How I Rescued My Skin, Nails And Hair From The Effects Of Stress

I was going bald and kept waking up with one less toenail. How gross is that?

During the months leading up to my big move to New York last fall, I was very stressed out about money, my job, getting a new job and a breakup.

It was a transition time. And the funny thing is that when I’m stressed, I don’t necessarily feel it. I don’t think, Wow, I am so stressed right now. My body just reacts to it. Sometimes I get styes, other times I get sensitive areas on my skin that feel like they're on fire, and most of the time I lose my appetite.

This time, my hair and nails were falling off, and my skin was not having a good time. It all just caught up to me. I was going bald and kept waking up with one less toenail. How gross is that?

So for the big move, I knew I had to make a change in the beauty/health department of my life.

The first thing I did was to start to take zinc, a recommendation from my cousin Naomi, who's on her way to being a plastic surgeon. I bought them in 50mg tablets that are taken once a day before a meal. (Or after… I just take one when I remember.)

This particular bottle claims, “Zinc promotes healthy skin, hair and nails, supports normal taste and vision, and promotes the synthesis of collagen in bone tissue. It also supports cell growth and DNA formation. It exerts antioxidant activity and can support a healthy immune system.”

Anyways, I definitely noticed a change with time. Slowly, my nails recovered and are now stronger.

My skin also started to have a subtle glow.

Right when I moved here, the weather was so harsh, my skin was flaky--that NEVER happened in Texas--so I switched up my beauty regimen once in NYC.

Aside from the zinc, I started washing my face twice a day using Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight like most cleaners do.

I pat my face dry after cleansing and then spritz it with Lush Eau Roma Water, which is a water toner that contains rose and lavender water. The toner wakes me up in the morning and reduces redness.

While my face is still wet, I apply Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. My skin soaks up all the moisturizer better and more quickly.

This is my favorite moment of the day--the three minutes it takes for my face to dry. I brush my teeth and do my hair. It’s very relaxing.

Oh, right, hair! I’m not sure if it’s the zinc, New York City water or a combination of both, but my hair doesn’t need any maintenance now. Yes, my ends are dry--they will always be dry, no matter what I do--but it just feels stronger.

And remember when I talked about my horrible scalp? Well, my scalp no longer needs a mask or any “special” treatment.

I just wash my hair with Moroccanoil Shampoo and Conditioner, towel dry and let it completely dry overnight.

This whole change has resulted in me not wearing makeup.

Well, only Monday through Friday. I still need my cat eye during the weekends.