How Do Emotions Affect Your Skin?

Many factors can contribute to problems with your skin. Your environment, hygiene regimen, and diet are just a few of the factors that have the strongest influence, but your emotions and stress level can play a key role in a number of unsightly or uncomfortable issues. Here are a few of the most common emotion related ailments:

Model Sleeping Backstage

Rashes and Hives

Beyond an allergic reaction, hives can be triggered by an extreme emotional reaction such as anger or anxiety. Because of the itch and swelling, antihistamines are the best way to treat hives, but attempted relaxation can also curb the swelling as it’s often brought on by a sudden body temperature spike. Similarly, anxiety is a common cause of rashes. An increased stress level can be the sole cause of exacerbated ailments such as eczema or even a small patch of red and flaky skin. Traumatic events have been known to trigger rashes and other ailments, so stress management is key.


For women suffering from hormonal acne, which is most acne sufferers to some extent, increased stress levels can contribute to increased oil production and a greater chance of outbreak. By stimulating the adrenal glands, it has been proven that stress can worsen acne in current sufferers and increase oil production in women with normal skin. Stress can also slow the recovery of skin so if you have an aggressive case of acne, the healing process will be slow even if the blemish itself has gone down.


If your problem is simply flushed skin or blushing, caused by increased adrenaline, an ice cube in your mouth or cold towel on your neck can quickly lessen the blush. Many chronic blushers also try relaxation and affirmation techniques because they can consciously constrict their blood vessels, limiting the blush. If you have more serious rosacea, something as small as spicy foods could be a trigger, but stress and high emotions can increase inflammation.


High levels of stress cause your skin to become dehydrated and therefore more susceptible to irritants. You may find your normal skincare regeimn to be too harsh for your skin whilst in periods of high stress. Treat your skin with care during these times and switch to gentler products.

Clearly, stress management can be a key factor in reducing problem areas on your skin. If you’re in the midst of a stress-worsened breakout or you know you’ll be in a stressful situation soon, a visit to the spa could not only work to prevent any underlying problems but the essential oils and atmosphere that comes with a spa could be a wonderful stress reliever. 

Image: Imaxtree