Here's What To Do If Your Skin Is Acting Out Because Of Work Stress

Because you can still fight that haggard look.
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If you've been chasing after those deadlines and staying up late, pay attention to how your skin has responded. Does your complexion look drier than usual? Or is a bad breakout on the loose? Either way, feeling stressed (especially at work) could have nasty effects on your skin.

The good news is that there are many ways to take care of your skin and effectively manage stress. Before you clock in OT, see our tips below:

1. Use skincare products you actually need.

First things first: Make sure you're actually taking care of your skin. Do your research and find out what your skin actually needs. Are you oily and acne-prone? Go for water-based moisturizers. Are you dealing with dryness and cracking? Skip the foaming cleanser and try one with a milky consistency so you don't strip your face of moisture. Once you determine your current skin problems, select a solution that will efficiently target these.

Try this easy, three-step routine:

Exfoliate: Whether your skin is dry or oily, getting rid of dead skin cells will help give you a brighter complexion and make sure the rest of the products you use are easily absorbed into your skin. Avoid physical exfoliants (they can tear your skin!) and go for alpha-hydroxy acids to disintegrate the dead skin and dirt on your face.

Tone: Using toner is a great way to impart skin-loving ingredients onto your face. If your skin is dry, go for one formulated with aloe vera to help soothe your skin and retain moisture. If you have oily skin, try a witch hazel toner to help reduce oil production and get rid of acne-causing bacteria.

Moisturize: Seal your routine with a good moisturizer. If you have oily skin, try a lightweight gel moisturizer. If you have dry skin, try something richer, like shea butter or jojoba oil. Keeping your skin hydrated will make sure that your face will look soft and supple.

2. Get at least eight hours of sleep.

You already know that sleep is essential for keeping your skin healthy and youthful, but it can be difficult to get eight hours of rest when your tasks at the office never seem to end. The problem is that skipping a good night's rest will have you looking tired and haggard in the morning.

It helps to give yourself a set schedule for when you sleep, so when bedtime comes around, you can drop everything and rest. Try diffusing lavender oil in your room to get you in the mood for sleep, and avoid scrolling on your phone before bed.

When you sleep, your body repairs any signs of cellular damage and boosts circulation to the skin, so you'll look glowing when you wake up after a complete sleep cycle. It can also help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes, dark circles, and sallow skin. Sleep deprivation, after all, speeds up aging and dries up your skin's moisture barrier—no matter how many products you use.

3. Move and meditate.

If you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol which triggers oil glands and aggravate conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise lowers stress levels, revitalizes cells, and purges built-up toxins—so yes, make the most out of that post-yoga glow.

Additionally, meditating also helps reduce anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. Just a few minutes of quieting your mind can effectively lower your stress levels.

4. Eat your fruits and veggies.

Integrating superfoods into your diet isn't just great for your health, it can also do wonders for your complexion. The best part is that most of them are really tasty! Oatmeal, for example, won't increase your blood sugar the way carbs like cereal and white bread can, so it can help prevent inflammation and breakouts. Make it a regular in your diet by having it for breakfast. Avocados are rich in healthy fats and vitamin E, so making an avocado shake or adding some slices to your sandwich can help improve your skin's moisture retention. You'd be surprised at how many healthy meals you can quickly prep right before work!

Having a more colorful, nutritious plant-based diet can help protect your skin from damage and environmental stressors, so load up your pantry now. You can also get that much-needed vitamin boost, by regularly taking your multivitamins. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production and undoes the damage done by UVA and UVB rays; vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent inflammation, and vitamin B-complex helps skin regenerate and heal itself. Take multivitamins that contain iron, since iron helps fight oxidative stress.

Together with a healthy diet, Multivitamins + Iron (Stresstabs) can help fight the visible signs of stress in your skin.

Multivitamins + Iron (Stresstabs) is available at Watsons, in-store and online. Before integrating any supplement into your daily routine, please consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

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