Often, people have the misconception that bad skin comes from either bad genes or bad luck, but a lot of the time it is actually caused by stress.
Stress can take a huge toll on your skin. It can cause a number of skin problems such as, acne, psoriasis, or eczema. This happens because when you are stressed out, your body releases cortisol from your sensory nerves and immune cells, which can throw off the other hormones in your body and cause breakouts on your face or body.
Cortisol is a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stress. In small amounts, cortisol is normal and healthy. It serves as a great short term coping mechanism to stress.
However, cortisol can turn into an enemy of the skin if it remains active over a long period of time. People who are prone to high stress over long duration's of time, will sustain high levels of cortisol, which can negatively affect the skin in various ways:
Acne: You may notice that during periods of high stress you experience more acne breakouts. High cortisol levels prompt the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (oil). The additional oil clogs the pores leading to the development of inflammation and bacteria, resulting in acne.
Skin Conditions: Beyond acne, stress can also magnify other skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Many people who suffer from chronic skin disorders tend to notice that their symptoms flare up when their stress levels are elevated.
Aging: Cortisol also has the power to accelerate the aging process of the skin, rapidly enhancing common unwanted aging signs like lines and wrinkles, age spots, and skin dullness.