How does stress cause wrinkles?

Cortisol(the stress hormone) degrades collagen. When you consider what exactly a wrinkleis -- a weakening and lessening of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin’sdermis -- it’s easy to understand how stress, then, can directly cause wrinkles.When you live in a chronic state of stress, routinely bathing your body in cortisol,it becomes harder and harder for the skin to repair itself naturally, continueto form healthy collagen and elastin, and deal with damaged areas. At the sametime, your body is responding to the stress through inflammatory pathways,which can exacerbate skin issues.

If you can decrease your levels of cortisol and increase your levels of beta endorphins, which act as anti-inflammatories in the body as well as in skin, you can reverse this damage. It’s a win-win when you can control your cortisol levels and maximize your beta endorphins. How do you increase your beta endorphins? Restful sleep and frequent sex and exercise are three great ways.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Continue Learning about Stress

Give Stress the Soft Touch
Give Stress the Soft Touch
If your worries are following you around like a long afternoon shadow, here's a fun way to give them the slip: Spend 30 minutes cuddling on the couch ...
Read More
How does stress affect metabolism?
Michael B. Finkelstein, MDMichael B. Finkelstein, MD
At any given time, there are an untold number of chemical reactions taking place in our cells -- amo...
More Answers
7 Ways Stress Can Harm Your Body
7 Ways Stress Can Harm Your Body7 Ways Stress Can Harm Your Body7 Ways Stress Can Harm Your Body7 Ways Stress Can Harm Your Body
Stress isn't just bad for your mental health—it can harm your physical health as well. Learn how, plus smart strategies to help you take control.
Start Slideshow
What Is Stress and Why Should I Be Concerned About It?
What Is Stress and Why Should I Be Concerned About It?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.