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Experts give tips for stressed out skin

June 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The economy is certainly taking its toll, but not only on our pocketbooks. Doctors say our bodies can react to pressure physically, causing a slew of skin conditions and even premature aging. How do you look your best under stress and on a budget? Experts shows us what to do when stress shows. Laura Sheehy works hard to keep her finances out of "the red," but says all the economic stress led to flare ups of red on her face.

"You get overwhelmed with the big picture today," said Sheehy, who has rosacea.

Dr. Amy Wechsler, author of "The Mind-Beauty Connection," says it's no secret that stress is a leading cause of breakouts. Clinical proof shows it has to do with hormones.

"When someone is stressed, their levels of cortisol, which is the major stress hormone, goes sky-high. And cortisol breaks down collagen and causes inflammation," said Dr. Wechsler.

That's why it's no surprise the recession has led to an increase in patients at Dr. Wechsler's office.

"People are coming in and saying, 'I did not have this wrinkle last month.' Or they say, 'This is my, you know, my post market-crashing wrinkle,'" said Dr. Wechsler.

So what can you do to look your best while under stress? Dermatologist Debra Luftman says there are a slew of effective solutions available right at the drugstore.

"I tell my patients- keep it simple. You only need three to four products," said Dr. Luftman.

Start with a soothing cleanser. For example, Dr. Luftman says Cetaphil helps calm dry, irritated skin and Gly Derm Cleanser exfoliates to remove dead skin cells. And use sunscreen to prevent further damage.

"Banana Boat Sunwear Faces Oil Free SPF 30 covers the UVA and UVB rays and is oil-free, so it won't break you out," said Dr. Luftman.

And if a pimple pops up she recommends the Therapeutix Emergency Outbreak Stick that she developed.

"The Therapeutix Emergency Outbreak Stick is a treatment for acne on the go. It reduces pimples within two hours," said Dr. Luftman.

Here's a freebie: getting outside to exercise calms the skin.

"When we're exercising, we make more beta-endorphins and those are anti- inflammatory," said Dr. Wechsler.

Laura says the combo helps keep her skin clear, even when the market forecast isn't.

Dr. Wechsler also recommends products with retinol for wrinkles.

Web Extra Information: Products for stressed skin

The following products are drugstore recommendations given to us by Dr. Debra Luftman, author of "The Beauty Prescription":

  • Gly Derm Gentle Cleanser
  • Cetaphil Cleanser
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  • Dove Visibly Smooth Clinical Protection Deodorant
  • Banana Boat Sun Wear Faces Oil-Free SPF 30
  • RoC Retinol Actif Pur Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
  • Therapeutix Emergency Outbreak Stick
  • Aquaphor Ointment
  • Appearex -2.5 mg Biotin
  • Dove Beauty Bar
  • Lipton Green Tea Bags
  • Therapeutix Eye Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

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