WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 27, 2013
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Skincare SOS

While pimples and acne are still often thought of as an adolescent phase which people grow out of, that simply is not the case. In fact, adult acne is on the rise with over one in five people developing acne after the age of 25. It is thought that the large increase in numbers of acne sufferers over the last twenty years is related to the high amounts of stress adults go through in their daily lives. Longer working hours, more expensive living costs and a surge in unemployment are all key factors in the rise of stress in the modern world. The high amounts of pressure we place on ourselves in the workplace creates stress hormones in the body, which in turn produce more oil in the skin which causes acne and pimples.

If your career is making you feel stressed and anxious, it could well be showing on your face in the form of a breakout. There aren’t any creams, skin treatments or even medications which will be able to tackle acne which is caused by consistent stress in the workplace. It’s time to assess your work life balance.

Ask yourself if you spend enough time at home. When you’re away from office, are you constantly checking your emails, making notes or working out of hours? Do you have a problem saying no to your colleagues and allow yourself to take on too much? There is always a way to manage your stress levels in the office and you mustn’t be ashamed to admit that you’re feeling overwhelmed. When your body is showing physical symptoms of being under too much pressure, there’s no doubt that you need to intervene.

If you’ve managed to organise your work life balance and you have enough time to yourself when you can switch off and forget about work then you’re doing well. However, there will always be a deadline to meet or presentation to give which is going to cause some amount of stress in your life. If it feels too much, you could consider taking up yoga. Not only will exercise help you handle stress better, but you will also learn breathing techniques which can relax you during difficult days at work.

By tackling these issues, you should find that stress related acne and breakouts are significantly reduced. However, you’re only human and the occasional pimple may still crop up now and again. It’ll most likely be when you have had a run of late nights, have been eating on the go and have felt stress creeping in, despite your best efforts.

Unfortunately, it seems to be the times which we could really do without having a breakout that we seem to get blemishes the most. If you have an interview, important meeting, presentation or first day in a new job, there may well be a chance that you could end up with a pimple due to an increased amount of stress. Let’s face it; you’d rather not have to deal with a breakout when you want to look your best.

The important thing is not to panic. Breakouts and stress spots are just part of modern life and I guarantee that while it may stick out like a sore thumb to you, chances are that nobody else will even notice it. However, there are still a few things you can do to heal it, or at least make it smaller and less angry.

  1. Take an antihistamine – providing you have no allergies you can take a non-drowsy anti-histmene, which will make a blemish less red and inflamed. This stops it feeling sore which can be a distraction and also makes blemishes easier to cover as they aren’t as red.
  2. Moisturise – contrary to popular belief, the best way to heal a spot is not to dry it out. If you dry out your spot then you’ll be left with a scar which will take a long time to fade. Instead, promote healing by making sure the area is well moisturised.
  3. Use a clay mask – if you have a few days till your big presentation or interview, then use a clay mask on spots which are still under the skin. This will draw it to the surface, where it can heal more quickly. However, do it at least 3 days before as you can be sure that the next day you’re under the skin spot will be visible to everyone.
  4. Consume fish oils – fish oils promote healing, reduce inflammation and balance hormones which cause spots. If you’re prone to stress induced acne then consider taking them a few weeks before the event to avoid a breakout. However, if it’s too late for that just make sure you have a good dose when a spot arises; it’ll cut down the healing time.
  5. Drink water – consume plenty of still water to flush out toxins and keep your skin hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the more efficient your skin will be at tackling those angry spots. Replace all caffeine and alcohol with water up until the event, for smoother and clearer skin.

Next time you’re faced with a pimple when you have a big day at work coming up, just keep calm and remember these tips.

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