Must Read

5 ways stress affects your looks, plus beauty editor's tips on how to fix that

"You look tired" - often hear that comment? Our associate beauty editor tells you what you can do about it
 

Photo: 123rf

Don’t take stress lightly. It can be really detrimental to your life, health and also your looks.

Stress causes hormonal imbalance in your body which makes everything go out of whack, wreaking havoc on the regularity of your periods, causing hair loss, lowering your immune system, and also causing skin to suffer many ill effects.

Here’s what stress does to your skin, and what you can do about it.

 

1. Tired eyes

When people say “oh, you look tired”, it is more often than not in reference to your eyes. Stress can lead to sleeplessness, which translates into dark circles and eye bags as circulation is adversely affected. This mars the brightness of your peepers, making eyes look drawn, droopy, and dull.

We know that getting at least eight hours of sleep is easier said than done. But try to switch off and wind down an hour before bedtime. Read a book or watch a relaxing show and try one of these products with relaxing lavender aroma.

This Works Can’t Sleep? Kit, $17; Aromatherapy Associates Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil, US$61.26 for 55ml

 

As for eye care, pick an eye cream with caffeine to boost microcirculation and use an eye massager to stimulate the area to zap eye bags and dark circles.

Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and De-puff, $42; Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Oxygenating Eye Gel Cream, $50; Foreo Iris Eye Massager, $149; Skin Inc I-Optimiser, $104.

 

To conceal those eye circles use a cream-based concealer that’s made for the eye area so the formula won’t cake and sink into fine lines and creases as your eye area moves a lot. Instead of just applying concealer to the small stripe under the eye, spread it in an inverted triangle shape extending down to the top of your cheeks, this will hide any dullness more effectively.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer, $42; Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, $45.

 

ALSO READ: 11 beauty products to help you relax and relieve stress

 

2. Skin breakouts

Skin can react in many different ways when you’re stressed. Basically skin becomes imbalanced, so you can bid goodbye to perfectly flawless complexion when you’re under continuous pressure. To deal with acne breakouts, you need two things – a zit-drying solution and a pimple concealer that has anti-inflammatory ingredients. The former usually has salicylic acid and tea tree oil to disinfect and soothe the war zone. And the latter covers the offending spot and also has treatment benefits to help it heal.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $36; Sebamed Clear Face Anti-Pimple Gel, $10.30; Avene Couvrance Concealer Stick, $19.90; Skinfood Banana Concealer Stick, $9.90.

 

3. Dry, flaky skin

Skin’s moisture levels can take a hit when you’re stressed, so load up on lightweight water-based moisturisers to replenish moisture. At night, use a richer lotion or cream formula, which also helps to lock moisture in while skin repairs itself internally. Here are some products that will help with replenishing moisture. 

Skin Inc Hydrating Shield+, $72; Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream_EX, $52; Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, $70; Estelle & Thild Biocalm Extra Nourishing Night Cream, $59.

 

ALSO READ: 7 easy ways to unwind after a stress-filled day

 

4. Dull, sallow complexion

When you’re all tense and tired out, your skin will inevitably look it too as blood flow and circulation will take a dive. Slough off dull dead skin and revv up skin’s turnover by using a gentle face scrub every alternate day. And use a tinted moisturiser to put some healthy colour into your face until the stressful period passes.

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula, $50; Bioderma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream, $32.90; Shiseido Waso Color-Smart Day Moisturizer, $55; Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $55.

 

5. Hair problems

Even if your skin doesn’t show any obvious signs of the stress you’re under, it could be manifesting in other ways. Your hair is one way. It could be thinning, meaning growth is slowed down, greying, or worse… falling out. If you notice that your hair isn’t growing as fast as usual or if your shower drain cover is getting clogged with fallen strands at a faster rate, that's a red flag. See a tricoholgist for a professional assessment or advice. Or if you can manage stress on your own and just need a little hair help, try a scalp stimulating lotion or even a hair supplement.

Sachajuan Scalp Treatment, $62; Phyto Phytopolleine Universal Elixir - Scalp Stimulant, $69.90; Ouai Hair Supplement, $42; Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails+ Supplement, $49.

 

ALSO READ: 6 weird things we learned from meditating at work