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Can Stress Make You Look Old?

Q: “I recently broke up with my boyfriend and have been under huge pressure at work. All this stress seems to be having a negative effect on my skin – can stress really make you look old?”

A: “Yes, stress can certainly be detrimental to your skin and make it look aged.

According to Dr. Anushka Reddy, a Johannesburg-based medical doctor, anti-ageing and aesthetic treatment specialist, this is called stress aging and is a “fight or flight” response.

“The mere fact that we lead stressful lives in today’s world, means stress hormones are released in the body,” she explains. This causes less blood to be pumped to the skin and the result will be dry, flaky skin. This may be what you’re noticing on your complexion right now and why you think your skin is looking old. And it can happen to all South African women, no matter your skin tone. “Stress aging is the great age equalizer between light and dark skin tones,” says Dr. Reddy.

It’s sounds clichéd, but getting enough sleep helps as well as being religious about a proper skincare routine (cleansing and properly moisturizing your skin) – as this means your already stressed skin isn’t being neglected.”

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