Thrive on Campus//

A Quick Skincare Routine for the Busy Student

Healthy skin doesn't mean a long routine. Making a few simple lifestyle changes can really reduce flare-ups from stress.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

If your skin is anything like mine, it freaks out when your body is under stress. My first few semesters of college were hard on my body — especially my skin, so I did my research. According to the Mayo Clinic, skin conditions like eczema can be agitated by stress. When the body is stressed, your skin can get inflamed due to the release of certain chemicals.

I learned that when I am stressed, my acne begins to flare up — especially on my chin, lip, and forehead. Some people get really dry skin — it all depends on your body’s reactions to stress. So how did I learn to cope with these little flare-ups around especially stressful times like finals? I made a routine.

For the skincare newbies, the basic skincare routine that I (and many beauty gurus out there) follow is this: Wash face, use toner, moisturize, prime, and then makeup. I don’t get to all of these steps on busy days, but I do always make sure to moisturize. No matter what skin type you have, moisturizer is so important. It defends your skin against the cold, humidity, wind, and sun damage. So if you are going to do anything, moisturize!

Personally, I love using coconut oil as a moisturizer because I know it has nothing bad in it. Coconut oil can be a bit heavy for daytime wear, so sometimes I just use a light moisturizer with SPF in the morning.

I found that by following this simple, five-minute routine, my skin was so much happier not just in times of stress, but all the time. My complexion became more even and I have fewer flare-ups when I am stressed. Sometimes I will do a simple face mask to clear up any redness or extra oil, but it isn’t always necessary. These efforts really helped, but I also made myself drink more water, sleep for a little longer, and eat more veggies. I think that making these little changes not only impacted my skin, but my overall health.

One of my 2018 resolutions was to get clearer skin, and I think that by taking an extra five minutes a day, I was able to really achieve this goal. Just a few months into 2018, my skin was visibly clearer and now in 2019, my skin is so happy. Obviously, the best way to prevent skin flare ups is to not get stressed, but that is impossible. We all get stressed, but we can make efforts to take care of ourselves so the experience isn’t so horrible.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis

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