The effects of stress on your appearance

Feeling high-strung and not digging the frazzled look? Here’s how stress causes some common beauty woes and what you can do about it.

Woman lazing in bed

Under eye bags

If you’re always worrying about tomorrow’s deadlines, you’re unlikely to get a good night’s sleep. This can cause fluid to pool under your eyes, resulting in those dreaded puffy eye bags. You can counteract this by going through a relaxing night time routine before bed and setting up the perfect sleep environment featuring a comfortable mattressand even a luxurious headboard. If you’re still looking a bit worse for wear, apply some brightening concealer under your eyes using a Kisanii N60 concealer brush.


When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol which can increase your skin’s oil production. This sets your skin up to be the perfect breeding ground for pimples. Stress can also disrupt your gut bacteria, which can show up on your skin in the form of acne. Cut down on sugar and eat gut-friendly fruit and vegetables instead to aid your digestion and top up on skin-clearing vitamins.

Eczema or psoriasis flare up

Again, because of a flood of cortisol, your immune system can take a hit. This can cause pre-existing conditions like eczema and psoriasis to flare up, but thankfully, these outbreaks are temporary. If you notice your skin acting up, try deep breathing, meditation or yoga to bring your stress levels down. Soon, your skin will clear up on its own accord.

Dry skin

Stress can also manifest itself in the form of dehydration, as you might not be as mindful with drinking 2 litres a day when you’ve got other things to worry about. And dehydration, of course, causes your skin to become dry and flaky. If drinking heaps of water is hard for you, try eating foods that have a high water content like tomatoes, cucumber, baby spinach and of course, watermelon.

Fine lines

Purse your lips or furrow your brows when you’re stressed? This could be causing fine lines that can one day become deep wrinkles. Try to be mindful of what unconscious facial expressions you might make, and relax your muscles as soon as you catch yourself tensing up. Having a stress ball on your desk is a good way of getting the angst out.

Fine smile lines

Thin or greying hair

For those that are predisposed to grey hair, stress is especially bad, as it can strip the melanin in your hair, turning it grey, while also thinning it in diametre. Strengthen your hair with biotin or vitamin B supplements and get a checkup to ensure you don’t have other nutritional or hormonal problems that may be weakening or greying your hair.


Vertical lines across the nails are a normal part of ageing, but horizontal lines could be a cause for concern. Appearing when the body is compromised due to stress, horizontal lines across the nails suggest that something more serious might be going on.

Book in an appointment with your doctor to find out what’s going on and try yoga and meditation in the meantime to lower your stress levels.

Your nails might also become brittle when you’re stressed, as your body is paying less attention to maintaining them at this time.

Whole body

When you’re stressed, you might also indulge in bad habits that are bad for your wellbeing and overall appearance. This can include drinking too much, emotional eating and chain smoking. You might also find that you don’t have the time or energy to work out like you normally would. On the surface, these bad habits can all result in bad skin and weight gain, while also wreaking havoc on your insides.

Try focusing on cooking at home and not keeping alcohol in the house to promote better health and beauty instead.

Author bio

Hania Syed

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based writer who blogs at You will most likely find her with her head in a book, or enjoying Melbourne’s foodie scene.

Share this post