Could Stress be the Ultimate Skin Predictor?
It’s Monday, and my new job has been ruining my skin. No kidding. Sure, it’s creatively stimulating and all kinds of fun. But as with most startups, it’s been a high-stress scenario, especially during those few months leading up to the launch. And a few weeks ago, the stress was all over my face, pizza styles.
For about a week I had a constellation of no less than 5 cysts—painful, inflamed, and all kinds of impossible-to-cover (because I picked!) ugly. I have not had that kind of breakout since, well, my last fast-paced job.
It’s kind of funny (not haha) to think that during the time when we were writing the book, and I was between jobs, I came to convince myself that I was actually a low-stress individual. Uh, hello delusion. It’s easy to be low stress when the only person you deal with is your bestie, and you get to spend your days pampering with natural products while researching and writing about something you love. (And if we’re really being truly honest, even then my monkey brain often had its way with me.)
We talked a lot about stress in the book, and the fact that it also comes with benefits: It makes people more thoughtful, more productive, and generally more successful.
But when it comes to my skin, stress—above food and alcohol, and even sleep—is the number one indicator of how mine looks. And it doesn’t just manifest as acne. The entire quality of my skin sallows with it too.
I saw this breakout as a warning siren: Something in me was out of whack, big time. And since then I’ve been on a mission to rebalance. With so much stress and stimulation in the world, at the end of the day the only thing we can control is our reactions—so that’s where I’ve been looking. Do I have boundaries? Do I ever turn off? What happens to my body when something stressful happens? (Clenching, neck pain, stomach upset?) I’m paying attention and my skin is on the road to recovery, but it’s a work in progress (a new cream from Tammy Fender is also helping!).
S and I think this is such an important topic: 1) because it impacts our health, 2) because it impacts our looks, and 3) because with the endless distractions of modern life we’re only getting more anxious. As such, we’re planning to tackle it more regularly in a new series around managing stress.
What happens to your body when stress hits?