Under extreme amounts of ongoing daily stress, the hormone cortisol rises, causing an increase in oil production. Once the skin harbors excess amounts of oil, your pores can become clogged with sebum, giving way to acne.
Heightened levels of cortisol can have adverse effects on other parts of the body, too. This stress hormone affects fat metabolism, as well as fluid and salt retention, making you lose fat from areas where it’s desired and store it in unwanted areas like your arms and back.
Since everyone responds to stress differently, it’s important to identify which stresses-ranging from daily work to insecurities to fear of illness-have a negative effect on your complexion and body. Once they’ve been identified, control them with a regimen that works best for you-be it exercise, more sleep, or eating better-so they don’t manifest.
Even if stress doesn’t show outward symptoms, it doesn’t mean it’s not lurking elsewhere in your body. Often, those who don’t display stress in the form of acne, redness, excess oil production or weight gain actually produce more free radicals internally, which can lead to premature aging.
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