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Mind-Skin Connection: What Stress Has to Do With Your Skin

October 8, 2022

Stress is an inevitable human condition but is a normal part of life. And while it is defined as a mental state, it can affect your entire body, including your skin.

In fact, if you are stressed out, your skin can show it. Research shows that acute and chronic stress can negatively affect your overall skin quality and may lead to psoriasis, eczema, skin ageing or acne.

Likewise, studies have also shown skin and hair follicles can produce their own stress-inducing signals, which can reach the brain and prolong a stress response.

Continue reading this blog to find out more about the mind-skin connection.


The brain-skin axis: A bidirectional pathway


The brain-skin axis is a networked, bidirectional channel that can translate mental stress from the brain to the skin and vice versa.

Your body responds to fluctuations in your mental state; factors like stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to new skin conditions or a flare-up of pre-existing ones.

Under stress, your sympathetic nervous system releases cortisol and adrenaline into your body. Elevated cortisol level is associated with a rise in sebum or oil production, resulting in clogged pores and acne outbreaks.

In addition, stress can also result in inflammation via the gut-skin connection. Stress alters the balance of bacteria in your gut which can cause inflammation and manifest externally as eczema, psoriasis, acne, or other skin conditions. Read our blog to find out more about your gut health here.

On top of that, stress can also make you feel nervous and anxious, increasing your urge to pick your acne or scratch your skin and permanently damage them.


Managing the effects of stress on your skin


Theoretically, reducing stress levels can alleviate its damaging impact on your skin.

There is evidence that managing stress through mindfulness and meditation helps patients with psoriasis improve both their skin condition severity and overall quality of life.

One study also supports using hypnosis, meditation and biofeedback in healing skin disorders, reducing inflammation, and rewiring distorted patterns of thinking related to your skin.

According to research, increased oxidative stress secondary to poor sleep is also associated with skin ageing, weak skin barrier, and negative self-evaluation. This emphasises the significant role of sleep on your skin.

Harvard Health Publishing also approves regular aerobic exercise to dissipate stress and improve self-image.

Certain foods can also help you fight stress, enhance immunity and promote healthy skin. When it comes to your diet, you know where to find wholesome meals. Contact us for a wide range of healthy meal options minus the stress of cooking and preparing them yourself.

Overall, this indicates a lifestyle change can do wonders for your skin and mental state.



Stress is evident in our skin. How you feel within can always manifest externally and vice versa. If you have a skin condition associated with stress, consult a dermatologist and consider practising some relaxation techniques at home.

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