At some point in your life, you may have said that stress has wreaked havoc on your skin. You might have blamed a surprise pimple on a breakup. You’ve complained that stress from the SAT or LSAT caused a rash on your face or is to blame for the dark circles under your eyes.

We’ve all been there. It only makes sense that negative feelings would have a direct effect on how your skin looks. We already know that stress can wreak havoc on other systems in your body, like the heart and liver, and provoke other major organ damage.

Skin health is a double-edged sword. Stress can cause skin blemishes and blemishes can cause stress. It’s like a never-ending cycle. More negative feelings come about because of being self-conscious about the skin imperfections.

The reason behind these blemishes is because negative feelings (sadness, anger, stress, fear, etc.) cause the release of cortisol and upset gut health. When that happens, it sets off a hormonal firestorm, which eventually makes itself known by appearing as skin imperfections such as wrinkles, dark spots, dark circles, pimples, or blackheads.

Conversely, if your emotions are up—fall on the positive side of the spectrum—they can have the opposite effect on your skin health. Positive emotions can actually help to improve your skin. The idea is relatively simple to understand.

When you are at ease, feeling relaxed, your skin instinctively follows suit by emanating a glow.

Some might call it a happiness glow. The theory is that the positive emotions promote the skin’s ability to repair and heal itself, resulting in renewed, healthy, glowing skin.

 

A positive attitude also works on internal issues like promoting good gut health, which can help level off your mood and lessen the likelihood of internal issues such as rapid heartbeat and drastic blood sugar spikes or drops, as well as regulate other imbalances. Some researchers suggest, based on studies, that a smile may actually make you appear younger, and there’s absolutely nothing negative about that.

In addition to assessing your emotional well-being, there are other things you can do to promote good skin health. Things like regular washing with a gentle soap or cleanser, moisturizing in the morning and at bedtime, and regularly using sunscreen can make a significant difference in your skin’s appearance and its glow factor.

Knowing what plays a part in having great skin puts you a step ahead of others. Do what you can to take care of your skin from the inside out. If that means making a conscious effort to frown less, that’s’ a great start. Even if you have to set reminders for yourself to manage your stress level, that small effort could go a long way in helping to keep your skin clear and glowing as nature intended.

 

By Micaela Lanao