If you’ve ever had a particularly stressful day only to come home and see a zit forming on your chin, that might not be a coincidence. Stress has more of an impact on our bodies than previously thought. Let’s dive into how stress can impact your skin – and ways in which you can combat it!
Stress is often a major culprit for acne breakouts. Why? When you feel stressed, your body goes into “panic mode”. To compensate, you produce more of the hormone cortisol, which signals to your brain to release another hormone called CRH, which stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
So, the next time you are stressing over a big meeting, make sure to take some time by the pool to relax (with SPF, of course); that way, you might not have to worry about trying to cover up a zit on the big day. Not to mention, you also have an excuse to go shopping for that perfect bathing suit!
Though we can’t speak for everyone, we think it’s safe to say that no one wants wrinkles – especially at a young age. But did you know stress can actually increase the speed at which wrinkles form?
Stress causes changes to the skin’s proteins, which in turn reduces elasticity. Since you are losing the elasticity that causes the skin to bounce back to its original form, wrinkles start to appear.
Fortunately, you may be able to combat stress-related wrinkles just by hanging out with friends. Studies show that being socially connected to people leads to a happier mind and body, which just so happens to benefit your skin. Nothing beats living longer and doing so wrinkle-free(r)!
Puffy & Baggy Eyes
You’ve likely seen products in the drugstore for removing puffy and baggy eyes. And while these products may be helpful, the best cure-all for under-eye circles is to stress less!
When you’re stressed, you are likely not getting a full night’s sleep (more on that here), which means your body also isn’t getting the circulation it needs to properly remove water. This can cause fluid retention that creates that dreaded baggy-eye look.
Find healthy ways to handle your stress, and your eyes will thank you in the long run.
Dry & Itchy Skin
Is your skin always thirsty for moisture, no matter how much lotion you put on it? If so, stress might be the reason.
The outer layer of your skin is called the stratum corneum, which acts as a barrier to protect the more sensitive skin underneath. This outer layer plays a crucial role in how your skin stays hydrated, so when stress comes into play, it can cause the stratum corneum to stop working correctly. This can lead to dry and itchy skin. So if you feel stress coming on, take some time to relax. Better yet, check out these products.
If you’re experiencing an eczema flare-up, it could be due to stress. Whatever you do, never scratch a rash, as this can make it worse. Keeping your skin moisturized, avoiding long, hot showers, and drinking plenty of water can help prevent stress-induced rashes.
In the meantime, talk to your doctor about a topical solution that you can put on your skin to alleviate rash symptoms so it doesn’t spread. You can also try at-home remedies like coconut oil or lukewarm oatmeal baths to help reduce itching (source).
Stress can not only wreak havoc on not only your skin but also your entire body. (Think: weakened immune system, headaches, fatigue, and even chest pain.) For this reason, you should never take stress lightly.
If you are feeling stressed, try doing activities you enjoy, like going for a walk or listening to some soothing music. At the end of the day, your self-care routine is essential to good health.