Someone recently asked this question: “I’m under a tremendous amount of stress and I noticed changes in my skin. Is there any connection?” The answer is a big, fat yes. One reason your skin changes when stressed is due to the over-secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. When over-secreted, it will look to replenish itself by borrowing components from our estrogen stores. Estrogen keeps us youthful so when stores become depleted, we age faster. (You know how someone “looks like they’ve had a hard life?” That’s the physical effects of over-secreted stress hormones.)
Another reason stress impacts your skin is because stress deteriorates the skin’s natural ability to protect against invasion. Pollution and toxins are harsh on the skin and alter the way the skin repairs and regenerates itself. This shows in tone and texture. Stress also decreases the elasticity of the skin, creating a more aged look. And, increased cortisol can prevent skin regeneration by slowing the rate of cell turnover, leaving skin dull.
While this is happening, adrenaline, which is also released under stress, redirects blood away from the skin to where it seems more needed at the time. This is another reason why the skin can have a dull look. Acne is also common during stress, because during times of stress there is a stimulation of the sebaceous glands (ever hear someone complaining about a huge pimple right before an important event?).
So, if you’re stressed about your looks… that stress could be what’s largely causing the problem! Is stress impacting the way your skin looks or do you have a secret to healthy skin? I’d love to know, comment and share!