When you're really effing stressed out about a big project, fighting with your S.O., or going through a major life change, you can at least slap a smile on and no one can see the swirling storm inside, right?
Well, not exactly. One of the *fun* bonus perks of stress is that it can take it out on your skin—making all that inner turmoil plain for everyone else to see. (And that's not the only weird physical stress symptom.)
Small things can trigger a visible reaction in some people, while it'd take an extreme event to show up in others. And some lucky peeps might not ever see a real change in their skin simply from stress, says Lance Brown, M.D., surgical and cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and East Hampton, NY. What determines that? Everything from the strength of your immune system to the genetic differences in the reactivity of your skin. One thing is for sure: If you have one of these super-common conditions, you're even more likely to wear your stress on your sleeve—er, skin.
But before you send your stress levels even higher, breathe deeply, because there's hope: If you can conquer your stress, you can save your skin.
1. Resist the urge to lick chapped lips.
While saliva may provide a quick fix, it actually makes things worse in the long run. “Though it may sound counterintuitive, when you lick your lips, which are more sensitive than other parts of the skin, the saliva evaporates, leaving them drier than before,” Lance Brown, M.D., a surgical and cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and East Hampton, New York, tells SELF.
Can a Cold Shower Really Benefit Your Hair, Skin, and Metabolism?
A blast of chilly water may do the body good—but are the shivers worth it? Of all the beauty trends out there right now, this one might take the cake: searches for "cold showers" are up 75% on Pinterest, according to the social platform. Proponents claim the brrr-inducing temps help increase metabolism, boost mood, and even lead to healthier skin and hair.
"The real benefits may come from avoiding super-hot showers in the first place. Hot water might feel good, but it does a number on your skin and hair, explains New York City-based dermatologist Lance Brown, MD. "Hot water will strip away some of the natural, protective oils that your skin makes," he says, which can leave skin feeling dry and itchy and possibly exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. This is especially problematic during the winter months, when cold air outside and dry heat inside naturally make skin more parched."
"Dr. Brown recommends short, 10-minute showers in lukewarm or mildly cold water. Lather up with a gentle, fragrance-free soap, pat your body dry with a towel, and follow up with a moisturizer on still-damp skin. Enjoy the glow!"
Dr. Lance H. Brown is honored to have received this recignition from Castle Connolly Top Doctors.
Stay healthy all year with this month by month checklist
More is often best. More gin in that tonic? Yes, please. More seasons of The Walking Dead? Bring it on.
But more can also be completely pointless and sometimes even a waste of money. More frosting on that cupcake? Not unless you want it to go straight to your hips. More pimples on your chin? Absolutely not.
And this is the case when it comes to skincare and the amount of cream, serum, cleanser or treatment you use on your face. Firstly, in our opinion (and in most skincare specialists’ opinions for that matter), you can never apply too much sunscreen. But other than that, too much of your beloved beauty cream is often not a good thing – neither on your bank balance nor on your beloved complexion.
This is why we caught up with Dr. Lance Brown, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and premiere skincare guru. So, what are the basic facts we need to know if we want to find our skincare products’ relative sweet spots? Well, they’re really quite simple…