I’m here to talk about stress and the effect it’s had on my body over the past 2 years. As you can tell by the title of this post, all three of these topics are being rolled into one.
I had heard about the effects that stress has on people but as it had never happened to myself, I couldn’t really relate to it. I understood it but just shrugged it off and thought ‘oh no need to worry, I’ll never get like that‘ but without noticing, my body went into overdrive and I could relate. Stress is a sly one, it creeps up on you even though your mind is telling you you’re perfectly fine, your body is telling you something different.
Since a young age I have always had very clear skin. I was very fortune enough that through my ‘hormonal teenage years‘ I’d only get one or two spots now and again due to my time of the month approaching, but I never got acne or anything along the lines of it. For this I was extremely grateful as I don’t think I would of been able to cope. Hats off to those who have gone through it and came out the other side, you’re the real troopers.
Despite my luck with my skin throughout majority of my education, going into my final chapter opened the book of skin problems for me. I never really set myself up for anything other than to do well at university. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of changes and stress that my body was going to get battered with in the process.
My first year I decided to live out in halls to gain the ‘real university experience’. Even though my home was only a 30 minute drive away in comparison to some students who had moved there from miles away, I still struggled. I also couldn’t comprehend what I had to do in the beginning in regards to work. Everything I seemed to be doing was wrong and my grades were showing that. For me personally, the jump from A-Levels was much more than people had let on and so it took me a while to adapt to the university way of doing things.
Every week I was stuck in the same routine of going into uni in the week, come home on a Friday night ready for work over the weekend and then back to halls on a Sunday night, ready to repeat the week all over again. All this packing my things into a suitcase and going here, there and everywhere really took its toll on me and I found it more of a chore than anything else.
It got to Christmas and whilst being back home to celebrate, I noticed my hair was falling out. Not a few strands but clumps. This made me panic. I had never had anything like this happen to me before.
Another thing I noticed about my body was that I had throbbing pains in the back of my legs. I felt like I had just ran a marathon even though I’d just got out of bed and made some breakfast. This I started thinking could be a blood clot or a weird side effect from being on the pill, but after paying my doctor a visit and telling him about my skin, hair and legs he told me it was all stress related. I was unintentionally making all of these things happen to my body without even knowing it.
I felt like a whole new person once Summer came around. It was as if I had flicked a switch and my skin went back to being how it used to be. My hair had stopped falling out and the pains in my legs happened maybe once or twice in the whole time I had off. I finally felt like myself again.
September rolled around again and I was worried about starting second year incase things went back to how they were. This year I decided it was pointless living away from home when home wasn’t even that far away, and after all the struggle I went through in first year I thought being at home was the right move to make, physically and mentally.
Everything was going smooth until I cracked on with the work and around last Christmas all hell broke out on my face. My skin was at it’s all time worst with old spots turning into red marks the never went away and new spots appearing every morning. Sometimes I would just look in the mirror and cry. I’d cry at the horrid lumps that sat under my foundation. Or I’d cry at the fact no matter what I did, they still kept appearing.
This went on until I finished university at the end of April and by the time I had got to this point I’d had enough. I thought I’ll give it a couple of months being off uni to see if anything improves and I noticed slight change but nothing else.
Above is my skin now and below is when it was at its worst after finishing University.
After crying to my Mum again at the start of June she took a trip to Clinique to grab me a restock of my Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel which I was recommended to me by a lady in Sephora when I took a trip to America. Mum returned with the Clearing Gel but also picked up the Anti-Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion which the lovely woman (who I cannot thank enough) in Clinique recommend me to get. She explained how her daughter had suffered from similar red marks and breakouts and now it is her holy grail product. I was told how I needed to wait a couple of weeks to let my skin get used to the product before I started to see differences but the product worked as an exfoliator and got rid of the dead skin cells clogging up pores, allowing them to be replaced by new ones that reduced visibility of the red marks.
Almost instantly I started to notice some changed in my skin, it was a miracle. The woman was right, though as at one point it got slightly worse before it got better but after around 3 weeks of using it I noticed a dramatic change in my skin. My family, boyfriend and friends all started telling me how my skin was getting much better than it was. This was so reliving as I had finally found something my skin loved.
I’m still continuously using the Clinique Clarifying Lotion every single morning before putting my make up on and every night before I go to sleep and I love it. It is now too my holy grail item. It faded the red marks from my skin to being barely noticeable. To anyone suffering from breakouts like myself, I cannot recommend the anti-blemish range from Clinique more. Their products are on the pricer side of the scale but 100% totally worth it.
As for this year and going into my final year of university, I’d like to say I hope there won’t be that much stress but I don’t want to speak too soon! After learning what I have about my body and the way it changes under pressure, my aim this year is to attempt to control my stress levels and how I’m feeling to prevent my body from behaving the way it did again. I feel that myself and my trusty Clinique product are ready to battle against any breakouts that might be thrown my way in the next 7 months.
I’d love to hear if there are any products you have found that are your holy grails or if you have been through a similar situation with stress before and how you managed to handle it.