6 Ways That Chronic Stress Destroys Your Youthful Looks

Well-documented research clearly indicates that stress is linked to a number of highly serious medical conditions. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, makes us susceptible to depression and degrades our quality of life.

As if this was not enough, a recent study revealed that men and women with higher levels of stress hormones are actually less attractive than those with lower stress hormones.

According to stress expert David Posen, M.D. and author of Work is Killing You, people who are chronically stressed look tired and feel tired. Here are six ways that stress may be making you physically less attractive.

Accelerated Aging

If your work stresses you out, there is a good chance that you are aging faster than you should be. Research indicates that work-related stress shortens protein camps at the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres. When telomeres become too short, the cells die or are damaged.

This pushes aging into overdrive and increases the risk of developing chronic diseases. In addition, highly stressed individuals often develop very deep and noticeable frown lines.

Dull and Dry Skin

Stressed out people don’t eat as well as those that are not stressed, and this takes its toll on skin. Cortisol is the stress hormone causes the skin to look dull and lifeless, according to dermatologist Jessica Krant M.D.

Too much cortisol causes free radicals to build up; these in turn damage skin cells. Dehydrated skin has been linked to psychological stress in women, according to a published study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Cortisol also allows moisture to escape from the skin, leading to excessive dryness.

Weight Gain

Some people stop eating when they are stressed, but many reach for the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain. Perhaps that chocolate bar or bag of chips looks much better to you when you are having a really rough day.

Mindless eating is a key contributor to excessive weight gain and obesity. When people are stressed they often crave foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. A study conducted by Yale University found that elevated stress hormones were correlated with extra abdominal fat in slender women.

Brittle Nails

If your nails are weak and break often, it may be due to stress. Fingernails, like skin, reflect a person’s overall state of well being. Chronic stress can result in peeling nails or nails that break easily and do not grow well.

When the body is stressed, proper energy is not given to maintaining nails, and they become unhealthy very quickly. Stress can also encourage bad habits such as biting nails, which does little for their health and appearance.


Are you dreaming of that clear and flawless complexion? It is unlikely that you will find it if you are frequently stressed. Cortisol, that nasty little stress hormone, stimulates oil production which can lead to an outbreak of acne. A 2003 study done at Stanford linked severe flare ups of acne in students to periods when they were taking exams.

Manage Stress

stressNot only will your inner body suffer during periods of stress, your outer body suffers also. Even if you are otherwise healthy, stress is known as a silent killer and can sneak up and bite you if you are not careful.

Getting plenty of sleep, exercise, eating a diet that is rich in whole foods and practicing stress management techniques such a deep breathing, meditation and even yoga are instrumental towards filtering negative thoughts and anxiety.

-The Alternative Daily


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