Everyone encounters stressful situations, whether that be working with difficult managers, relationship problems, child rearing, a family death, bills and taking our pets to the vet. Life is full of everyday problems. While some people have access to ways that relieve their stress, others don’t. It’s normal to deal with stress on occasion, however, leaving your stress levels unchecked can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, obesity and depression.
Unfortunately, Black women suffer from what’s called chronic stress, where we consistently feel overwhelmed and pressured for long periods of time. When this happens, the hormone cortisol, which triggers our “flight or fight response,” is constantly being produced in our body. Not only does chronic stress hurt our bodies on the inside, but we can also start to exhibit problems on the outside. chronic stress can especially affect Black women’s skin in adverse ways.
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3 Signs Our Skin Is Under Too Much Stress
Recently, AVEENO sat down with Beauty and Skincare Expert, Editor and Entrepreneur, Felicia Walker, and Dr. Angela Ford, Chief Program Officer of the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) on how emotions can affect our skin.
In particular, she believes that darker skin is especially vulnerable to stress levels, given the challenges that Black Women face in today’s world. There are three ways in which chronic stress affects our skin.
1. Stress Can Break Out Our Skin & Leave Us Ashy
Walker and Dr. Ford note that stress can cause a wide variety of surface-level symptoms. In Black skin, unmanaged stress leaves our skin feeling itchy and dry.
Sabrina Henry, Aveeno’s principal scientist, reports that “71% of adults share that they have sensitive skin.” Though, that number has doubled in the last 20 years.
However, Walker argues that Black skin shows a different response to stress than other races. Furthermore, the prolonged condition can lead to visible symptoms of acne and eczema in Black women. Unfortunately, these skin problems are more severe and frequent in dark skin.
2. Why We Look So Tired In The Mornings
Another symptom caused by chronic stress can bear the appearance of looking tired. There’s a reason why doctors tell us to make sure we get plenty of sleep.
Unfortunately, prolonged stress can lead to insomnia, which then causes dehydration of the skin. Some studies even show that