What to Do When Your Face Freaks Out (Bonus: It’s Free!)

Thu, 31 January 2013 2:05PM

I’ve been panicking a bit this week, Primpers. Mainly because in literally a couple of days I’ll be taking my seat on the A380 and relocating to London. Indefinitely. So, as you can imagine, I’m trying to jam in catch ups with family and friends, and lovely last-minute Aussie-type activities, with appointments, deadlines and that small matter of packing up my entire life into two suitcases (and a shipping container). Just typing that sentence made my pulse race. It’s fair to say that stress is my bestie of late.

And for the first time, I’ve really noticed what a toll it’s taking on my complexion. Suddenly, I’m spotty. I have black circles beneath my eyes that even my trusty YSL Touche Eclat can’t conceal. My fine lines are more visible. My skin is sallow. Need I go on? When I want to be celebrating my departure looking as radiant as Jennifer Garner at the SAG Awards

…I look more like an extra from The Walking Dead.

It got me thinking about a chat I had with Gwinganna Spa Training Manager, Angela Derks, a little while back. She, ahem, stressed that how we feel absolutely impacts on our physical appearance. “If you have ‘stress reactive’ skin…it directly reacts to the levels of stress and the resulting cortisol levels [in your body],” she explained. “This leads to decreased immune resistance, circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, and skin imbalances such as blemishes, dermatitis and rosacea.” She added that these already-annoying skin conditions are exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, a less than ideal diet and a stressful schedule.

Which is exactly where I find myself now. And as it’s post-holiday, back-to-school-and-work, knuckle-down-with-the-new-year time right now, I imagine that many of you are stuck in the same skincare rut. So, what now?

“Make a change by building resilience to stress trigger factors in your life. Alter how you view this stress and therefore, how your body responds to such triggers,” is Angela’s advice. She reckons that the best thing you can do for your face is to shut your eyes and try to sleep off whatever it is that’s worrying you. “Sleep allows your body time to rejuvenate right down to the cellular level, “ she says.

Finding it difficult to doze off? The answer is simple: work out more. Not only will you feel more tired at night, making sleep easier to come by, but it’ll help your complexion out, too. “Regular exercise brings oxygen and nutrition to the skin, and the rest of our cells and body systems,” Angela explains. “Plus, it supports our stress resilience.”

I know. It seems too simple, right? But think about the times you look your best. For me, it’s when I’m rested and feel fit, strong and ready to deal with what life throws at me. I’ll be honest and say that amidst the craziness of packing and, well, partying, I’ve let the early-nights-and-daily-jogs routine slip. No wonder I look like and extra from The Walking Dead, despite piling on the anti-aging potions. And if I can repair my complexion without spending a cent, well, so much the better. No excuses: A few nights in and some fresh air it is!

Tell me, are you feeling stressed at the moment, Primpers?

Have you noticed it taking a toll when it comes to your beauty routine? Let me know your freak-out-fixes. Obviously, I need it.

Until next time (from London!),

Emily x

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  • Posted by: lolo Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 02:15pm

    At the moment I have been quite relaxed which is nice for a change! Work is getting a little easier and Im still in holiday mode! haha.
    A great fix for stressed skin is to grab a flannel/muslin cloth and run it under hot water, hold it over your face and let the steam soak in, better than any cream or potion ive ever used! :)

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 02:43pm

    I have to say it would have to be exercise, rest and sleep. But I also heard that too much sleep can leave you puffy. Its a hard balance to keep.

  • Posted by: Britty1 Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 02:45pm

    im feeling very stressed at the moment. Not only do i have a full time job where i work 6 days a week (45 hours), a part time job where i work two week night and two weekend shifts (totalling another 20 hours) and a saturday night job on the door of a night club (9pm-2.30am), but I am also missing my partner who is working in the mines in WA (for the same reason as I am doing 65+ hours a week – money issues), and I also always find myself getting involved and dragged into other peoples drama and I find it really stressful and have been suffering from hot flushes and sudden onset of nausea. Also with all those hours and travel to work (which is an hour eahc way from my home) it leaves very little time for adequate sleep or R&R, time to myself or time to socialise.

  • Posted by: aeko91 Master Fan // Thu, 31 January 2013 02:47pm

    I get worse bags if I oversleep rather than under sleep.. weird!

  • Posted by: LouAna Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 12:41am

    I’m the same aeko91, if I’ve over slept I feel puffy

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 09:08am

    I do find if I’m stressed my skin doesn’t seem to behave itself very much.

    Good Luck with your move, I love London., springs just started.

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 09:51am

    Mmm with two young kids im stressed pretty often but I was worse when Iwas selling computers at Harvey Norman. I feel really puffy if I sleep for too long.
    I totally agree with you emily. Im always at my best mentally and physically after some exercise.

  • Posted by: Nicole // Fri, 1 February 2013 10:25am

    Ahh… my face has completely broken out at the moment… Have just come home from a two week road trip with a new man… I’ve gone from drinking 2-3L of water religiously to maybe a glass per day (didn’t want to be constantly stopping to pee)… Also may super healthy wholefood-only diet has relaxed a little (still pretty healthy, but more dairy/high fructose fruit then I’d usually have – don’t want to be a complete kill joy), The culmative effect of all the above is not pretty… Sore and itchy blemishes near my mouth/jawline. Oh well, have upped the H2O again and slowly getting back into healthier eating and my skin is slowly improving…

  • Posted by: melany Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 12:20pm

    My skin freak-out fixes would have to include drinking plenty of water, getting as much sleep as possible, and using less makeup so as to give my skin a rest and let it breathe!

  • Posted by: Julieow Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 04:01pm

    I definitively get freakout skin, spots, this weird hand dermatitis and sometimes on my eyes too. Flaxseed oil (capsules and drizzled on heaps of food) really helps to build skins defences plus I find manuka honey masks great for soothing/healing. London baby! How exciting!!

  • Posted by: Jessielyn Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 05:39pm

    Exercise is the best cure for any ailment (almost) or beauty drama, in my opinion. When I’m exercising regularly, eating well and not drinking too much alcohol, my skin is clear, my eyes are bright and I have no trouble going to sleep, and then actually staying asleep. I’ve been on workers comp for a couple of weeks now as I’ve hurt my back (and as such, can’t exercise) and I feel horrendous, my skin is starting to break out with these cystic-looking deep-skin pimples and I can’t sleep.

    I definitely need no more convincing living a healthy lifestyle really makes the difference!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 05:39pm

    Always get enough rest. It really does mean you wont have dark circles and puffy eyes!

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 06:43pm

    This is making me wish I exercised more! haha

  • Posted by: Cathi123 Supporter // Wed, 6 February 2013 02:04pm

    It’s not always easy to stress less but I find that drinking lots of water, eating fruit and healthy food and trying to get more sleep helps a lot. My miracle in a bottle is Organic Rosehip Oil. A few drops on my face under my usual moisturiser really helps to clear up and plump up my skin. I still suffer from break outs even at the age of 53 but I swear that since using Rosehip Oil my skin looks and feels so much better!

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 7 February 2013 01:42pm

    I seem to be in a constant state of stress :(
    To combat the visible signs of stress I exercise (most days), eat well (most of the time!) and try to get as much sleep as possible (with an 18 month old, this isn’t always possible).
    Another great cure for stress I find is soaking in the ocean! For some reason that salt water seems to wash all my worries away :)

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 10 February 2013 04:43pm

    i am not feeling stressed at the moment :)

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 10 February 2013 04:50pm

    i try to exercise and sleep a lot

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Mon, 11 February 2013 03:04pm

    I love my sleep, so at least I get that right.

  • Posted by: aeko91 Master Fan // Fri, 22 February 2013 11:00am

    Drink plenty of water..like 3L

  • Posted by: karlita66 Devotee // Fri, 8 March 2013 11:30pm

    Lots of cold water and a lot of rest. The cold water is refreshing and soothing, not just physically. And rest, well I can’t get enough when I’m stressed.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Wed, 29 May 2013 08:55pm

    Hormonal is when I start to get spots. It is a monthly condition, some months are better than others.
    I love my sleep, time and a busy brain is my problem sometimes for not having a decent night sleep.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 20 January 2014 04:32pm

    Yes life can be stressful at times. My face reacts, I grind my teeth in my sleep, its no fun. I just have to remember to deep breath for calmness.


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