Stress vs. Your Skin

Summer is coming, which means the end of the school year. This is a much anticipated time for young people, but it can also be a time of increased stress. Testing, college tours, last efforts towards the best grade and planning for the following year can be very taxing.

On top of the mental discomfort that stress brings, it can exacerbate things if that stress is equally troubling to your skin. Stress causes your body chemistry to change, which affects your skin’s health. There are specific ways that stress can impact our skin, but no need to worry, there are also some quick fixes to combat these challenges so your skin will be one less concern.

Puffy Eyes

These lovely windows into our bodies are quick to show any lack of sleep. The main characteristic of sleep loss caused by stress is puffiness around the eyes. Removing stress can help prevent future damage to the under eye area, but there are a few things that you can do right away to help with puffiness.

Under eye stress fixes:

  • The quickest fix would be to cover up the dark circles and puffiness with something gentle and easily applied. Kripa Orange Concealer blends easily under the eye and is extremely effective at covering up the blue tones that make you look tired. Layer with your foundation to mask your dark circles and puffiness and it will be like that sleepless night never happened!
  • If you have 20 minutes the morning after a sleepless night, try Nelly DuVuyst CirculaLift Eye Patches. During this 20 minutes, the patches will cool the area and help stimulate blood flow and decrease inflammation, minimizing under eye puffiness and dark circles. Taking this time for yourself during this treatment will give you a chance to breathe and relax, further relieving your symptoms of stress.
  • If you are looking for the ultimate eye treatment, I invite you to visit us at Modern Salon and Spa for one of our two customized eye treatments, available as an add-on service to any of our Nelly DeVuyst facial. Receiving a full facial with eye treatment will not only help with eye stress but also address any other signs of stress in your face as well as your body. We include light massage manipulations to the arms or calves, which will definitely put you in a better space with less stress.


Blemishes and stress can go hand in hand. I see this a lot in teens and in women dealing with stress. When the stress hormone cortisol rises in our bodies, so does our oil secretion. This can then turn into trouble for our faces. We then develop a nervous habit of touching and picking at our stressed skin, creating more of a problem. If you or your stressed loved one is under 18 we also offer a Fresh Face Facial which tackles pimples and blackheads with extractions. This facial also helps the teen look at their daily skin routine with some customized guidance from the esthetician. If coming into the spa isn’t an option right now then here are some other quick fixes to make the pimples go away faster so you can return to having clear skin.

Stress pimple fixes:

  • The most important thing you can do is to avoid touching your face, picking at or attempting to squeeze your pimples.  Doing so will cause the bacteria to spread,creating more of a challenge. Trying to extract your own skin can cause scarring and prolong the life of the pimple.
  • The bacteria must be addressed with an antibacterial or antiseptic product. We do not want to dry out the skin because this causes more creation of oil, but rather spot treat and dry out the pimple. Nelly De Vuyst Hygia Oil is a perfect choice. Containing an essential oil blend of lavender, thyme, rosemary and geranium, Hygia treats the blemish while soothing and hydrating the area.Not only will it help your bump go away quickly, but the aroma of this multi-use oil is so soothing that it is surely going to help also fight your stress. Breathe it in and enjoy the aroma while you apply to your spots or add it to the water that you wash your face with.
  • We also have a purifying line in Nelly Devuyst which consists of a mask, dry oil and a moisturizer. If you find yourself with more than just one bump add these products to your facial regimen. This line contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid  to continuously exfoliate your skin and clean out your skin to clear all pimples and blackheads fast. Do be especially aware that while using products containing AHAs you will be more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen to avoid sun damage.

Skin Dehydration

When we are consumed with stress, it literally drains our bodies of moisture. The lack of hydration in our body affects our skin with signs of aging. It can fade our natural glow and reduce our skin’s natural abilities to heal itself, the key to healthy skin. My favorite analogy of hydration vs dehydration in the skin is the comparison of a grape vs. a raisin. A grape is plump because it holds a ton of water under its skin. It is hydrated. A raisin is a grape lacking that water, and therefore is wrinkled and dull. Which would you like to look like? So, what can we do to maintain hydration? The consumption of caffeine and alcohol has been proven to cause dehydration in the body.  Also make sure you are sleeping the suggested amount to help fight further causes of stress that can dehydrate you. If you still find yourself lacking moisture you should try some of these other options.

Stress w/ water loss fixes:

  • When you suffer from dehydration in the skin it is not enough to just hydrate with a good moisturizer; you have to be able to get the moisture into the skin effectively. So think exfoliation in association with rehydrating skin. Something gentle is best, because moisture loss can also cause skin to become more sensitive. For example, our gentle scrub from Organic Pure Care is a light scrub that is so easy to use that it will take only 3-5 minutes after you cleanse. Add a generous amount to your whole face after cleansing, and then proceed to move the exfoliator over each area in circular movements. This will assist in the uplifting of dead or dry skin that may be stopping your moisturizer from doing its job. You can use this up to three times per week, but even once will make a huge difference.
  • Make sure your moisturizer is appropriate for your skin type. If you are dehydrated, I recommend Organic Pure Care Intensive Hydrating Cream. This moisturizer hydrates your skin quickly as well as reducing any redness caused by increased sensitivity. The plant extracts present in this cream are also present in its smell, which will help make your senses de-stress as well.
  • If you want to unwind entirely and forget all about stress, book an OPC Hydration Facial in 60 or 90 minute increments. This addresses the skin’s hydration as well as rebalances the entire body. You will leave renewed from face to toes. I suggest addressing stress once a month to make sure you are not accumulating from daily causes.

When it comes to stress caused by the desire to finish or start something that will impact our future, such as the transition from high school to college, it may be hard to relieve. We can control stress from showing on our face though and in return get over our stress a lot faster. Relax, drink lots of water and sleep well to avoid increasing your stress altogether. When it is over give yourself some self care and enjoy your summer break so you can prepare for next school year in good condition.

Call or text us to schedule your relaxing spa service! 704.339.0909

About the Blogger

Jessica McGuire

Esthetician since 2007
Modern Salon & Spa | Birkdale Village & Metropolitan

I always knew that I wanted to choose a career that would impact others in a positive way. Growing up in Raymond, Wisconsin with a mother and sister who are an occupational therapist and massage therapist inspired me to explore a field in which I can nurture others.  I love to help others reach their skincare, beauty, relaxation and wellness goals. The best part of my day is connecting with the people who entrust me with caring for their skin. I always strive to grow my knowledge and pass it on to others.

I love to provide waxing services for my guests, and I have often been told they are quick and painless!  In brow waxing, I find a creative outlet as well as the fulfilling goal setting that a lot of these entail.