The pressure to be perfect is all around us. We want 110% on all of our exams, a romantic, over-the-top invite to this year’s prom, a BFF who will never let us down and, of course, perfect skin like we see on TV.
Well, let’s leave the plastic perfect world to the Barbies we put away years ago. Real life is much more complex (and interesting!). There are ups and downs, like an ongoing roller coaster. At the end of the day, these challenges make us stronger women, women who are destined to conquer the world.
But, it always helps to make sure we’re as educated as possible about…well…anything and everything. It helps to take the blindfold off so that we can better anticipate what’s ahead.
Take our skin, for example. Our teen years can be especially frustrating. Like you didn’t have enough to stress about with the upcoming French test, the fight you had with your bestie and your mom putting pressure on you to land that part-time job—and THEN you had to break out on top of that? Seem unfair? Oh, I’m with you. It’s like stacking stress upon stress on your head—eventually, something’s going to topple over.
Faze caught up with renowned psycho-dermatologist Dr. Richard Fried to chat about the connection between stress and your skin, and to clear up any misunderstandings.
- Acne is caused by bad hygiene.
- Eating sugary foods or consuming too many dairy products will lead to breakouts.
- Using moisturizers will make acne worse.
- Sexual activity, too much or not enough, affects the state of your skin.
- 80% of young people 12-24 suffer from acne—which is much more prominent than it used to be.
- A pimple is formed, at the microscopic level, 3 weeks before it actually appears on your face.
- Over-the-counter treatments (which are safe and simple) can be just as effective as oral prescriptions.
- Stress can be a contributing factor to the cause and the severity of a breakout—emotional, psychological, academic, etc.
- Scrubbing your face too hard or using too many different products at once can disrupt the skin’s barrier and let in more bacteria, making things worse.
- To help prevent acne from starting or from getting worse, make sure that your skin care regimen is consistent.
- Look for products with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, green tea or tea tree oil.
- Keeping your skin barrier well hydrated is very important in controlling and, in some, cases preventing acne.
- Avoid prolonged contact with anything on your face (e.g., bangs, headbands, etc.).
- Give your skin care products at least 3 weeks before you can realistically start expecting improvement.
- Pay attention to what stresses you out and take steps to reduce those stressors (for example, find an activity, even just once a week that helps decrease stress and increase happiness).
Remember that taking care of your skin should lead to feeling more empowered and more in control.
For one way to keep your skin in check, try using Neutrogena’s Acne Stress Control line on a regular basis. But remember, wait at least 3 weeks before expecting to see results from any product!