Think about it. If there was a time when your skin was especially oily and all your photos were bad, how was life going? You probably didn’t have a moderate lifestyle or enough time to relax. It’s hard to look good when things are grating on you. It’s hard to look candid when you feel like the whole world is watching you. But when you can relax, your best snaps come out.
This is a deep, personal issue, which says a lot when all my blogs are about the weird and amazing things your body does. But today we’re talking about mental health.
First I’m going to throw down some facts about stress and your skin, then I’m going to tell you why it’s best to relax about it. You deserve to be calm.
Anxiety, depression and other mental issues come with a bundle of symptoms. You may lose sleep or get it at unusual times, you’ll often find you’re not drinking enough water and you’ll pretty much always experience stress. Any of these things will dry out your skin and make it flaky, but all together? That’s a recipe for acne.
Stress can create any kind of flare-up. Acne, eczema, rashes, buttne, your skin doesn’t discriminate when your blood is flooded with stress chemicals. These chemicals, such as cortisol, cause you to create more of our old friend sebum - the skin oil that gives you acne.
You may try to fix this by reaching for the Acne Control Caplets or putting on a Five Minute Skin Purifying Mask. But there’s a time for curing your issues, and a time to do a little extra so that you can prevent flare-ups.
Then there are times when you can help yourself by doing way less, or even nothing. How? Read on.
We at SkinB5 say you treat acne from within, but you can also treat it psychologically. That’s as within as it gets.
Here’s some real talk. I’m in my 20s and mental health is our Thing. Every generation has its Thing. Our parents had strange new diseases, their parents had a war to protest and our Thing is that half our friends have anxiety.
I dealt with it for a long time, and you probably have too. In high school, my grades went from top of the class to the bottom because of stress. Then I stepped back and decided that my grades weren’t important if they messed with my health. That’s when I got smart again, and I started looking good in photos.
Try stepping back and really assessing what makes you happy or doesn’t. Some people have serious brain imbalances, but a lot of us can change our moods - and the hormones in our skin - by thinking comfortable thoughts.
We get all these ideas that we have to put strange things on our skin, squeeze into the right clothes and put on a smile to look good. Society is full of uncomfortable things to wear. All these things are designed to make you look like you’re healthy and happy, the way heels make you look tall.
But what if you just do you?
It sounds generic when people say you’re fine just the way you are, or that you’ll look good if you’re comfortable. You may think, “That’s cool, but I’m most comfortable in my green gown and I would rather eat that gown than be seen wearing it with my navy chinos.” But those basic bits of advice are really true. Just for a while, don’t worry about how you look. Own whatever you are and whatever you’re wearing, own it so much you don’t care how much others like it. Now, try it with your personality, your wallet, what you expect out of life.
You can keep your skin clearer by letting go and being you. It’s as easy as doing nothing, which we really should do now and then. This is our Thing and we’ve got this.
If you need help being ok, there are plenty of things you can do. Talk to someone you trust, or get onto a crisis line. If you’re in Australia, call 13 11 14 for Lifeline. In China there’s Lifeline Shanghai on (021) 6279 8990 or lifeline-shanghai.com. In India, AASRA is on 91-22-27546669 or aasra.info.
Peter Matthews is doing ok. He’s a tea guy even though he lives in Melbourne where coffee is winning. His favourite B vitamin is B6, the one that can give you vivid dreams.
Photo by Ambreen Hasan on Unsplash