Your skin is your body’s largest organ and stress can present itself through skin conditions like acne, inflammation, and more.
We’ve outlined eight proven ways your skin reflects your stress. This includes mental, physical, and hormonal stress changes on your skin. But more importantly, we also tell you how to fix it.
Sun stress and exhausted skin defences
Even before looking internally, there’s one beaming factor that can physically stress out your skin and weaken its defences: ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can have a negative effect on the skin. Whether in the form of natural sunlight or more artificial means such as tanning beds, ultraviolet rays signal blood cells to rush to the exposed area in an attempt to repair it. This manifests as sunburn.
Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation may lead to darkened blemishes, moles, and even skin cancer. The best way to combat UV rays and sun stress is by applying sunscreen every morning.
Increased oil production and acne
Stress is highly associated with acne, especially for women. It can mix up our skin’s nerve signals, causing imbalanced hormones and chemicals that increase oil production.
It’s nearly impossible to remove stress from the equation entirely, but there are ways to overcome it. Keep 5-10 minutes of stress-relief tricks handy, and try longer stress-management techniques, like exercise, to increase your body’s ability to adapt.
Inflammation and extra-irritated skin
Hives, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea are often a result of inflammation, but studies also show that when your brain is on overdrive, it can compromise your skin’s protective abilities.
In other words, stress makes it harder for your skin to regulate and stay balanced. It’s no wonder you might have an extra breakout during a sleepless week or after an intense argument. So take a break when needed.
Waxy scalp, hair loss, and peeling nails
Have you ever unconsciously pulled your hair, bitten your fingernails, or done both? That could be the stress hormone, cortisol, triggering your body’s fight-or-flight response.
Before you assume it’s stress, though, you might want to check in with a dermatologist and doctor to rule out other potential issues. For example, scaly or waxy skin could be eczema. Or hair loss or peeling nails could be due to insufficient nutrition from skipping meals.
Lastly, Fine lines and wrinkles
From the furrow of a brow to a frown, psychological stress inevitably finds a way to make permanent evidence of our emotions.
So what should one do about it? You can try face yoga. Arguably safer than Botox, face yoga can lead to similar results.