4 Terrible Ways Your Stress Affects Your Appearance

Stress—we all have it, but what does being under an enormous amount of stress do for our appearance?  Overwhelming loads of stress seems to come with the territory of being human, but our skin has a mind of its own and most of the time, doesn’t react well to life’s anxieties. And it isn’t just our skin, either; our hair reacts to stress in a similar way, which can take a huge toll on our overall appearance.

Dark Circles or Bags under the Eye

A look fitted for strung-out college kids and adults alike, dark circles and bags under the eyes are a common signifier of being stressed out.  Raccoon-eyes can be a side effect of lack of sleep, and when we’re stressed out, we tend to stay up all night tossing and turning from anxiety.

Not getting in at least eight hours of sleep is never good for your body, and this can lead to fluid pooling under the eyes, and after a rough night you’ll likely wake up to find your eyes puffy, enhancing that under eye bag look.  Unfortunately, if you prefer to sleep on your stomach, this can worsen dark, puffy eyes because of the affect that gravity plays, forcing fluids to collect underneath your eyes.

Say goodbye to train wreck eyes by ensuring your much-need sleep to wane you off your daily stressors.  Drink chamomile tea before bed, it’s a hot, caffeine-free beverage with soothing, calming properties that can put you in the right headspace for a good night’s sleep.  Try a relaxing, do-it-yourself facemask for ten minutes before bedtime, too; this can ease inflammation and stop puffy, dark eyes in their tracks.

Thinning Hair

Stress is to blame for messing up the natural cycle of hair growth, which is why many of us claim we are so stressed that our hair is falling out.  Eating habits can also be affected by stress, and as you probably know, the nutrients we consume in healthy foods keep our hair shiny and luxurious and our skin glowing.  If you tend to trend towards junk food as a stress reliever, you may want to think again before heading down the processed food aisle, because the unhealthier we eat, the more likely our hair and skin pay the price.

A quick fix is to use a thickening shampoo that can encourage hair to fill back in areas that have thinned out from stress.  However, if this continues to be an issue, think about a diet change or consulting your doctor about ways to manage stress.

Premature Wrinkles

Have you ever heard of your mother or grandmother complaining of worry lines?  It’s true, the more time we spend making certain facial expressions the more likely we are to have lines and wrinkles in that part of the face.  Worry wrinkles are common and a side effect of the shared movements we make when we are stressed.

Fortunately, we are in a day and age where beauty products are designed to target just this very problem.  If you can’t prevent the stress from occurring, you can prevent and treat side effects of anxiety-like worry wrinkles.  Pick up facial creams, ointments, or scrubs that target relieving worry lines with ingredients like vitamin A, coconut oil, aloe vera, or natural fruit or flower extracts with anti-inflammatory properties.

Flushed Face

How many times have you been told during a freak-out to simply breathe?  It’s not bad advice considering that when we’re stressed, we tend to have short, desperate breaths that don’t really do much for our air supply.  The supposed reason could be that our mind is just on other things and not so much concerned with proper breathing techniques.  However, short breathes leave your face looking flushed, and this is never a good thing for our appearance.

The solution to a flushed face is to just breathe.  If you’re feeling the weight of the stress take over your body, the best thing you can do is take a deep breathe and count to five. This peaceful act of mini-meditation calms while it is also a handy trick to stop your face from flushing.  And for a flushed face that doesn’t seem to want to be resolved, you should consult with your dermatologist about methods to achieve a balanced, even skin tone once again.

No matter what life throws at you, there are methods to handle the natural feeling of stress and anxiety before it comes down to these adverse appearance-related effects.  For skin under stress, the best way to get back your health skin is by talking to a doctor that specializes in skin care.  Sometimes, we can’t stop the stress from taking over, but our dermatologists are there to make sure it doesn’t get to our skin.


Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash