How Does Stress Affect Your Skin?


It is literally impossible to go about our day to day lives without experiencing some form of stress. We have all heard it all before – how deadly stress can be and how debilitating it is for the health. But the truth is, stress is honestly just part of life.

So, does this mean it’s okay to get stressed out?


While random every day and once-in-a-while type of stress may be unavoidable, chronic stress on the other hand, is extremely dangerous and can pose many threats to your health being.

Stress manifests in many forms. According to a professional medical spa recent post, stress could be physical, psychological, emotional or behavioral and these different types of stress have a united agenda in damaging your health. In this case, your skin. Here are 10 terrible ways stress affects your skin and looks.

  • Skin problems and impaired healing

Ample researches have shown a strong connection between stress and skin. In the new field of Psychodermatology, studies have shown that stress plays a significant role in leaving its victims prone to the development or worsening of skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, hives, psoriasis and alopecia (loss of hair). Chronic stress impairs the performance of the immune system.

Stress is manifested chiefly by the secretion of the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone enters into the blood stream and causes an increase in the production of oil. This also triggers a negative impact on the ability of the skin to heal itself after injury and slows down the healing process of pre-existing skin conditions.

  • Dry, Scaly skin

If you are under an immense amount of stress, there is a high probability that you are not or you cannot bring yourself to drink enough water. Alternatively, you may also be more inclined to drink more coffee, soda or sugary drinks which can be quite dehydrating. A body under high stress will also see its skin lose some of its water-retaining capacity resulting in water loss. Without the proper hydration needed by your body, your skin will end up looking and feeling dry and flaky.

  • Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis is a condition resulting when excessive amount of stress causes an imbalance in the gut microflora. Once there is a disruption of balance between these good and bad bacteria, symptoms begin to manifest as rashes, acne or hives on the skin.

  • Flushed face

Short breaths equal flushed face. When you are stresses, you begin to have shallow and short breaths and may even subconsciously begin to hold your breath for long periods of time. This may consequently lead to redness and flushing.

  • Thinning and Graying hair

Another unwanted effect of stress is the thinning and graying of the hair. Stress causes our hair to relapse from its growth phase into its resting phase and consequently, the falling-out phase much faster than we would want. This acceleration of the skin’s natural cycle also means that your skin melanin production could be cut off thus graying earlier and faster than expected.

  • Facial lines

The ironic part of fine lines is that no one actually looks finer with them on their faces. When we are stressed out, we tend to constantly make facial expressions like frowning, sighing, furrowing of brows, pursing the lips and puffing of cheeks. These repetitive expressions can lead to deeper wrinkles in face over time.

  • Rough face

Just wait till the pimples come out. Stress has been shown to be one of the few culprits responsible for decorating our faces with small but painful dots and even when you manage to rid the pimples, higher stress levels mean that they may scar rather than totally disappear off the face.

  • Inflammation

Chronic stress causes serious internal inflammation which is accompanied with premature ageing, lack of radiance, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone and texture.

  • Saggy skin

As chronic stress speeds-up the aging process of the skin, the skin begins to lose its elasticity and tensile strength. This is then manifested in saggy skin that is low in the collagen protein.

  • Skin cancer

This is where it gets scary. Asides all the threats that stress poses to your good looks, Stress has been shown to be a risk factor in developing skin cancer. The study was demonstrated by experts at Yale University that inferred that people with melanoma were more likely to have experienced very stressful life events in the earlier years leading up to the diagnosis of their conditions.

Learning to have good coping skills with stressful moments is important for a healthy skin. Take walks, learn breathing exercises, yoga, meditation and other methods to improve sleep. Get regular exercise, take time to enjoy yourself, and practice stress management skills.