You may be wondering how stress affects our skin. Chronic stress can either make us break out or make our faces completely dry. If you are prone to breakouts during stressful times, it’s because your body is responding to the hormone, cortisol, which tells your glands to make more oil (via WebMD). If you’re prone to acne when you’re stressed, cortisol is the culprit. In terms of facial dryness, Healthline explains that stress can actually affect the “barrier function of your stratum corneum,” leading to your skin holding less water. The stratum corneum is the outer layer of your skin that acts like a protective layer. When it isn’t working properly, your skin can become dry and irritated.

Acne and dryness may seem like minor side effects of a stressful life, but stress’s impact on our bodies can cause or worsen more aggressive skin issues as well. Stress has been known to aggravate eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. It can also cause skin rashes like hives. If stress is allowed to fester for long periods of time, scarring can occur. In addition to these skin issues, being over-stressed can cause bags under the eyes, new wrinkles on the face, and spots of facial flushing (via Healthline). These stress-created issues on the skin should give us even more inspiration to seek out ways to find peace in our lives. The good news is that there are plenty of inexpensive ways to give our bodies a little more love and a little less stress.

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