What Stress is Really Doing to Your Appearance

Ashley Okwuosa

Stressed woman

Stress is sometimes inevitable, while we are rushing between the many facets of our lives we can sometimes get burdened with whatever is going on, and this can obviously take a toll on us. We are sometimes completely unaware of how much of an effect stress can take on our bodies, from our skin down to our nails. While we all try to avoid stressing out on a daily basis, maybe now that you know what it can do to your outward appearance, you’ll take a few extra breaths to calm yourself instead of tensing up.

1. You might be drying out your skin: Stress might be unknowingly drying out your skin, as dry and dehydrated is usually a result of lack of sleep which is linked to stress.  The barrier which usually prevents moisture loss is also depleted during stress-filled times. This makes it harder for your skin to retain moisture, which results in dry and dehydrated skin.

2. Increased chances of acne: Stress and dehydrated skin play a major role in terms of acne. Increased stress can lead to breakouts and a resurgence of acne.

3. Wrinkles: When we are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released into our skin. This hormone is directly related to a number of the skin problems we deal with during stress, especially wrinkles and age lines.

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4. Brittle nails: Who knew stress could jeopardize our manicure!  Our nails suffer when we’re stressed – they become brittle and break easily due to the lack of attention the body pays to them at this time.

5. Lack of collagen: Collagen is one of the most important proteins for the health of our skin because it helps our skin stay youthful and healthy. When stress becomes a factor, it reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the blood vessels. This results in less collagen production, which can lead to quicker and more visible signs of aging.

6. Hair loss: Hair loss is one of the most extreme signs of stress, such as your hair might become brittle and will easily fall out or grey faster during extreme periods of stress.

7. Dehydration: This is one of the lesser experienced signs of stress, although it might happen when you least expect it. One of the ways to avoid this is to stay hydrated at all times – drink those eight glasses a day people!

8. Excessive sweating: You might think it’s just nerves, but this is another strange sign of stress. Key areas that are affected are palms and feet.

Image via Jamie Grill/Getty