In case you missed it, stress triggers a whole host of responses from the mind and body. We may feel anxious. Our muscles might get tight. And we’re more prone to getting sick when we feel stressed out (because that’s what you really need, right?). But stress also affects our skin: it can prompt us to break out, feel itchy, or even appear older than we are.
WATCH THE VIDEO: What It’s Like to Live With Eczema, According to Someone Who Has It
Acne: Breakouts aren’t just for adolescence—the stress hormone cortisol can send your oil glands into overdrive, clogging up your pores ASAP, even in adulthood. Another way stress brings on blemishes? It ramps up cravings for sugary, fatty foods, which can also compromise your complexion if eaten in large quantities.
Hives: Emotional stress can take a toll beyond your brain. Beware of itchy, red welts that stress may bring to the skin’s surface.
Rosacea: Even if you’re stressed for a good reason (Wedding planning! Job promotion!), your skin can still react to feeling overwhelmed. Emotional stress is just one of the many factors that can worsen this common skin condition, which causes flushing across the nose and cheeks and uneven skin tone.
Psoriasis: Stress is a vicious cycle for people with these itchy, red, scaly skin patches because it can worsen trigger symptoms, and having a psoriasis flare-up can be stress-provoking. Ugh.
If these potential skin issues are stressing you out, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to keep your stress levels under control and your skin looking stellar. Consider putting meditation and yoga on your to-do list, and always be sure to log at least 8 hours of sleep at night. These habits will help keep you calm so that skin symptoms are more manageable.