Why Our Stressful Lives Might be Damaging Our Skin (and what you can do to prevent it)

Stress is something that can be hard to avoid in real life, but did you know that it has a detrimental influence on our skin, especially over the long term? In other words, the longer and more often you endure stressful conditions, the more likely you are to suffer from the negative effects of stress on the skin.

Stress can result from many factors, whether it is your next big school project, work deadlines, family life, or your social life.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage, including some facial relaxation techniques.

How stress affects the body:

Have you ever noticed a connection between the appearance of undesirable acne eruptions at the most inconvenient moments in your life… like on the morning of your wedding day, or the day you have a big speech to give?

woman looking at skin in mirror

That’s stress at work.

It throws all your hormones off and contributes to skin conditions such as acne. Stress triggers the stress hormone, cortisol, which causes the body to produce more oil in the sebaceous glands. Stress also contributes to cold sores, fever blisters, as well as inflammatory conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

The secondary effects from stress also play a marked role on your skin and its condition.

For instance, if you happen to experience anxiety because of stress and you are a nail biter, or if you scratch or pick at your skin because of stress, you can damage the skin and potentially cause undesired infections. The same is true if you trigger hives due to stressful conditions, which will make you scratch at your skin.

There is even a relatively new field of study known as psychodermatology that has experts studying the connection between stress, one’s thoughts, and one’s skin conditions.

2 Simple Steps To Reduce Stress Levels and Protect Your Skin

Some simple steps can help you protect your skin and minimize your stress levels.


Exercise is extremely important for healthy skin as it increases circulation, which keeps your skin healthy and radiant. Ever noticed how your skin takes on a dull pallor in Winter when you are outside in negative temperatures? This is due to a lack of circulation and less blood flow to the surface of the skin. The increased blood flow throughout the body during exercise, also helps to carry toxins out of the cells and out of the body through the pores when you sweat. These toxins can result in acne breakouts, redness and irritated skin if left in the body.

Facial Relaxation Techniques

You can also use facial relaxation techniques like massage. This will help relax the muscles in the face so you are not so tense and you are less likely to frown. Frowning muscles can cause undesirable wrinkles along the brow and around the eyes.

Here are 3 quick DIY facial exercises you can do to relax the muscles in your face and prevent undesirable lines and wrinkles:

For the Jaw

Relax your jaw and then tense it again purposefully. You can do this a few times to loosen the jaw, which you tend to jut or crunch shut when stressed.

For the Eyes

Closing and opening your eyes can help tired, stressed eyes feel more refreshed.

For the Forehead

Furrowing the brow and curling up the nose, then relaxing these muscles is another way to relax muscles in the face and to minimize damage from stress and skin tension.

Filed under: Naturally Healthy