What Does Stress Look Like on Your Skin?

a woman suffering from headache is holding her head

The way stress shows on faces 

Everyone feels stressed now and then, but when it becomes chronic, it can have serious health consequences. Stress is linked to many stress symptoms like an increased risk of depression, a weakened immune system, and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Stress can leave a scar on your face as well. Continue reading to learn about the various side effects of stress on your face and how to follow proper skincare to reduce stress.

Chronic stress can manifest itself in two ways on your face. To begin with, the hormones released by your body when you are stressed might cause physiological changes that have a bad impact on your skin. Second, being stressed can lead to undesirable behaviours like grinding teeth or biting your lips.

Continue reading to learn more about the several ways stress symptoms can manifest themselves on your face giving you many skin problems:


When you're stressed, your body creates more cortisol, a stress hormone. The hypothalamus, a brain area, is stimulated by cortisol to release a hormone called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). The effect of stress on acne in female medical students aged 22 to 24 was studied by Higher levels of stress were found to be positively connected with the severity of acne, according to the researchers.

Under-the-eye bags

Bags under the eyes are identified by swelling or puffiness behind the eyelids. They grow more common as you become older because the muscles that support your eyes weaken. Sagging skin caused by elasticity loss can also cause eye bags.

Sleep deficiency causes stress, which promotes indications of ageing such as fine lines, elasticity loss, and uneven pigmentation. Bags beneath your eyes can also be caused by a decrease in skin elasticity and provides spotless skin.

Parched - dry Skin

The stratum corneum is your skin's outermost layer. It's high in protein and lipids, both of which are necessary for skin cell nourishment. It also acts as a barrier to protect the skin beneath it. Your skin can feel dry and itchy if your stratum corneum isn't functioning properly. Several human studies have also revealed that interview stress and stress from "marriage disturbance" can slow down the skin barrier's ability to heal itself.


Your immune system may be weakened as a result of stress. Dysbiosis is a bacterial imbalance induced by a weakened immune system in the stomach and skin. Psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis are examples that can produce rashes or inflamed skin.


Stress causes your skin's proteins to change, causing it to lose suppleness. This elasticity loss can contribute to the creation of wrinkles. Stress might also cause you to furrow your brow repeatedly, which can add to the production of wrinkles.

Hair thinning and greying

Stress, according to conventional knowledge, can cause your hair to grey. Melanocytes are cells that generate the pigment melanin, which gives your hair its colour.

Stress-induced sympathetic nerve activity can cause the stem cells that produce melanocytes to vanish, according to a study published in Nature. New cells lose their colour and turn grey once these cells have vanished.

Telogen effluvium, a disorder in which your hair's growth cycle is disturbed, can also be caused by chronic stress. Telogen effluvium is a disorder that causes excessive hair loss.

Stress impacts your face in other ways as well

Stress can also have an effect on your face in the following ways:

  • Damage to the teeth. People typically grind their teeth when they are upset or anxious and this damages your teeth.
  • Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMD). TMD is a term that describes a group of health problems that affect the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It is caused by repeatedly clenching your teeth.
  • Flushing of the face. As a result of stress, your breathing habits may change. Your face may blush briefly as a result of these breathing behaviours.

How to reduce stress?

Some reasons for stress, such as a family member's abrupt death or an unexpected job loss, are inevitable. Finding techniques to cope with stress and reduce unneeded stress, on the other hand, can help you better manage it.

You can manage stress in a variety of ways including proper skincare:

  • Make time for calming activities in your schedule. If your busy schedule is overwhelming you, scheduling time for things that make you feel relaxed may help you how to reduce stress.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Continue to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep to help your body cope with stress better and get clear skin.
  • Continue to be active. Exercise can help you reduce stress hormone levels and allow you time to think about something other than the source of your stress. It is the best stress buster
  • Talk to other people. Many people find that talking to a friend, family member, or mental health professional can help them cope with stress.
  • Drugs and alcohol should be avoided. The use of drugs and alcohol on a regular basis can exacerbate your stress.

Take Away

Stress is unavoidable in everyday life. When stress becomes chronic, though, it can leave a permanent mark on your face. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including acne, grey hair, and dry skin. Preventing these indications of premature ageing can be as simple as reducing preventable sources of stress in your life and practising stress management strategies. Following proper skincare is also advisable to get clear skin.