Americans are stressed—according to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America survey, nearly a third reported stress levels so high “they can’t function”—and the effects are written all over our faces. Meanwhile, a StyleSeat survey conducted in August found that 32 percent of Americans report experiencing a stress-related skin problem in the past year (including acne, dryness, dullness, and blotchiness) making it abundantly clear that “skin health” and “mental health” should no longer be thought of in isolation. Our collective complexion crisis has placed the brain-skin connection—known in the scientific field as psychodermatology—squarely at the center of the beauty conversation, and come 2023, it will take the industry by storm.
“The brain and the skin are inextricably connected,” says Amy Wechsler, MD, a board-certified psychodermatologist, author of The Mind Beauty Connection, and a Well+Good Wellness Trends Advisor. “They are actually formed from the same layer of cells embryologically, and they have many nerve, blood-vessel, and hormone connections. One affects the other, and vice versa, in both positive and negative ways.”