Maybe I made you angry right now by even just the title of the post, but I’m here to help. Because being angry all the time is messing up a lot of things, but it’s really messing up your skin.
Look, I understand how insane it can be. I live in the over-caffeinated world where people shove you on the subway or cut you off on your morning commute and you want to choke a bitch. I get that some guy is being a guy (because some of them are just assclowns, let’s face it) and he’s trying to get what he can while you make sense of it all.
But at risk of sounding like a yoga instructor, I’m going to need to you breathe through it and let it all go and move on with life. Because heart attacks are now the #1 killer of women, and all that stress is wreaking havoc on your skin.
If you want to avoid the wrinkle creams while you figure out how to get even while avoiding jail time, here’s what all that stress and angst does to your face:
It exacerbates oil production.
When your body perceives stress and tension, it disrupts oil production, which causes your skin to lose moisture; it thinks you might have to sweat because of running or delivering a beat down, otherwise known as the “fight or flight response.” When your skin dries out, your oil glands secrete more oil to help keep it lubricated. This results in Breakout City and/or the giant, planet-sized zit that forms when you’re plotting a "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"-style revenge strategy on a co-worker.
Your hormones are raging.
I don’t mean that in a PMS kind of way. Stress causes the body to release cortisol in response, which raises blood pressure, causes weight gain and tears down collagen in the skin. The longer you stay in this state, the harder it is for the skin to naturally repair itself, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
Your allergies will go into overdrive.
Ever notice that somewhere around your rage blackouts you have itchy skin or allergic reactions? When stress hormones come out to play, the skin’s mast cells release histamines in response, which are the key factors in allergic reactions like hay fever, asthma and a host of skin allergies. If your skin is inflamed or itchy, a few deep breaths can also help.
It causes puffy eyes.
When you’re really wigged out, your sleep cycle is disturbed. Lack of quality rest causes puffy undereyes (all that fluid has to go somewhere,) not to mention leaky capillaries. In addition, night is when the skin repairs itself best because the body isn’t multitasking. Don’t let anyone or anything disrupt your sleep.
Stress eating and drinking is really bad for you.
Look, the occasional martini or night out to blow off steam is one thing, but if you stay in a prolonged state of anger, those treats can become regular occurrences, which can lead to a whole new host of issues. Too much flour and sugar has been shown in studies to result in acne outbreaks and it dries out your skin, making it dull and lifeless. Furthermore, we don’t want to even talk about the dehydration that occurs after a night (or six) of binge drinking. It turns your face into a dry wasteland of lines. Just say no, or at least not as often.
Look, we’re all going to get older. Wrinkles are really no big deal when they’re earned, but you don’t have to help them along by staying in a state of anger and distress.
Whatever it is that’s working your last nerve? Let it go. Change jobs, ditch the relationship, move to the beach or start looking for healthier ways to relieve stress daily, like boxing classes or, yes, yoga. Whatever it is, it’s not worth your looks and at the end of it, it’s not worth your life.
Let’s put it all down here. Have you noticed that your stress level affects your skin? Do you wake up after a fight with your significant other with less-than-perfect skin? Let it all out in the comments section below.