Do Stress Wrinkles Go Away?

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Whether it be a job interview, an overflowing to-do list, or a family debacle, we all feel stressed out every now and again. But, when stress becomes a frequent issue, it could start to take a toll on your smooth, healthy skin.

Over time, stress can etch wrinkles into your skin, leading to an aged appearance. But, will those lines disappear when you reach a state of zen? Or will they stick around regardless of stress management?

This article will discuss how to prevent and treat stress wrinkles so that you can maintain youthful-looking skin, no matter what life throws at you.

Stress and Skin Aging: How To Stop Wrinkles from Stress

When you feel stressed out, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Commonly referred to as the “stress hormone”, cortisol keeps your energy levels high so that you can handle stressful situations. Unfortunately, while cortisol may have helped our ancient predecessors run away from wild animals, it often doesn’t serve our modern-day needs. [1]

lady smiling checking face

High cortisol levels damage collagen and elastin in the skin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that keep the skin healthy, plump, and firm. Our bodies naturally produce less collagen and elastin with each passing year in adulthood, which contributes to gradual skin aging. [2]

Natural skin aging is compounded by high cortisol levels from prolonged stress. As cortisol breaks down the protein in your skin, it will become less elastic and more prone to wrinkles. Additionally, many people furrow their brows when they feel stressed out, which can worsen forehead wrinkles. [3]

Superficial wrinkles caused by short-term stress can often be reversed, to some degree. Wrinkles caused by long-term stress are more difficult to get rid of. [4] Thankfully, there are several strategies that you can implement to fade current stress wrinkles while preventing future stress lines:

  • Practice stress management tactics, such as journaling, meditating or exercising
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to prevent sun damage, which can cause premature skin aging
  • Protect your physical health by eating a nutrient-rich diet, refraining from smoking, and minimizing your alcohol intake
  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, as your body works to repair skin damage while you sleep
  • Develop a skincare routine with products that stimulate collagen production and deeply hydrate the skin to improve the appearance of wrinkles [5]

Check out our review of top wrinkle products to build a skincare regimen that fights stress lines and creases.


Q: Can you reverse wrinkles from stress?

By taking care of your physical and mental health while implementing an anti-aging skincare routine, you can largely reverse stress wrinkles. [6]

Q: How do you get rid of stress lines?

You can get rid of stress lines with a healthy lifestyle, stress management tactics, and a skincare routine with hydrating products that stimulate collagen production.

Q: Can stress age your face?

Yes, stress can age your face by damaging the proteins that keep your skin plump and elastic.

Q: Are stress wrinkles a thing?

Yes, stress wrinkles are a thing. Cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, damages collagen and elastin in the skin. This makes the skin more likely to wrinkle and fold.

Q: Does stress cause aging?

Yes, stress can speed up the skin aging process. It can also cause under-eye bags, dry skin, and gray hair, all of which contribute to an aging appearance. [3]

Q: How can I know how to get rid of premature wrinkles?

To get rid of premature wrinkles, use a gentle cleanser, deep moisturizer, and products that actively fight wrinkles, such as vitamin C and retinol. [7]

Q: Does stress make you look older?

Over time, stress can make you look older by causing signs of skin aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and dark under-eye bags. Stress can also make your hair turn gray faster.

Q: What causes frown lines and premature crow’s feet?

Several factors can contribute to premature wrinkles including frown lines and crow’s feet. The most prevalent of these factors include stress, excess sun exposure, and smoking. [8]

Q: Can stress cause red eyes and teenage forehead wrinkles?

Teenage wrinkles typically result from stress and/or an unhealthy lifestyle. [9] However, teenage skin is elastic and resilient, so wrinkles are likely to abate once the stress is managed.

Stress doesn’t directly cause red eyes, but can contribute to them. When you’re feeling stressed out, the body releases adrenaline, which may cause dry eyes and, as a result, red eyes. [10]

young woman wrinkles reading

Q: Why do wrinkles form?

Wrinkles develop from a combination of factors, including lost skin elasticity, dryness, and repetitive facial expressions. Stress can speed up the loss of skin elasticity which leads to wrinkles.

Q: What helps with wrinkles?

In addition to protecting your skin from the sun with SPF, certain skincare products can help with wrinkles. Retinoids have proven to be the most effective topical treatment for wrinkles and other signs of aging. [11]

Q: Does stress make you age faster?

Yes, stress makes your appearance age faster.

Q: Can you reverse aging from stress?

It may be possible to reverse signs of aging from stress in early adulthood. As you get older, it becomes more difficult to fully eliminate stress wrinkles, although you can lessen them with a healthy lifestyle and anti-aging skincare.

Q: How can I know how to get rid of wrinkles naturally?

Natural wrinkle remedies include topical vitamin C, aloe vera, essential oils, olive oil, and facial massage. [12]

Q: What’s the best treatment for deep wrinkles?

Deep wrinkles are difficult to treat with a healthy lifestyle alone. Topical prescription retinoids can help soften deep wrinkles over time, though it often takes months (or even years) to achieve notable results. For a faster improvement in deep wrinkles and lines, professional aesthetic treatments like Botox, dermal fillers, and laser therapy are often better options. [13]

Q: Can I remove wrinkles overnight at home?

While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully remove wrinkles overnight at home, you can improve the appearance of wrinkles in a single night. To do this, deeply hydrate the skin with a rich moisturizer that contains inflammation-fighting ingredients, such as vitamin C.

Q: What are the results of the stress turns but reversible study?

A study published in eLife Sciences found that stress can turn hair gray. But, this is reversible if the stress is alleviated. [14]

Q: How can I know how to get rid of wrinkles permanently?

To permanently remove wrinkles, you’ll need to consider powerful anti-aging treatments including retinoids, dermal fillers, Botox, and laser therapy. These treatments, paired with a healthy lifestyle, can provide a lasting improvement to facial wrinkles.

Q: Are wrinkles permanent?

During your younger years, wrinkles, including stress wrinkles, are often reversible. However, as you get older, lost collagen and elastin increase the risk of permanent lines.

woman in bathtowel with mirror

Q: Can stress cause wrinkles and sudden wrinkling of the skin?

High cortisol levels caused by stress can break down proteins in the skin, leading to wrinkles. But, this process isn’t instantaneous. If you suddenly notice skin wrinkling when you’re stressed out, it’s more likely due to dehydration.

Q: How can I know how to remove wrinkles from face quickly?

To quickly remove wrinkles from your face, soften and hydrate your skin with a nourishing moisturizer. For a more dramatic improvement to wrinkles, consider fillers, Botox, or laser therapy. [15]

Q: Is it true that wrinkling of the skin is due to loss of collagen?

Yes, lost collagen contributes to wrinkling of the skin.

Q: What are stress lines, creases, and worry wrinkles?

Stress lines and worry wrinkles refer to facial wrinkles and lines caused, at least in part, by stress.

Q: Can I fix wrinkles from cortisol?

Yes, you can improve the appearance of wrinkles caused by high cortisol levels with an anti-aging skincare routine that includes retinol, vitamin C, and other wrinkle-fighting ingredients.

Q: Can you reverse wrinkles and stress lines on face?

In early adulthood and your teenage years, stress lines can often be reversed by relieving the stress and taking care of your health. In your older years, stress wrinkles may not be fully reversible, but can be improved with stress management, a healthy lifestyle, and anti-aging skincare.

Q: Does stress cause wrinkles on your face?

Yes, stress can cause wrinkles on your face by breaking down the proteins that support the skin.

Q: Does stress cause wrinkles under eyes?

Yes, stress can cause wrinkles under the eyes.

Conclusion: Can Stress Give You Wrinkles?

Unfortunately, we all face stressful situations every now and again. While stress can trigger wrinkles, there are numerous stress management strategies that you can implement for smoother, healthier skin.

So, the good news is that learning to effectively manage and alleviate stress will improve every aspect of your health, including your skin!



Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.