Move Over UV Rays, Stress Might Be Worse For Your Skin

What happens when a schizo schedule becomes totally routine? — Keep calm and read on.When you’re living your life in the fast lane, your skin is often the first thing to freak out. An external showing of internal workings. We have lots of great products to help counteract the damaging effects stress has on the skin, but let’s get one thing straight before continuing on. If you’re relying on products to magically heal your skin issues cause by stress, you’re on a fool’s errand. At best, these products will be like a band-aid for a recurring wound unless you accompany them with some mind-body and stress management practices. Acne, splotchy skin, premature wrinkling, and flaky dryness are very often stress-induced and will require more than topical treatment. In some cases, a hormonal imbalance might be at play. And in others, some stress If you’re trying products, and nothing is working, consider stress may be at play and/or, a deeper hormonal imbalance. Your dermatologist and general practitioner can help you make that determination.1Now that we’re clear on that, let’s talk about what products you can use to manage stress-affected skin alongside a healthy lifestyle. 

Stress factor: Agitation; No Downtime 

What you’ll see: Redness and BreakoutsChronic high levels of stress – a by-product of a “Go, Go, Go” culture and constant reachability – may trigger your brain to release neuropeptides that cause blushing and sensitivity. Additionally, your body releases an excess of androgen hormones that can bring on breakouts (especially seen in women). Calm It Down:

Stress factor: Partying Away Stress 

What you’ll see: Wrinkles and DullnessIf you’re managing stress with late nights out and drinking, well first, don’t. PERSON SUGGESTS taking up a new hobby, scheduling a visit with a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam; but if you’re making a habit of dealing with stress by drinking, you’re not doing your skin any favors. Drinking dehydrates the skin, making fine lines look deeper and complexion look dull. Your favorite cocktail or martini  – plus, the carby snacks you binge on at the bar – is packed with sugar and can make your skin look older faster, through a process called glycation. During this process, sugar impairs the production of collagen and elastin in the skin and can cause your skin to stiffen and lose its springiness. Another issue: smoking (whether you inhale it or not) is full of collagen-eating carcinogens that increase your risk of skin cancer.Party Smart:

Stress factor: Skimping on Sleep 

What you’ll see: Flakiness and DullnessFrequent late nights leave you playing “catch up” on ZZZs, but an erratic sleep schedule can throw off your natural time clock, inhibiting your skin’s ability to stay hydrated. Research shows2 that poor sleep weakens the barrier function, causing moisture to escape. And chronic sleep deprivation impairs collagen production. After six months of sleep loss, skin starts to lose its suppleness and glow.Fake Eight Hours:


  1. Feeling stressed? it can show in your skin, hair, and nails. American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.-a).,on%20how%20our%20skin%20ages. 
  2. Altemus, M., Rao, B., Dhabhar, F. S., Ding, W., & Granstein, R. D. (2001). Stress-induced changes in skin barrier function in healthy women. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 117(2), 309–317.
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