How Stress Impacts Skin & What To Do About It

When stress flips on that internal switch in your brain, AKA the fear response, it triggers a ripple effect within the nervous system, potentially contributing to myriad physiological conditions. As skin is the largest organ in the body, sensitive to emotional stimuli, it’s only natural that stress impacts skin on multiple levels. For some firsthand insight into protecting it from stress, we spoke to Dermatologist, Dr. Jaimie Glick, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

How does skin react?

Psychological stress increases cortisol production; according to Dr. Glick, and when this happens it “can impair your skin's barrier function, causing increased trans epidermal water loss. (Water released from the body which then evaporates.) “This can lead to dry, scaly skin and a worsening of conditions like eczema,” says Dr. Glick.

How does stress impact skin conditions?

Stress is also associated with “increased production of reactive oxygen species and inflammation, leading to conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis and even premature aging,” says Dr. Glick.

What lifestyle changes can help combat stress on skin?

Keep in mind that when you're “chronically stressed your sleep is often impacted. Sleep is essential to your overall health and skin,” says Dr. Glick, who goes on to explain that during slumber, skin enters a restorative phase, therefore “Poor sleep can result in dark circles, acne and overall worsening of your complexion.”

Make a point to add calming rituals, such as healing skincare and facial massage to your daily wellness routine. A lovely place to begin is with Kat's Pro B Repair Collection formulated with healing B vitamins that fortify hair, nails, and skin. They also boost immunity, repair cells, and protect against free radical damage that leads to premature aging.