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Out of all the emotions, stress is youth's biggest enemy. "Stress can age your face far more rapidly than the passage of time," says Amy Wechsler MD, an adjunct assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and dermatologist in New York City. That's because it's the biggest stimulator of that pesky hormone cortisol, which flows freely through your system in times of stress. "Cortisol taxes every organ, blood vessels become more fragile, new skin cells don't form as quickly, and cell turnover may eventually slow by half — it's skin aging in a nutshell," says Dr. Wechsler.
During those stressful times, that chocolate bar, bag of salty potato chips or tempting cocktail often look more tantalizing than ever. "When you're stressed, you may eat different foods than you usually do, and drink less water and more alcohol, which will can show in the dehydration," says Dr. Day. "You may also pay less attention to your skincare routine." While dehydration can make wrinkles and fine lines look more pronounced, the combination of a poor diet and spotty skincare can spell breakout trouble for the acne-prone.
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