How to Protect Your Skin Against Final Exam Stress

Ah, finals week. In addition to being harmful to your mental state and social life, it can also wreak havoc on your skin. Collegiate breakouts are very real, especially during times of extreme stress. And finals week certainly qualifies as a time of extreme stress.

The best way to avoid stress breakouts is by doing your part to avoid stress. It’s not always totally possible, especially during this time of the semester, but there are definitely ways to keep your calm and, by virtue of that, keep your clear skin.

Get some fresh air: There’s something incredibly calming about a long walk when the weather is nice…unless, of course, you spend the whole time thinking about the things you should be doing instead of walking. The solution? Grab a study buddy who is willing to walk around with you for an hour or so. The catch? You’ll have to spend the entire hour discussing topics that could end up on the final.

Laugh: Set aside a bit of time every day to watch an episode of a hilarious sitcom – either one you’ve never seen before or something you watched back in the day but haven’t seen in years. Some suggestions — if you haven’t jumped on The Mindy Project or the New Girl bandwagon, those are perfect. Or go retro and look up episodes of something cheesy like Full House or Boy Meets World. Or be a huge winner and YouTube old episodes of the fabulously terrible Sweet Valley High TV show.

Keep healthy snacks within reach: Keeps nuts, pieces of fruit or air-popped popcorn right near you while you study. They’ll fill you up and give you something to munch on, and they’ll also help curb your chips and chocolate cravings (the latter foods do your skin no favors).

Pamper yourself: Do something really simple that’ll make yourself feel like you’ve just snagged some major pampering. Any of these home beauty remedies will make you feel like you’ve hit the spa and it’ll help your skin stay clear at the same time. If nothing else, throw some cucumbers on your eyes and take a break from the computer screen for ten minutes.

Never skip a wash: It may be tempting to pass out immediately after studying, but trust me that’s the worst thing you can do for your skin. Be sure to wash your face before bed every single night and never skip a morning wash before running out the door either. On that note, a nice hot shower can be a great way to de-stress.

Avoid all-nighters whenever possible: Have you ever noticed that you feel the effects of an all-nighter for days? Just imagine what you’re putting your skin through. Set up a schedule and make sure you don’t spend time posting statuses about how much work you have instead of actually doing said work. Which brings me to…

Take a social media break: Yes, it’s possible! It’ll boost your productivity like crazy. It’ll also save you the stress of worrying about whatever is going on in cyberspace. Try this — Enlist a friend to take this break with you and change all of her passwords. Have her do the same for you. That way you won’t be able to log on to any channels until after your tests are over.

Wake up a bit earlier than usual: Start your day a bit earlier than you normally would. Take this extra time to enjoy your breakfast (which you should never skip, especially not during finals week) and listen to music, check your email or watch funny YouTube videos. Even 20 extra minutes in the morning will make a huge difference. If you start your day in a relaxed way you’ll notice a huge difference in the way you feel compared to when you’re rushing out the door with no time to spare.

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