The best beauty secret is learning to handle stress. Stephanie Smith finds out how to make sure your worries don’t show on your face.
Stress causes damage to health and looks, to the extent that no amount of concealer, overnight remedies and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm will iron out the evidence.
Chronic stress can be a learned process. As the exam season approaches, now is a good time to teach youngsters how to manage stress and develop practices to help them avoid building up later physcial and mental health problems.
But the damage caused by stress to how we look should not be under-estimated. Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which can promote weight gain, high blood pressure and the breakdown of collagen in the skin, making it harder for it to repair itself.
Then there is hair loss, when the hair follicle’s growth is switched from active to resting, usually for about three months, after which hair is shed, so the results of a period of stress are not always immediately apparent. Add to this acne and rashes caused by irritation and allergies, and the effects on the eyes caused by a lack of restorative sleep – inflammation and a build-up of fluid leading to puffy eyes and dark circles – and it becomes clear that learning how to deal with stress will be of immense overall benefit.
Regular exercise, preferably outdoors, is a good starting point, so walk for at least 20 minutes or simply take advantage of a sunny spell for a spot of gardening.
Socialising is another stress-buster, which means you shouldn’t prevent your revising child from going out to meet friends (within reason).
There are simple relaxation techniques to try on patient.info and it’s well worth investing in some aromatherapy remedies. For example, Harrogate-based Neom Organics has its Stress Less Starter Kit with bath foam, intensive stress relief treatment and candle on offer at £36 (usually £46, Neomorganics.com), while Nathalie Bond Lavender and Chamomile Dead Sea Salts will soothe all the senses (£18.50, nathaliebond.com).