How Stress Affects Your Skin

We all feel a little stressed out sometimes.  Whether it’s a big work deadline coming due or a difficult relationship situation that needs to be dealt with, stress is a normal part of life. But for some people, stress is a constant part of life.

Chronic stress can have a strong negative effect on your health, and often, the first place it shows up is on your skin.

When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones such as cortisol, which can lead to skin problems such as acne, dry skin, and even premature aging. If you notice your skin is looking worse lately, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate your stress levels.

What is Stress?


Stress is a feeling that we all experience from time to time. It’s our natural, heightened response to events or situations that make us feel overwhelmed or threatened. When we’re stressed, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol, which can have a number of negative effects on our health.

Chronic stress is defined as a state of continual tension and worry that is not relieved by rest or relaxation. It can be caused by many factors, including pressure at work and school, family responsibilities, financial concerns, and health problems.

Chronic stress is often closely linked to feelings of depression and/or anxiety.

Stress Can Make Skin Problems Worse

If you have existing skin problems, stress, anxiety, and depression can make them worse. For example, if you have acne, stress can cause the breakouts to become more frequent or severe. If you have dry skin, stress can make it even drier. And if you have wrinkles, stress can accelerate their appearance.

Other skin conditions may become more prominent as well. For example, stress can aggravate psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It can also induce hives, spotting, and other skin rashes, and can even bring on fever blisters.

The Gut-Skin Connection

Stress damages the balance of microorganisms in your gut, which causes an increase in inflammation. This internal inflammation can be seen externally as acne, eczema, or psoriasis breakouts.

When people are feeling stressed or anxious, they are more likely to have flare-ups of chronic inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Managing inflammation through a healthy diet and stress-relieving techniques can help improve these conditions.

Stress Can Cause Acne

Cortisol, one of the hormones released when you’re stressed, can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Sebum is a natural oil that helps keep your skin moisturized. However, if too much sebum is produced, it can lead to the development of acne lesions.

Stress Can Cause Dry Skin

When your body produces too much cortisol, it loses its capacity to retain water. This lack of moisture is the main cause of dry skin, which can lead to skin flakes and dull skin tone. Worse, dryness often exacerbates the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, making skin look older.

Stress Can Cause Wrinkles

Cortisol also has an aging effect on skin. It can cause the skin to thin and can reduce the production of collagen, which is essential for keeping skin looking young and healthy. Additionally, cortisol can activate enzymes that break down elastin, another protein that helps keep skin firm. The combined effect of all these processes is the appearance of wrinkles.

Reduce Stress

Advanced Regenerative Therapy uses an integrative approach to treating and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. From brain health to hormone levels, we ensure every aspect of your mental and physical well-being is considered. Our medical practitioners perform a complete evaluation to determine the best course of treatment for you. Treatment plans often include a combination of:

Nutrition and Exercise

Nutrition and exercise are two important factors in reducing stress. Nutritionists can help you develop a dietary plan that is tailored to your specific needs and helps to reduce stress. And regular exercise releases endorphins, which have a calming effect on the body.

Hormonal Optimization

Hormone imbalances often present with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) can help to optimize your hormone levels and improve your mood, making it easier to deal with the normal stresses of life.

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements can boost brain health and improve energy levels.  This, in turn, can help to make your daily life easier to manage and reduce the amount of stress you feel. Clear brain fog and eliminate fatigue with a doctor-recommended custom supplement plan.


In some cases, medication may be necessary to help reduce stress. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and even beta-blockers can be helpful in restoring mental balance and reducing stress levels.