The current lockdown has resulted in stress for a lot of people – the stress of being cooped inside for weeks together; the uncertainty looming large has taken a toll on people’s mental wellbeing. Stress cannot be hidden; it is seen right on your face. The first tell-a-tale signs of stress are reflected in your face as pale skin and mild eruptions on the skin. Stress causes hormonal imbalance which leads to acne, rashes, hair thinning and fall, and various other skin breakouts. Also Read - Lakme Fashion Week: Amit Wadhwa Showcased A Diverse Beauty of Fabrics

It is imperative that people follow good skincare hygiene while they’re locked indoors. Staying inside does not necessarily mean you can forego or overlook skin and hair care. These are prone to more damage owing to stress.
Dr. Geetanjali Shetty, Consultant Dermatologist, and Cosmetologist on behalf of Cetaphil India tell us how one can take care of their skin and hair. She encourages people to follow a strict, if not elaborate, skincare routine, which involves cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Also Read - Hairstyle Styling Tips and Tricks To Notch Up Your Fashion Quotient This Festive Season

Similarly, nourish your hair with basic steps – oil your hair regularly, brush and comb hair – staying at home isn’t a license to not comb your hair, shampoo and condition your hair at least thrice a week. These are simple steps that can help you take your mind to the current situation and at the same time, it will help maintain the health of your skin and hair. Also Read - Benefits of Raw Turmeric in COVID-19: Here's How Kachi Haldi Builds Immunity, Helps in Recovery Especially During This Season

Most important of all, keep yourself hydrated with water and lots of liquid!

Side effects of Stress – Oily Skin & Acne

Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. When our body is stressed it releases cortisol which is our fight or flight hormone. The cortisol (stress hormone) weakens the skin’s immune system, leading to oxidative (free radicals) stress, which manifests itself as wrinkles, lines, and lackluster skin. It also increases inflammation in the body and conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis can flare-up.

Keeping your hair & skin health

Hair is non-essential to physical survival and so it will always be the first part of you to suffer when something is off-balance in your body. But maintaining it is equally important. Using a warm, natural hair oil can do wonders for hair health and texture, while it aids repairing damaged hair, it also helps nourish your scalp. You should ideally warm around 100ml of your chosen hair oil and then gently apply it on your hair every alternate day.

While for skin, the stress is quite evident in various forms like redness of the skin, acne, etc. If there are skin breakouts and eruptions – it is advised to avoid exfoliation and stick to cleansing your face thrice daily. Similarly, those who are on the drier side should aim to wash their face only twice a day with a foaming cleanser. Should your skin need a little boost, indulging in Vitamin C will help combat the loss?

So, if you know you’re about to enter a stressful period, try to build in time for the activities that will help you to feel calm and rested — your skin will thank you.

Role of Diet

Yes, it is highly imperative that one pays heed to what they’re eating. The lockdown can result in redundancy, as your physical activities will be down by notches – this can cause your digestive system to slow down leading to poor digestion; the effect of which can be seen in multiple ways including your face – oily skin, acne, skin eruptions, etc.

It is highly recommended that people eat a nutritious and balanced meal to ensure overall wellbeing. Important that we stay away from fried and spicy food. Vitamin E is the superfood of the skin – you can apply it on the skin topically or you can choose to consume it through vitamin E-rich foods like almonds, corn oil, cod-liver oil, hazelnuts, lobster, peanut butter, safflower oil, salmon steak, and sunflower seeds. The most essential thing to bear in mind is to keep you hydrated – drinks lots of water, juices, and liquids.

Finally, keep up your skincare routine – cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Keep a sunscreen handy for the times that you may have to make a quick (only necessary) dash to the grocers. Even if you’re not wearing makeup, your face still gathers sweat, sebum, and dirt build-up throughout the day.