We all know that stress causes us to do a lot of things: lose sleep, overeat, snap at friends and family. But did you know that it can do an undesirable number on skin? Here are a few things that can happen to you skin when you’re stressed out regularly:

  1. An increase in acne: No matter what age you are, if you’re under major stress from an unhappy chronic life situation, major change like a death in the family or moving across country, for example, acne can strike all over your face. To combat acne, meditate, practice deep breathing and take a walk in nature regularly.
  2. An increase in dryness: Stress reduces the lipid barrier on the skin, which protects your skin’s natural moisture balance. This lets fluids evaporate, leading to dryness and flakiness.
  3. Wrinkles!: This is the worst of the lot. Unhappiness makes you frown. Repeated frowning and pursing of the lips leads to wrinkles around the mouth and lips. Manage stress so you frown less and smile more.
  4. Cold sores and dermatitis: Because stress shuts down parts of your immune system and revs up others, this leaves you susceptible to cold sores and an increase in dermatitis because allergans affect you more.
  5. Dull skin: When you’re stressed out, skin cells take longer to turn over, leading to a buildup of dead skin cells. The result? Dull skin and enlarged pores.

So what does this mean for you? Not only does stress kill, leading to a host of health problems like heart attack/stroke and cancer, but it also affects our looks. Our skin gets adversely affected and we age faster than we should. Make sure to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just a 10-minute meditation in the morning or a half-hour walk in the afternoon. Keeping chronic stress away is one of the most important things you can do for your health and your skin.