Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Stressed Out In Lagos?...6 Ways It Affects Your Skin!

We have all kinds of stress in our lives, and it can play havoc with our skin
• family & relationships
• school & work
• money
• life events ~ a death in the family; marriage; the birth of a child; breakup or divorce
• environmental/physical ~ diet, sun exposure, over-exercise, heat & cold
• external events like weather ~ factors that we feel we have no control over
Living in Lagos can be Stressful! A lot of people are still struggle to come here, I don’t know why?! The City is cramped and over populated & unhygienic (But I love Lagos sha). The demands of the City, from traffic to NEPA (oh sorry PHCN) can leave you literally exhausted and gagging before the day is even over. You haven’t talked about the Saturday Market trip, the mob sends you marching at their pace, and in between dodging Okadas, pricing your purchases, and getting to your car…you want to scream!
Or is the Mall’s endless queues…The heat of getting from the church to the Wedding Reception of your Friend’s Wedding & is Sunday really Sabbath after all???... Putting it mildly the stress in Lagos is a lot to handle and it is bad for our overall health (and the skin’s health as well!) The human body is designed to handle normal levels of stress as part of our survival mechanism. In fact, studies have shown short bursts of stress are actually beneficial. It heightens our senses and makes us more alert; it makes us think about our circumstances and helps us make better decisions to resolve it. If not for that alertness, you will see Sisi Ekos cat-walking on Ikorodu expressway, hmm may that never happen because...gulp
But stress can be harmful to the mind and body if it goes unchecked, if it isn't dealt with or in uncontrolled measures!. If it's chronic, as many modern-life stresses are, it can be particularly harmful, affecting every part of the body, and the rate at which we age.

If you are under chronic stress, you can expect to see the following negative effects.
1. Itchy, ugly rashes
 Your epidermal skin cells lie on top of each other and are packed tightly together, forming a strong barrier that blocks the penetration of bacteria and other pathogens. When you are under stress, however, this protective outermost layer of skin becomes impaired or weakened.
Stress caused the outermost layer of skin to break up as skin cells shrink and the lipids between these cells evaporated. These tiny cracks make the skin more permeable, allowing harmful bacteria to infiltrate the deeper layers of skin. These bacteria produce a protein that activates the immune system, leading to eczema and psoriasis.
2. More severe acne.
Stress is one of the main contributors to sudden acne breakouts, due to an increase in hormones that attempt to stabilize you when you are stressed. There are many causes behind the formation of breakouts: Stress, excess oil, excess skin cells, bacteria, hormonal fluctuations, and genetics are all factors that can contribute to acne.
3. Cold sores
Stress affects many different immune cells negatively, which causes flare-ups of immunity-related skin conditions such as cold sores (along with psoriasis, eczema, shingles etc ).
4. Frown lines
Repeated frowning causes frown lines, and most people frown without knowing it. You can try to will yourself to smile, but if you are under chronic stress or have many negative thoughts and emotions, these forced smiles won’t last. Indeed, a natural, long-lasting smile comes only from positive emotions that make you want to smile.
5. Dryness
Stress reduces the lipid barrier on the skin, allowing fluids to evaporate and leading to dryness.
6. Dullness - When the stress response kicks in chronically, skin cells take longer to reach the skin surface and flake off, allowing dead skin cells to build up and causing your skin to look dull. This is where Exfoliation is priceless and essentially needed! 
Ladies, please ensure you watch those stress levels lest they rise high above our heads! It is indeed the silent killer, and we consciously have to watch it as it improves not only our skin’s health but also our over-all health and wellbeing!

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