I have so many stories that support this point—but the truth is, so does a lot of research. Emotions have a huge impact on your skin, and there is hard scientific evidence to back up the idea. Here are just some of the studies that have been done on the subject:

1. Researchers in Germany discovered that when children went through a traumatic event such as their parents' divorce, a death in the family, or a severe illness before age 14, they had a much higher chance of suffering from eczema.

2. A study funded by the Estée Lauder company, which focused on women going through stressful divorces, showed that their skin recovered much more slowly after injury than skin belonging to women who said that they were happy.

3. The American Journal of Pathology reported that stress activates the skin's immune cells, leading to inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis.

4. A study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that the stress of exams caused students' acne to flare up, and that the more stressed the students reported being, the worse the effect on their skin. This has been reinforced by several other studies conducted around the world.

5. In a Japanese study of 26 people with dermatitis, their symptoms got better for two hours after watching a funny movie, even when they were exposed to the allergen that usually triggered their condition. It's believed that laughing reduced their levels of stress hormones.

6. Psoriasis patients who practiced meditation-based relaxation while having ultraviolet (UV) light treatments experienced faster clearing of their skin than those who received the light treatments alone, according to the results of a trial held at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

7. In a Yale University study, people with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, were more likely to have lived through a stressful experience during the years leading up to their diagnosis than people who did not have skin cancer. Another study at Johns Hopkins University showed that mice exposed to fox urine (which stressed them out) got skin cancer much more quickly when put under UV rays than mice who weren't exposed.
Excerpted from Complexion Perfection! by Kate Somerville. Copyright © 2010 by Kate Somerville. Excerpted by permission of Hay House.


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