Life has been difficult, particularly in recent times, and when it comes to self-care, you may be surprised at what the appearance of our skin can tell us about our wellbeing. 

F-A-C-E can help you identify 'Resting Stress Face' / Photo credit: Unsplash
F-A-C-E can help you identify 'Resting Stress Face' / Photo credit: Unsplash

Since the pandemic, the recent ‘Beautified Britain Index’ report found that online searches for ‘skin anxiety’ increased dramatically, as the link between mental health and skin has never been more apparent.

‘Resting Stress Face’ is a symptom that shows the impact of anxiety on the skin.

Chronic stress, anxiety and psychological distress often present on the skin first, even before we might realise we are suffering. Winter is a notoriously challenging time for mental health and, after a couple of very difficult years for us all, we need to be more mindful than ever of our mental health. 

Skincare, aesthetics and wellness expert, Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, explains how ‘Resting Stress Face’ occurs when we are worried and anxious, and how to treat it.

Frowns and furrows

Do you have frown lines and a furrowed brow, even at rest? ‘Resting Stress Face’ could be the first sign that you’re strained. As well as incorporating more stress management techniques into your daily life, collagen boosting treatments like retinol to stimulate collagen, can help with fine lines and wrinkles. There are injections that can be prescribed and injected to reduce regular movements in the frowns or overuse or reuse of the muscles that cause frowns and reduce the frowning habits and in doing so, reduce headaches.

*Always seek medical advice beforehand*


Have you noticed a reduction in volumes in the face such as temple hollows, flattened cheeks and a gaunt appearance? This is known as ‘lipoatrophy’ of the fat pads and can be secondary to stress. For any volume loss, the best treatment is volume replacement. Non surgically, the least invasive and safest way to do this is using sterile hyaluronic acid gel soft tissue fillers which are used to restore the volume in the fat pads, improve the hollows, restore the contours of the cheeks and put the health back in the face (known as dermal fillers).


Look out for sudden or significant changes such as blotchy, sensitised skin or acne breakouts. All of these could be linked to stress. Sudden significant changes such as blotchy sensitive skin or acne breakouts may be stress related and should be tackled using a multi modality holistic health approach first. Stress results in long term cortisol release and is damaging to the integrity of the skin. Starting stress management techniques as part of lifestyle management will improve skin health. For example, even 3 minutes every morning and evening can be positively empowering. 

Sleep hygiene methods including leaving your work phone in a different room or not looking at your phone one hour before bed are also good. Getting a good eight hours' sleep per night is really important in your beauty regime.  For topical treatment, aim at hydrating and strengthening the skin barrier. 


Twitching eyes and increased blinking could be a sign that you’re spending too much time on screens. Dark circles and bags under the eyes can denote too little quality sleep or disrupted sleep patterns. or every 20 minutes that you're looking at the screen, avert your eyes and look into the distance away from the screen for 20 seconds. This helps to reduce sensitivity of the eyes, twitchiness and blue light overload. There are injections that can reduce twitching in the eyes if this becomes a problem. 

Dark circles and bags under the eyes can denote too little quality of sleep or disrupted sleep patterns. Have a notebook by your bedside table to help note down distracting thoughts. Dark circles can also be treated with pigmentation busting dermal fillers like belotero revive, which is a skin boosting treatment. Bags under the eyes can be reduced with the treatment like Secret Pro which is microneedling radiofrequency. Wrinkles under the eyes can be treated with CO2 laser and volume loss or hollows under the eyes because of chronic stress or volume loss can be treated with dermal filler. 


For more information on The Skin Report visit

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