It turns out that doing or having too much of anything in any area of your life can seriously impact your skin, exacerbating existing skin conditions like acne, eczema or rosacea.
In fact, the link between skin and excessive amounts of some activities, products or habits is becoming better understood in the medical community.
As the largest organ of the body, skin plays important barrier and immune functions, maintaining homeostasis between the external environment and internal tissues.
Consequently, anything in your lifestyle that is going over the top will soon leave its mark on your face and body skin.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re just overworked or if it’s your perfectionist strive to always do your best in other areas, too. The good news is there are some telltale signs that will help you unravel what’s going on. Keep reading to find out how these signs show up on your skin.
#1 You break out in hives
If you're suddenly covered in itchy red bumps, stress (not allergies) might be to blame.
When your body experiences excessive overperformance in any area (be it too much work, social activities, or even sports), your immune system gets wonky and your body starts releasing the chemical histamine to fight off your ailment. If the stress caused by overdoing things doesn't go away, you essentially develop an allergic reaction and, boom, hives galore.
When your immune system is weakened by this kind of stress, your skin can also become irritated by things it never used to be sensitive to, such as soap, cold or heat, lotions, or laundry detergent.
#2 Your skin looks dull
The second thing that happens when you are overdoing something is dull skin.
Now we know that chronical overperformance in any area, which is always stressful, leads to the protective release of neuropeptides and other chemicals in the skin, which can create inflammation. Experts say that this can cause the blood vessels to constrict, making your skin look tense.
When stress triggers the fight-or-flight response, the body immediately diverts more circulation to the vital organs: the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys. It makes sure the most necessary organs are equipped to withstand the stress.
Unfortunately, that rationing of blood flow comes at the expense of your skin, including your face, which gets less circulation. That loss of circulation leads to dull skin, which results in a lackluster, tired and unhealthy appearance.
Your skin looks blotchy, shiny, drawn—like liverwurst under fluorescent lights.
# 3 You have acne ... again!
When you’re under stress, whatever type of overperformance it would be, your body pumps out more of certain hormones, such as cortisol. These hormones cause glands under your skin to produce more oil.
Excess oil can get trapped inside hair follicles, along with dirt and dead skin cells, and produce pimples.
Dermatologists explain that stress not only can lead to dreaded acne flare-ups, but it can also make pimples bigger, redder and more tender.
Because this type of acne doesn't respond as well to topical remedies, experts recommend stress-management techniques to address what's getting under your skin, as well.
# 4 You have flushed skin
Drinking too much coffee can dehydrate the skin, giving it a red and parched appearance. If you drink more than three cups a day, for each one you need to drink an extra glass of water to counter the effects, doctors advise.
Low levels of vitamin D, formed in the body when sunlight hits the skin, can also cause redness in the face. This is because the vitamin is vital for the creation of new skin cells, so a deficiency can lead to flaky, red skin.
Around 1 in 10 of the population is thought to suffer from some degree of rosacea, a chronic skin condition that starts with flushing in the face and can progress to permanent redness, spots and blood vessels in the skin becoming visible.
The condition is triggered or made worse by alcohol, coffee and spicy food, dermatologists report. Alcohol and caffeine – often companions of overworking, too much partying and lack of sleep, seem to dilate the blood vessels, which can aggravate the rash on the face.
# 5 Your skin is saggy
Although exercise is crucial for healthy body and skin, it turns out that too much can leave us with hollow, saggy cheeks, dermatologists report.
Any excessive cardiovascular exercise that raises the heart rate will do it.
Initially, when you start running or working out, the face goes red as the blood vessels widen to get oxygen flowing inside the body.
But after 15 minutes, as the muscles start to require more oxygen, the blood starts to be diverted away from the face, meaning the fat pads in the cheeks are deprived of oxygen and start to die off slowly.
If you run excessively, you’ll have a great heart and lungs, but you’ll lose the plumpness in the cheeks, and look emaciated.
This rapid fluctuation in blood circulation causes the skin to stretch and lose elasticity — so you start to have excess skin and jowls.
Some stress is inevitable, but how well you respond to it can spell the difference between illness and health. So when it comes to skin problems, strategic equilibrium is your new best friend. Life happens, but it doesn’t have to show on your skin.