I’m sure we have drilled it in to your head by now that the skin is affected by all aspects of our lives, from how much we are sleeping to what we use in our skincare regime. Our emotions, stress in particular, play a big role in skin health as do our habits that we fall into.
Just to recap, stress causes the body to release hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can short-term cause inflammation and flare ups of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. When stressful periods are prolonged, it can actually have a long term effect on the skin by disrupting the skin cell renewal cycle and accelerate the signs of ageing.
When it comes to a breakup, there are some common stages that we all go through;
Heartbreak Routine, or lack there of
The initial blow of a break up can shake even the strongest skincare gurus to their core. When we go through times of sadness or extreme stress, our regular routines tend to fall on the wayside. Meaning going through our normal routines may be all a bit much. This, as we all know, can have a negative impact on the skin, especially in conjunction with stress. Lack of a skincare routine, sleeping with makeup, and forgetting everything we know about protecting the skin throughout the day, can clog pores, lead to unwanted breakouts, and cause the skin to appear dull in appearance.
How to cope?
We know it is exhausting, but try your best to stick to a regular routine. Not only will your skin thank you, but going through a routine that you have control of in a time where you may feel out of control is one step in the right direction. Probiotics can alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress. We know that during this awful time talking to your best friends and family is the only thing that can help you battle through, but bare in mind that cell phones harbour bacteria and can also trigger acne or inflammation as a result of friction of the phone against the face. Use your airpods or earphones to avoid this as much as possible.
The Ugly Cry
Hey, even Kim K. needs a good ugly cry every once in a while. Emotional tears have higher levels of hormones in them, and less salt. When the body is working in overdrive to create your endless stream of tears, the glands around your eyes become inflamed. Puffy eyes here you come! In times of stress, the energy is pulled from the body to cope with the high inflammation. This will result in poor skin healing, lack of regeneration, oxygenation deprivation and inflammation and rosacea might be triggered. In addition, stress, depression and anxiety all result in lack of sleep which causes dark, puffy areas under the eyes, reduced immunity due to the fatigue and reduced resistance to infection. Our ability to heal or regenerate is also reduced.
How to cope?
The puff comes with the territory, and remember that you always feel more puffy than you look. But to reduce the side effects of an ugly cry, keep a few spoons in your freezer and gently massage under the eyes. You can also place warm (NOT HOT) green tea bags under the eyes. Under eye patches like those from Chantecaille and Peter Thomas Roth can also be lifesavers, we keep these in our refrigerator at all times in case of emergency!
Grab the Ice Cream
When we are stressed or upset, we all react in different ways. Some of us may turn to the sweet stuff (ice cream, chocolate) and a sappy rom com for comfort. The increase in sugar during a time that our skin barrier may not be working to its full potential may lead to a few spots.
How to cope?
Eat the ice cream, you deserve it. Just make sure that you have a BHA product on hand to help out any inflamed or clogged pores. Try to limit caffeine intake despite your lack of sleep. Excess of coffee will strain the body’s energy resources; the skin, hair, and nails being the first to suffer. Therefore, make sure you are keeping your skin hydrated with a HA serum + lots of water.
So you’ve cried, eaten, and drank your way through a breakup? Now that the dust has settled, you are ready to focus on yourself and getting that revenge skin. Get out the masks, peels, and face washing tools to gear up the arsenal for battle. However, try your best not to overstrip the skin when you’re getting back into things, by doing too much too soon (much like hitting the dating world), just take it slow!
How to cope?
Protect your skin with sun protection in order to block out free radicals, environmental stressors, and your ex’s bad vibes. Pair up the SPF with an antioxidant in the morning, especially if you are using a mask or peel the night before.
The Single Glow
Yes, just like those that are in love have a glow, when you settle back in to the single life you can get it too. By getting back into an exercise and skincare routine and focussing more on yourself than the stress that usually goes hand in hand with a relationship coming to an end, finding your own happiness will radiate and is something that even skincare can’t replicate. But beware, if you are also burning the candle at both ends drinking cocktails on rooftops, you can reduce immunity and lead to dehydration in the skin and body.
How to cope?
Keep on doing you. Make sure that you are balancing alcohol with lots of water and getting enough sleep/exercise.