The Effects Stress Has on Your Skin

Have you realized your eczema flares most when your workload spirals out of control,or perhaps it feels like a new pimple pops up every day when your personal life is in shambles. If you have always suspected that stress has the power to make your skin act differently, prepare to feel validated. 

We want to let you know that it’s not all in your head -- feeling stressed out really can affect your skin and vice versa.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how stress affects your skin and what you can do to help get through flare ups.


How Does Stress Affect Skin?

As more of us are facing an increase in demands, it’s no secret that feeling chronically stressed can impact our mental and physical health in many ways.

Chronic stress messes with your body, from appetite changes to sleepless nights. We always have to remember to put ourselves first though. 

It turns out that your stress levels can also seriously impact your skin, causing side effects like excessive sweating or hair loss and exacerbating existing skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. In fact, the link between skin and stress is becoming better understood in the medical community -- psychodermatology is a relatively newer field that addresses the impact of an individual’s emotion (like stress) as it relates to the skin. Yeah, there’s science behind the effects of your stress. Seriously. 

While the relation between stress and skin is still being studied, here are some of the many ways your skin can be impacted by your stress levels:


Acne Breakouts

By now, many well-known myths surrounding acne have long been disproven, and we now know that it’s not just teens who battle breakouts. Adult acne is surprisingly common and has many causes, with stress being a major trigger. 

It’s very common for people to experience breakouts when they’re under stress -- and it’s all due to hormonal changes our bodies experience during times of stress. You see, your body releases stress hormones, including cortisol, which may increase your skin’s oil production, making you prone to breakouts. It kinda sucks, but it’s a part of life, so just keep it in mind as you’re getting through life. 

If you are suddenly battling breakouts and can’t figure out why, you might want to check in with your stress levels and try using a soothing hydrating mask packed with powerful botanicals to help nourish sensitive and stressed-out skin. It’s always a good time to give yourself some love. 


Eczema Flare-ups

If you happen to have eczema, the common skin condition that typically presents as a red, itchy rash,you might find that flare-ups are during stressful times. Some individuals with the condition may find that their flare-ups start or worsen with increased stress. 

Once eczema is active on the skin, it can also lead to more stress as eczema can be unbelievably itchy -- so it can create a cycle. This is because stress can increase inflammation which can easily trigger an eczema flare up. There are some tools that can help you though. 

To soothe irritated, itchy skin, our LIKE BUTTER Hydrating Mask works wonders here, too. 


Rosacea Flare-ups

Just as inflammation can cause an eczema flare-up, it can also trigger a flare-up in those who have rosacea. 

It’s well-known that rosacea, characterized by redness or flushing and tiny red bumps, can have many triggers, including -- you guessed it -- stress. Being stressed can trigger an inflammatory response that can seriously aggravate your skin, leading to an increase in redness and bumps.  


Hive Flare-ups

Hives (A.K.A. urticaria) are due to an increase in histamine levels in the body. While many times the triggers for hives are unknown, it can be due to a recent infection, medication, food allergy or intolerance as well as stress. 

Any sudden skin reaction like hives should be examined by your primary care provider or a dermatologist, who can determine if your hives are stress-related or if there is another underlying cause. 


Psoriasis Flare-ups

Did you know that those who have psoriasis -- a common skin condition that is marked by thick, scaly patches of skin that might appear all over the body -- have a cyclical relationship with out

Stress can be considered a major trigger of a psoriasis flare-up, but a psoriasis flare-up can also cause stress. It’s just like that. 

Stress may trigger the condition by increasing inflammatory markers that are involved in psoriasis. Although much more research is needed to determine the exact mechanism, one study from 2004 showed that 66 percent of psoriasis patients reported that their psoriasis was exacerbated by stress.

Your doc or dermatologist can help alleviate this catch-22 if you find that your psoriasis is worsened by stress or vice versa. Just tap in with them.


Puffy & Dark Circles Under Eyes

It’s pretty common for many of us to experience dark undereye circles after a few restless nights, and when we’re stressed out, we might pick up habits that lead to stress showing up on our faces. It’s the best, right? 

Often when we’re stressed, we are not always as great about taking care of ourselves -- getting quality shut-eye, staying hydrated, or eating well—all of which can lead to dark circles.


Dull Skin

Similarly, if you’ve taken notice that your overall skin tone just isn’t as bright these days, it might be a matter of stress showing itself on your face. When we're stressed, we often forget to take care of our skin or follow our daily skincare routine. As a result, your skin can look dull.

For many people, skincare is a form of self-care -- so if you find that your routine helps relax you, you might want to keep at it, especially when you’re feeling extra stressed. You deserve it. 

To help brighten up your complexion, we love our Brightening & Clearing Gel can work to gently fade the look of your most stubborn marks, scars, and spots so that you can kick back and let your worries fade away.  


Flakey & Dry Skin

If you’re noticing an overall change in your skin’s texture, it’s wise to check in with your stress levels. When your skin is stressed, cortisol can lead to a decrease in the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, which can lead to moisture loss in the skin, ultimately causing your skin to look thirsty and dehydrated. 

When we’re feeling especially stressed, it’s not uncommon for us to  forget to apply soothing moisturizers and creams, so this can also affect how the skin looks. Self-care and stress-reduction often go hand-in-hand. 

If you’re feeling especially dry, our hydrating mask can help here, too! All you have to do is apply a thin, even layer onto cleansed damp skin, leaving it on for at least twenty minutes, and voila -- your skin will be soft like butter!


Bottom Line

At the end of the day, stress is inevitable, and we all tend to deal with it from time to time. But for those struggling with chronic stress, chances are they’re also dealing with a skin flare-up or two. 

While getting our stress levels down is sometimes much easier said than done, thankfully, there are some amazing skincare products available to help soothe stressed-out skin, like the ones here at Topicals.   

We’re here to take skincare to a new level with science-backed products made with you and your skin in mind. Made without any dye, fragrance, and completely free from animal testing, our medicated botanicals are here to nourish, soothe, and make you feel as good as you look!