Photo: iStock

3 of 5
Your DNA takes a hit.
Beyond affecting the skin's surface, stress can also make an impact on a cellular level. It all has to do with telomeres, the protective "caps" found at each end of a chromosome that preserve DNA, says Howard. Over time, these telomeres naturally shorten, which can cause cellular damage and bring on the signs of aging (like wrinkles). Anxiety can speed up this process. "We see a strong correlation between shorter telomeres and psychological stress," Howard says.