Stress can do a real number on your skin and make you look older. It decreases blood flow and nourishment to the skin, sometimes causing a sallow appearance, hair loss, or brittle nails, says dermatologist and clinical psychologist Richard Fried, MD, PhD, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Stress also leads to the release of inflammatory chemicals that can worsen acne. The good news: Stress-management techniques (like guided imagery, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation) can help your skin look younger.
Fried recommends square-box breathing: Inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, then rest for four seconds; repeat four times.