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Stress & your skin (Part 2) - Dryness & Redness

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Dryness

The problem

Stress has also been proven to compromise the natural layer that seals moisture into our skin. ‘To keep this barrier healthy, it needs to turn over in a cohesive and organised manner,’ says Dr Greg Goodman, of the Dermatology Institute of Victoria. When this barrier is damaged, it leads to dehydration and possibly more serious issues, such as eczema or psoriasis.

The solution

When it comes to putting moisture back into your skin, begin by repairing your barrier function. Try lotions containing hydrators, like hyaluronic acid or evening primrose oil, to protect against moisture loss. After a quick fix for dehydration and relaxation remedy is one? Treat yourself to a mini facial at hone by applying a nutrient-rich mask after a shower or bath. Tabitha McIntosh, naturopath and clinical nutritionist from Awaken Your Health, also stresses the value of a daily fish oil supplement and a diet rich in essential fatty acids.

The buys

1. Ego QV Intensive Moisturising Cleanser, $15.99

2. Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, $61.50

3. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, $118.15

4. Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Rich Moisturising Day Cream, $12.99

Soothe your scalp

‘Stress increases the blood flow to your scalp, which, in turn, can promote symptoms of dryness, itching or flaking,’ says Dr Rene Rust, P&G Beauty & Grooming scientist. Keep the condition under control with the use of a treatment range, like Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, $11.49 each. Also treat your scalp to regular massages that will promote growth while relieving tension.

To reduce skin sensitivity, avoid sun exposure, weather extremes and products with irritating ingredients, such as alcohol. 



Redness

The problem

‘The effect of stress on our skin makes it more susceptible to further irritation, redness and sensitivity,’ explains Dr Tom Mammone, executive director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology for Clinique. It can play havoc on our skin’s immune system, and just as we are prone to catching a cold when we’re run down, so, too, is our complexion more vulnerable to redness when we’re anxious. That’s why chronic conditions like rosacea are more likely to flare up when you’re under pressure, he says.

The solution

A simple skincare approach is beat. Choose products formulated with anti-inflammatories, such as cucumber, oat meal or vitamin E, designed especially for fragile skin. Limit your daily routine to just a calming cream cleanser, redness-reducing serum and a gentle moisturiser, and stay clear of products containing artificial fragrance or alcohol. It’s also a good idea to keep a soothing spray handy to reduce redness while you’re on the go. And when it comes to your diet, McIntosh suggests strengthening and shielding your complexion with anti-oxidant-rich foods, like red berries and green tea, and to avoid caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars wherever possible.

The buys

1. Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser, $38

2. Neutrogena Oil-Gree Moisture Sensitive Skin, $13/99

3. Avène Soothing Moisture Mask, $38.95

4. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, $39; Aspect Red-Less 21, $96.80

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