We all know that moments of anger and pleasure can reshape our face, but stress is able to make this metamorphosis permanent. If we look around, we find that modern people look much older than they actually are. The weariness of our increasingly demanding jobs is leaving its trace also on the outside.
The everyday work stress will certainly make you look 5 years older, and if you don’t make a change in your life and manage it that number will double. Your skin is the only organ you can’t hide from others, so let’s see how it shows the signs of suffering.
From Dark Circles to Eye Baggage
If you look at the demons in modern horror movies, you’ll realize that almost every one of them has dark circles around their eyes. This seems very scary to us, although it’s a pretty common thing for every face. So why are we afraid? Because it makes them look tormented and old. This is exactly what everyday work stress does to you – it breaks the fragile capillaries under your eyes and instantly gives you a tired look.
But stress goes much further than an appearance, it actually makes you tired by depriving you of sleep. There is a reason why a good night sleep is referred to as the ‛beauty sleep’ – the traces of the sleepless night will wait for you in the morning – right on our face. The fluid gathers up in your lower eyelid area and pools below it, creating some pretty puffy baggage for your eyes. If you have a habit of sleeping on your stomach the puffiness of these under-eye bags will be even worse due to gravity. To relieve your eyes from this traitorous black baggage you need to sleep at least eight hours and don’t go into bed with your gadgets.
Dry Feast of Bad Bacteria
When you’re glued to your desk with your stress levels hitting the roof, the chances are you’ll be drowning in coffee. You’ll also need a sugar hit every now and then, so you’ll keep at least one bottle of soda close by. That is a perfect combination for dehydrating and the fact that you’ll completely forget to drink water will lead to changes in your skin moisture. Flakiness is not just something that happens – if you don’t provide your body with proper hydration your skin will take on an appearance of crepe paper, and it will feel like that, too.
Not only you’ll become sucked dry, but various junk food deliveries in combination with the last night’s sleep deprivation will completely shatter your immune system. This will cause an imbalance in your gut which is called dysbiosis, and that is when hives and rashes appear. This skin change takes place when the bad bacteria overweights the good. In other words, when the stress takes over.
‛Take a deep breath’ are not the words people are just saying to keep you calm – if you do it properly the chances of getting a rash or hives when stressed will minimize. Nevertheless, it’s recommendable to check with your doctor if you should take some medical-grade probiotics in order to establish the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
Our face is like an open book, written by the experiences in our lives. Every line tells a certain chapter of our life stories. Deep wrinkles have been considered a sign of wisdom since they’ve come from a facial expression during deep thinking. But today that’s far from the truth – if life wants to leave stories on our faces it has nowhere to do it – our eyes, mouth, and forehead will be completely webbed with wrinkles before we have time to acquire some true wisdom. Chronic stress at work has us making facial expressions constantly, from pursing our lips to furrowing our brows.
It’s very hard to be conscious of this when you’re overwhelmed by the amount of work awaiting you on your desk. People have tried to train their muscles to relax by taping a piece of clear tape in between the arches of their brows and above their upper lips, but, although the wrinkling of the tape is a good reminder to relax, wearing face tape in public is…well, not nice. There are silicone-based formulas that fill the wrinkles and help the makeup conceal them, but at the end of the day, they’re still there.
It’s no wonder that many people decide they need to turn a new page on their faces, but, as experts constantly remind, the successful facelift or blepharoplasty surgery is only the natural-looking one. For that reason, it is very important to wisely choose your plastic surgeon. Whatsmore, if the procedure is done unskillfully, you would need to undergo a revision facelift procedure. Erasing what the stress has written on our faces doesn’t just require experience and craft – it also requires an artistic hand and an eye for detail.
Teenage Drama Revisited With a (un)Hairy Twist
Teenage years are the time when boys really start checking out girls and vice versa, but also a time when acne jump in to interfere in these interactions. Once you finally get rid of them you feel like a new person, but stress at work can shatter your confidence by making them reemerge again. The release of the stress hormone called cortisol can throw off the other hormones inside your body and cause this breakout on the surface, throwing you in the teenage drama for the second time. Maybe you think you’ve learned not to pick and poke your pimples (the hard way, of course) but the anxiety caused by stress will make you do it anyway, as a way to release tension.
And now the twist – while your face will travel back to teenage years, your hair will travel in the opposite direction. Some people are predisposed to gray hair, and the stress can leave it gray by causing the melanin in it to stop producing. It can also make your hair thinner in diameter. The stress accelerates the natural cycle of your hair, making the path from growing, across resting, to the falling-out phase much quicker.
Although these signs of aging and skin damage seem disastrous, they’re not irreversible. Dark circles and under-eye bags just need some sleep, while flakiness, rashes, and hives just need some balanced diet. Acne will retreat just as they did in your teenage years, your hair will return to the regular growing system, and even the deepest wrinkles could be banished by the artistic hand of an experienced surgeon. But the first thing is to manage your stress levels. Maybe you don’t have to quit your job, but you can’t let it dictate an unhealthy lifestyle.