For students on the quarter system, final exams are fast approaching. The thought of project deadlines, difficult material, and last minute cramming can wreak havoc on your skin. Here are some tips on how to de-stress your mind and your skin from New York City based dermatologist and board certified psychiatrist Dr. Amy Wechsler.
Let's face it, most of us breakout during exam time, but with a little planning, you can keep your skin under control. "It's good to have a spot treatment on hand if you know how your skin reacts" says Dr. Wechsler, "knowing you have a plan for surprise acne is re-assuring enough for stressed out students." Buy an over the counter product with 2% salicylic acid (the highest over the counter concentration) for a quick acne spot treatment. If your skin needs a stronger formula, have a presciption ready like Retin-A (which sloughs off dead skin and helps with redness), or Benzoyl Peroxide (which destroys bacteria and dead skin by giving high levels of oxygen into the skin). Your dermatologist may also prescribe oral antibiotics, which reduce the amount of bacteria in follicles. If you must cover up unwanted acne flareups with makeup, Dr. Wechsler recommends Chanel Long Lasting Concealer, Clinique All About Eyes Concealer, and Cle de Peau Concealer for camouflage that won't further irritate skin.
"Students tend to blow everything off when they're stressed or studying, including their skin care routine," says Dr. Wechsler, "Your skin can react poorly if you skip your routine too often, so take the 3 minutes to wash your face!"
In addition to being a dermatologist, Dr. Wechsler is a board certified psychiatrist and believes in the strong link between the mind and the skin, our largest external organ."During a stressful week of exams, it's hard to tell college students to take care of themselves. They're pulling all-nighters, eating poorly, and not exercising, " says Dr. Wechsler. "I can't stress this enough: make the effort and set a regular sleep schedule and take 15 minutes out of every day to do something relaxing--your mind, and your skin will be grateful! Give yourself a break from studying by taking a quick walk, drawing up a bath, giving yourself a facial, or listenening to music. Don't think about school or any stressors, your mind needs a breather every once in a while. And remember, turn off the texting!"
One of only two physicians in the country board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Dr. Amy Wechsler is well known for her unique approach to all dermatological procedures. She is also the author of of_ The Mind-Beauty Connection_.