New York: The break-up of a relationship can give you wrinkles, research by cosmetic giant Estee Lauder has shown.
Published in the journal Skin Research and Technology, the researchers anyalsed 55 woman aged between 21 and 54, half of whom were going through a stressful relationship problem such as divorce or seperation.
All were given skin tests to assess the strength and recovery rate of the skin barrier, a protein ‘coating’ in the uppermost layer of the skin that keeps water in and harmful bacteria out.
The tests involved using tape to remove the outer layer of the skin on an area of the cheek and seeing how much water was lost from the skin before, during and after the procedure-The water loss was tested again three hours later and after 24 hours to show ‘skin recovery’.
Scientists also measured the strength of the skin barrier by noting how many tape strippings it took to reach a certain level of water loss.
Loss of water from the skin through evaporation causes the skin to dry out, which can lead to the formation of wrinkles. As we age, the skin produces less of the oils that help lock in moisture. The loss of water, plus fat tissue, causes a reduction in the skin’s elasticity.
All the women completed questionnaires to show their stress levels. The study team found there was no link between stress and the strength of the skin barrier. However, there were differences in skin recovery. The skin of women going through a difficult break-up took much longer to recover from the tests than the skin of happy women. Writing in
The researchers concluded: ‘Most of the non-stressed individuals had a totally recovered skin barrier while several of the stressed individuals exhibited poor barrier recovery.’
The research was carried out in New York by Estee Lauder, which owns the Clinique range of beauty products. Tom Mammone, its director of biological research, said: ‘The results demonstrate that skin can be compromised by the stress of a break-up.’
Stress has already been blamed for a host of health problems ranging from heart disease to cancer and depression.