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Is your skin stressed? Here are five signs you should look out for

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Did you know that an increase in stress can affect your skin? Dr Alek Nikolic shares ways to treat/avoid stress-induced skin problems.
Did you know that an increase in stress can affect your skin? Dr Alek Nikolic shares ways to treat/avoid stress-induced skin problems.
Photo: Galina Zhigalova/EyeEm/Getty Images
  • A rise in stress levels can have an effect on the health of your skin. 
  • From increased breakouts to redness, when your skin is stressed it will show through several signs.
  • Dr Alek Nikolic addresses signs of stressed skin and what can be done to treat/avoid it.



Breakouts, redness, and dryness - these could all be signs that your skin needs some TLC.

Let's face it, we live in a world where stress has become a part of our day-to-day lives, and sometimes that internal struggle can manifest physically, showing itself through our skin.

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin's surface, consisting of cells and lipids. A healthy functioning skin barrier can aid topical products and ingredients in effectively maintaining the skin.

When dealing with stressed skin, the best place to start is a good skincare routine.  

"It's important to establish your skin type in order to choose the right ingredients needed by your skin to get back to its radiance," says Dr Alek Nikolic in a statement regarding skincare.

Dr Alek is a specialist in Aesthetic Medicine and the owner of online skincare store, SkinMiles

"I often see clients making the wrong choices, using products that work for their loved ones or friends, but when it comes to getting results, I highly recommend a tailored approach," he adds. 

According to Dr Nikolic, these are the common signs that indicate that your skin is stressed.  

Are you having increased breakouts?

If your skin seems to be breaking out more than usual, this could be a sign of stress. When we are stressed, our skin produces a natural oil called sebum which mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria and ultimately clogs pores which lead to breakouts. 

The natural reaction to this may be to increase the number of times you cleanse your skin, but this could lead to dry skin. Some products can help control your breakouts, but you should also look at ways to reduce your stress.  

ALSO READ | We're all exhausted but are you experiencing burnout? Here's what to look out for

Have you noticed increased redness in your skin?

An increase in your stress levels could trigger a "flight or fight" response in your body, releasing hormones into the bloodstream. As you become more anxious, your capillaries expand, causing an increase in blood flow to the face. Dr Nikolic recommends using a retinoid to help reduce redness. You should also eliminate products that may irritate your skin. 

Has your skin lost its lustre?

Dull skin can be another sign of stress. Try a Vitamin C serum to help get that glow back. Containing free-radical-fighting, anti-inflammatory, melanin-inhibiting, and collagen-stimulating properties, it's the perfect boost for dull skin.

"This natural antioxidant can help protect skin from oxidative damage from UV rays and pollution, clear acne, fade dark spots, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's also proven to boost the effectiveness of sunscreen," says Dr Nikolic. 

Is your skin dry and flaky?

Quench your skin's thirst with ingredients that replenish, rehydrate and repair the skin barrier. 

"My main go-to ingredients to look out for are emollients, skin-replacing ingredients or Humectants and antioxidants," says Dr Nikolic. 

Eyes tired?

If your eyes are tired, you could be dehydrated. Increase your water intake. Try drinking at least one glass of water before reaching for that coffee in the morning. 

"As a medical professional, I understand innately that we all have a compromised skin barrier to one degree or another. To allow our skin barrier to function at its best, a topical skincare regime must be tailored with ingredients that repair and heal your skin. Even if we're using the best products available, a damaged skin barrier will always prevent these products from optimally benefitting the skin," Dr Nikolic explains. 

ALSO READ | How working longer hours and sleeping less damages your skin

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