How stressed is your skin? - Toronto Dermatology Centre
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How stressed is your skin?

How stressed is your skin?

Young woman with dissatisfied faceWell, you need only glance in the mirror to answer that. “We wear our stress on our faces,” Dr. Mark Lupin of Cosmedica in Victoria, says. “And stress can wear us down, leading to a more tired look.”

Dr. Lupin says the overall effect of a prolonged period of stress, like the recent Christmas season, perhaps, or a single event such as buying or selling a home, can have similarly severe effects on the skin.

“Beyond frown lines that can deepen with time, stress can lead to puffiness under the eyes and increased redness from flushing,” he explains. “Beyond the direct signs, there are also indirect effects of stress that show on our faces. Some hormones are increased by stress which can lead to acne breakouts — this is especially common in youth around exam times in school.”

But it’s not just exam time for teens, or the post-holiday debt crunch that can wreak havoc on skin. “Signs of distress in the skin is unfortunately something that is commonly seen all year round,” Charmaine Cooper, the Canadian education manager of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute Dermalogica, confirms.

Weather can also factor in to the overall haggardness of skin. “Harsher climates can also lend to environmental assault on the skin,” Cooper explains. “When the climate is extreme, or when there are spikes in the pollution levels in the air, such as soot and toxins, it can contribute to irritation in the skin.”

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