A to Z Grooming Guide

S for Sleep and Stress #AtoZGroomingGuide

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All of us have had that one day when nothing goes right, you’re working for 3 hours straight on a project and the power goes off and you don't have backup or when you have to reach somewhere very urgently and Shobhit from uber takes a lifetime because he took the wrong turn. Something’s life are not in your control but still directly affect your mental state. Stress not only affects your mood, concentration, and sleep but also directly impacts your looks, including the health of your skin. You might wonder why is it so easy for others to make out if you’re stressed, just by looking at you.

How does stress affect your skin?

When we face a stressful event, the body releases the stress hormone called cortisol. In short, cortisol is necessary to help us deal with the cause of our stress. However, when stress becomes chronic or long-term, as it so often does with modern lifestyles, it has various negative effects on the body and on the skin.

Cortisol actually leads to collagen loss in the skin by affecting the cells that produce collagen, which is essential for maintaining our skin’s firmness, strength, and elasticity.

Another way that chronic stress affects our skin is that it leads to an increase in free radical formation, producing more than what the body’s inbuilt antioxidant systems can deal with. This results in what’s known as oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and skin ageing.

How does lack of sleep affect your skin?

Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your internal health, causing everything from a slower metabolism to irritable skin problems. While you're deep in your dreams, your skin goes into repair mode, sending fresh cells to the epidermis to give your skin a youthful glow.

  • Dehydration: During deep sleep, the body adjusts its overall hydration levels. It drains and processes excess water, sending moisture into the skin’s vital layers. Not getting enough sleep messes with your body’s hydration balance, leading to a dull, dry complexion. If you’re having an especially sleepless week, double up your water intake to help your skin maintain balanced moisture levels.
  • Inflammation and Breakouts: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body goes into panic mode, releasing loads of stress hormones like cortisol. These stress hormones increase inflammation and make it harder for your body to battle acne-causing bacteria. This increase in inflammation can cause red, painful breakouts and exacerbate underlying inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.
  • Dark Circles: When your body is all wigged out from lack of sleep, your blood vessels dilate, causing blood to pool under your eyes. As blood gathers, pesky dark circles appear and can be challenging to diminish.
  • Pre-mature Ageing: While we sleep, the skin produces new collagen to help repair injuries and damage. More collagen equals plumper, softer, youthful-looking skin. You may not notice the ageing effects right away, but if you are regularly sleep-deprived, your skin will gradually develop more wrinkles and signs of ageing than if you’d been consistently well-rested.

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