoing problems we simply “get used to.”
Still, the physical side of the response is the same, and if you don’t release it, it shows up in other ways, some of which are hard to ignore. Use these tips to calm your mind and body when your anxieties are showing up as pimples, wrinkles, and problems with your oral hygiene.
You have a big meeting coming up in a couple of days, and your mind is on high alert getting ready for it. You’ve planned your outfit, adjusted your schedule, prepared your conversation, and taken care of the other details. You’ve even gotten a good night’s sleep.
It’s frustrating, yet, it’s almost predictable. Why does this happen?
Stress, Hormones, and Pimples
When we go through puberty, we learn that one of the symptoms of our body’s changing hormones is pimples. It’s a fact of life that we deal with by learning to wash our faces more, eat less chocolate and grease, and use acne-reducing products.
We’re promised that, eventually, our hormones will level out, and the pimples will go away. This usually happens, for the most part. When you’re under stress, your cortisol and androgen hormones are out of whack again, and here come the pimples.
If you know you have something important on the horizon, try to repeat the acne-reducing lessons you learned as a teenager. Expect the hormones to increase the oil production in your body, and take extra care to wash your face morning and night. Eat well, drink plenty of water, sleep on clean sheets, and keep some pimple cream on hand for emergencies.
2. Nearly Instant Aging
No one wants to look older than they are. However, dealing with ongoing anxiety can do this to you anyway.
When you’re stressed, you’re not sleeping as well, even if you think you are. Sleep deprivation comes with bags under your eyes, no matter how old you are. But as you age, the skin around this area loses elasticity and starts to sag.
The weakened skin and muscles turn into deep and ongoing eye bags, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. You’ll probably notice dry skin, as well, since the stress and lack of sleep cause the protein and lipids in your skin cells to be out of balance.
3. Oral Health Issues
Have you recently started having tooth issues, seemingly from out of nowhere? Blame your stress on that, too.
Chronic stress and anxiety often manifest physically and subconsciously in a condition called bruxism. When you have bruxism, you grind your teeth in your sleep or when you’re feeling stressed.
Because you do this without realizing it, the grinding wears down the enamel on your teeth and hurts your jaw and neck muscles.
Many bruxers end up with painful temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs). The TMJ joint is responsible for moving your mouth when you eat and talk and when you clench your teeth.
The best way to quit your new grinding habit is to figure out what’s causing your stress and get rid of it. Easier said than done, right?
That’s okay. In the meantime, you can use a night guard to prevent further damage to your teeth. Night guards keep the upper and lower teeth from fully touching, so it can’t impact your enamel when you’re grinding and clenching.
You never want stress to play a starring role in your life, but it happens. When it does, the effects can go straight to your face, showing up as pimples, wrinkles, and problems with your oral health.
Luckily, stress doesn’t have to be even more stressful because of facial issues.
Use these simple methods to reduce the physical results as you’re working through the problems causing your anxiety.