The emotional connection to your skin + tips on keeping it beautiful

Have you ever felt like the more you stress over your wrinkles and/or pimples, the worse they get? Especially when you’re dealing with both at the same time! 

It is possible that your skin concerns are not coming from what you eat, the products you use, or the environment you live in. Your skin problems could be a direct reflection of your emotions. At first, this might seem like a big stretch, but if you think about it more, the logic falls into place. 

Remember when you were a teen, and it seemed like you always got a pimple at the worst time? It was usually because you spent a lot of time worrying about an upcoming event. 

Think about the worriers you know who are constantly furrowing their brow, and how the wrinkles have settled in and taken up residence. There’s a lot of truth to the idea that emotions affect your skin.

How emotions impact skin 

Let’s look deeper into the bond your skin has to your emotions. The more we understand something, the more empowered we are to find a remedy.

Fight or flight

Obviously, your face isn’t going to fight or fly away, but when your body has that sort of serious response to a stimulus, there are certain reactions throughout your body. Your adrenal gland secretes powerful hormones including cortisol, adrenaline, and even a little bit of testosterone. 

When those hormones and chemicals are released en masse like that in the body, your skin can react. Expect to see pimples, cold sores, eczema, psoriasis, and an immediate flush.

Negative emotions

If you’re sad and crying, you are no stranger to puffy eyes, dark circles, and mottled skin. This is a common reaction that, for some, can last much longer than your crying. 

What about anger and anxiety? Both of these emotions can cause facial expressions that become habits. The more you practice these habits, the deeper those fine lines become until their full-fledged wrinkles. 

The real problem is those people that know you well, know these expressions, and once the wrinkles are there, they always see a shadow of your anger or anxiety.

Stress and sleeplessness

While stress can fall under the fight or flight and negative emotions, it really deserves its own category. Stress, again, causes a physical-chemical response that can make your skin more sensitive and reactive. 

Stress directly affects your skin in many different ways, and the tricky part is that the effect it has can be completely individual. 

Where this issue gets particularly troubling is that stress can cause skin problems, which cause more stress. It’s a cyclical problem that can’t be improved unless you find a way to break the cycle.

Ways to fight emotional skin problems

It’s unrealistic to not have emotions, and in many situations, it’s unrealistic to try to control your reactions to stress, but there are some things you can do to try to regain control of your complexion. 

Put skincare at the top of your list. Don’t neglect your skincare regimen, even if you’re tired and stressed out, or if you’re having too much fun, etc. Treating your skin properly every day helps it stay healthy.

Use all-natural products. Skip the hype with the latest skincare miracle, and stick to a routine with products that use only natural ingredients for the healthiest results. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to have some allergies to skincare products. If this is a concern for you, try different products, or see a dermatologist to determine which ingredients work best for you.

Eat healthy meals and nourish your body. Skip the French fries most of the time, avoid desserts, and focus on good food choices. This fuels your body correctly and keeps it working at its most efficient state. But don’t deprive yourself. It’s okay to want a treat once in a while, and you certainly deserve it.

Exercise regularly. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift weights at the gym every day, but you should exercise to keep your blood flowing, your muscles moving, and your energy up. The Mayo Clinic has guidelines on exercise and basically suggests at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days.

Embrace mindfulness and meditation. A healthy approach to mindfulness and meditation can help you gain perspective on your life. While this won’t stop you from having emotional reactions, it certainly can prevent you from blowing things out of proportion or getting stressed about something that doesn’t really matter.

Make sleep a priority. Not getting enough sleep shows up on your face in a lot of different ways. Beyond that, getting a quality sleep every night puts you in a better place to deal with emotional events and perhaps not even let things rise to the level of an emotional event.

To put it simply

Your emotions have a big impact on your skin and your appearance. For some, this becomes a horrible cycle because they then stress out over their skin, and things begin to spiral. 

Saying “control your emotions” is unrealistic, but there are still things you can do to help break this cycle. Approaching life with a health-first attitude gives you a huge head start and sets you on the path for overall wellness. 

Making sleep and mindfulness a regular part of your daily existence also puts things in perspective and keeps you functioning at your highest abilities. 


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