If you’re suffering from stress, it shows on your face and can immediately make you look about 5 years older. If you don’t manage your stress or make positive life changes, you could soon look 10 years older. These are some offshoots of stress and anxiety on your skin.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D, professor at Columbia University and founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, NY, believes that stress is written on our face. She claims that some people who have changed a stressful job or ended a toxic relationship can look younger in a matter of days. If you don’t deal with stress, it will show on your face no matter how much you spend on facials, cosmetic procedures and skin products.
Stress can leave the following signs on your face:
- Dark circles: Stress can destroy the delicate under-eye blood vessels, causing rings to appear and making you look tired.
- Wrinkles: Feeling down, crying, anxiety and getting insufficient sleep can deepen the lines on the forehead, around the mouth and eyes.
- Under-eye bags: If worries are keeping you up all night, the lack of sleep can cause fluid to gather in the lower eyelid area. Sleep makes you look better and, according to the American Psychological Association, adding even one extra hour of sleep a night will lift your spirits.
- Increased jawline: Habits such as grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw are common when dealing with stress and make one’s muscles work strenuously. This can leave you with a larger jaw and damage your teeth.
- Alopecia: When you are anxious, the growth phase of your hair follicles shifts from active to resting. Once it is in this premature resting phase, it stays there for about 3 months before a large amount of hair loss occurs. This change is usually reversible for women.
- Adult acne: Various factors play a role in causing adult acne, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in women, but stress hormones can be a major reason too. Moreover, when people are anxious they tend to pick their pimples to release stress, which aggravates the problem.
- Itchiness, hives, or flakiness: Swelling stimulated by stress can trigger eczema, rosacea, rashes, and changes in the moisture level of the skin.
The Bottom Line
According to Dr Hafeez, stress symptoms manifest themselves differently in each person, so you’re unlikely to see all of them at once. Some people notice changes in skin tone and texture, others experience acne, hair loss or twitching eyes, whilst others see wrinkles.
It’s impossible to completely avoid stress, but being constantly worried or anxious certainly causes issues. Some ways to relieve tension include meditation, deep breathing exercises, and keeping fit. So, make sure to take time out from your hectic life, and give your mind the chance to find solutions to the problems that are stressing you out.