Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering what happened to your perfect, unblemished skin even after following the skin care mantra of cleanse, moisturize and hydrate to the tee? Are you anxious over the less than slightly zits and blackheads appearing on your at T-zone? Well, sorry to break it to you but there is a high chance that you are stressed!

Stress can come from having deadlines to meet at the office, moving to a new environment, family problems or even planning big events. Regardless of what we do to avoid it, chances are that we will face stressful situations at some points in our lives.

Do you let stress rule? The answer is a sure fire No!

Here are some of the major signs of stress that reck havoc on your skin and their quick beauty fixes to help you through it.


1. Dullness

Stress triggers a hormone called cortisol (a stress hormone), which slows down skin cells, making them take longer to reach the surface and flake off. Hence, dead skin cells build up, making your face look dull and lifeless.

Quick fix: Drink more water and exfoliate regularly.

2. Sagging

Furthermore, prolonged cortisol production leads to loss of collagen and elastin, resulting in slackness, sagging and loss of elasticity. Not a good beauty look at all!

Quick fix: Consume foods that increase collagen production and benefit the skin. For example, soy products help block enzymes that break down and age the skin. Also, try topical beauty products containing Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) or hyaluronic acid (sometimes listed as sodium hyaluronate). Skip the retinoids though – they will further irritate stressed skin.

3. Dryness

Stressed skin has a very low lipid (protective) barrier, so fluids evaporate more easily. In addition, cortisol also reduces the skin’s ability to retain water, leading to excessive dryness.

Quick fix: Try a weekly moisture mask and apply a hydrating serum along with moisturiser. Also, avoid using toners and cleansers that contain harsh ingredients such as Ammonium Laurenth Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which can dehydrate and irritate the skin.

4. Skin infections

The epidermal skin cells are packed tightly together, forming a strong barrier that blocks the entry of bacteria and other toxins. When you are under stress, this protective layer becomes less effective, allowing harmful bacteria to reach the deeper layers of skin.

Quick fix: Keep skin scrupulously clean with a mild soap. Use warm, not hot water, and pat skin dry instead of rubbing; put moisturiser on immediately.

5. Itchy rashes

Stress decreases skin’s self-repairing abilities, while also releasing histamines (which create allergic reactions) into the bloodstream. The result? Flareups of immunity-related conditions such as hives, rashes, cold sores, psoriasis and eczema.

Quick fix: Look for beauty products that contain soothing ingredients like avocado oil, almond oil, aloe vera, Shea butter, sunflower oil and chamomile. Also, cut down on the number of skincare products you use – fewer products means lesser ingredients and hence a lower risk of an allergic reaction.

6. Blemishes

Stress increases oil production, which blocks the pores and results in breakouts.

Quick fix: Keep skin clear of surface dirt, oil and dead cells. Use oil-free beauty products and wash your face gently with a soft cloth. Don’t scrub, as this can further irritate acne and make it worse.

7. Premature aging

During times of crisis, our body redirects the flow of blood to areas that are vital for reacting to stress – such as lungs and heart. This leaves skin without essential blood and oxygen. The result? Increased production of free radicals and tissue-damaging oxidants, which speed up wrinkles, lines and other signs of premature ageing.

Quick fix: Try some facial exercises and massage. These help release tension along with increasing oxygen-rich blood flow to muscles, tissue and skin, making the complexion look vibrant and healthier.


8. Sallowness

Stress hurts the digestive system. This means essential nutrients are not digested properly, allowing build up of impurities. As a result, stressed skin looks dull, lifeless and sallow.

Quick fix: Step up intake of leafy greens, fruit and high protein grains and lentils as well as healthy fats like those found in avocados and olive oil; cut down on caffeine. Skipping meals is a complete no-no!

9. Inflammation

Prolonged stress creates chronic internal inflammation, which leads to premature ageing, uneven skin tone and texture, lack of radiance and hyperpigmentation.

Quick fix: Sleep is anti-inflammatory – a time of healing, when cortisol levels are at their lowest. Getting enough will keep your body’s best coping skills at hand.

10. Skin cancers

In a study at Yale University, it was found that people with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – were more likely to have gone through stressful life events during the years leading up to their diagnosis than people who did not have skin cancer.

Quick fix: Remember to not skip the sunscreen – even if you are indoors. Rule of thumb is that if the natural light is bright enough to read, it’s bright enough to damage your skin.


Have you ever felt your skin take a nosedive in the face of stress? Or anger? Or anxiety? Or depression? Please share your thoughts.




I distinctly recall my first experience with porn. I was in my first year in secondary school (about ten years old at the time) and I had just gotten to school and I saw my classmates gathered around in a huddle, boys and girls included. Naturally, I was intensely curious about what they were all staring at and whispering about. A teacher entered the class and they dispersed, but I bugged the boy who was the centre of attention until he satisfied my curiosity and showed me a VCD cover of a porn movie.

Now, I had mentioned in a previous article that I had read “Every Woman” by that age so the female anatomy wasn’t exactly new to me, but you have to understand that I was seeing it in colour for the first time. It’s very different from seeing black and white drawings and needless to say, it had a different effect on me. This was also in an era of VCDs and DVDs; internet pornography really wasn’t a big deal back then and if you really wanted it, you had to actively go searching for it at the video stores.


Over the years, that hasn’t been my only encounter with pornography, and I have watched it along with everyone else bloom into one of the biggest arms of the entertainment industry in the world, pulling in tens of billions of dollars in yearly revenue (insert recent figures).

And the “experience” shockingly has become more personalized. Not only just buying dvds to watch in the closets of your room; now there are webcam shows where porn “stars” do live shows for paying viewers who can watch in the privacy of their rooms; some provide a custom made experience where you provide the script and you pay for production costs plus a nominal fee and the actress will shoot a personal sexual fantasy.

If you’re besotted enough as to want a one-on-one experience, you’re in luck because there are those stars who “tour” and/or escort on the side; and you can also visit adult film conventions the same way you would go to Comic Con or the Cannes film festival and see the “stars”, take pictures, sign autographs, ask them questions, debate various ages of porn the same way you debate the golden, silver ages of cinema or comic books or music. It’s become an art really.


It’s become so pervasive that I could be browsing something as innocent as a university website and a pop up ad pops up appealing to my base emotions. The fight against it has changed phases over the years from outright rejection to limitation to control/supervision. Somewhere in between limitation and control it has been accepted to stay.

Interestingly, I have come across interviews with porn actresses who were at pains to describe how acting porn “empowered” them, made them feel better about themselves and their sexuality. But I will seriously doubt that any respectable lady out there who has come across porn stills or videos will describe what they’ve seen as “empowering”.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that it is about as dehumanising, degrading and objectifying as it gets. This is not including the deeper darker rabbit holes of underground porn that isn’t “regulated”, where child pornography, bestiality and other forms of smut murk around😲.


It’s not by coincidence that a lot of porn actors/actresses are mild to heavy drug users. Nobody is ever numb to that kind of physical and psychological abuse, something has to sand down the edges.

The difference between us humans and animals has always been the ability to suppress our base instincts, to not just act as we feel, or do what makes us feel good irrespective of the consequences of our actions. It’s why murderers, serial killers, rapists, child molesters and the like have no place in a society of sane, normal people. Pornography provides a medium for us to act out our depraved fantasies and still label it art and have it accepted.


Porn like a lot of other vices is incredibly addictive and destructive and that has been well documented. It’s destroyed relationships, marriages, careers, children, businesses, ministries and churches and even the lives of those who practised it, again, this has been well documented.

However,to readers would you be able to provide some answers to these questions;
-Why is its growth still so explosive? With every dollar ninety nine cents spent on subscriptions, someone is being paid to descend below the normal levels of human dignity to satisfy someone else’s fantasies.

-Why are married men spending obscene amounts of time and money on fantasies?

-Why are pastors who preach against it in public having to deal with this skeleton in their closets?

If you thought it’s all about the men, even ladies endorse porn now. A friend told me of a lady neighbour of his who couldn’t visit and leave without a session of porn surfing on his internet connection.

A popular porn star (name withheld) once had to reply to comments a “fan” posted on her website about the kind of things he would love to do to her; stating that she like other women would want to be treated as such, with dignity and class. That what they did on the screen stayed on screen and as such they should not be treated as such. (Such a load of bull). A young man sees the things you allow to be done to you done on a regular basis and you expect him to think of you different?


Porn is breeding a generation of young men who see women as a composite of a pretty face, breasts and buttocks and not necessarily in that order; objects to be used and put to the side when the gloss has worn off or a fancier “model” comes along. It’s subconsciously remodelled our thinking into accepting physical and psychological violence against women.

I once read a quote in an NYFA brochure that went like “Acting gives you the opportunity to be someone else, live the life and make the decisions of someone else without the consequences” (paraphrased), I’m not sure this would so apply to many of the porn actors and actresses out there who have suffered suicidal depression, abuse drugs, have sexually transmitted diseases, are lonely because of their chosen profession (many have confessed that they probably won’t have life partners until after they have left the industry) etc, because of their career path.

As a single young man and a christian, dealing with pornography is extremely hard, a lot harder than it was ten years ago. And when I say porn, I’m not just talking the hardcore stuff, I’m talking softcore – books, music, music videos, movies, tv shows. So it’s next to impossible to escape. And unlike crack cocaine or heroine, it will not literally kill you. You can avoid cocaine,heroin alcohol or marijuana; sex on the other hand is a lot more difficult to say no to. Especially when it’s as impersonal as porn makes it.

Sex as God intended it (between man and wife) is supposed to be a good thing, a “relationship-cementing” adventure to be SHARED, a reaffirmation of love. Pornography abuses and distorts that.

Porn is here to stay, obviously. My question is why?

Ariel Ugorji

Ariel Ugorji identifies himself as a mild insomniac, geek, nerd, an audiophile, an avid music lover, Liverpool Fan and an unashamed Christian; with more often than not a completely different point of view on the world and a love for sensible arguments. He Resides in Warri, Nigeria; the land of the sharp and the brave.

To view more of his write ups, please visit his BLOG. You can also share your views with him on twitter @arielugorji.

Do you think that there is more of a bad influence from social media than good? Please share your thoughts.