Is Stress Making You Ugly?
Understand what tension can do to your hair, skin and nails -- and skin care tips on what you can do to help prevent it
Get this. A 2001 study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco revealed that when cells are exposed to chronic stress they age more quickly. And, of course, cellular aging is what makes skin less elastic and supple thus leading to premature sagging and wrinkling.
"When you're stressed your brain releases neuro peptides -- they're free radicals that can damage your cell membranes," says Dr. Murad, drawing the comparison between our skin cells and a grape's skin. "If you put pin pricks into the grape's skin, the water will seep out. Those radicals are essentially the pricks to our skin -- once they're released, they damage the cell membranes so that they lose water."
This water loss or dehydration leads to "fine lines and wrinkles, a sallow tone and maybe even some dark circles around your eyes because it also affects circulation."
Hydration is so important that at Murad's flagship medical spa in El Segundo, Calif. they offer an "intracellular water test" to determine levels of moisture deep within the skin. From there, a personalized plan to increase a cell's ability to hold water is formulated.
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