what does crying do to your skin are tears good for the skin

Are Tears Good for Your Skin? The Surprising Effects of Crying on Your Complexion

Uncover the effects of tears on your skin. From moisturizing to stress-relief, grab your tissues as we explore the skin benefits of crying.
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Have you ever wondered if shedding a few tears could actually be good for your skin? It might seem like an unusual question, but the effects of crying on your complexion are more surprising than you might think. In this article, we’re going to explore the connection between tears and skin health, and you might be amazed by what we uncover.

You see, tears are not just salty drops that flow from our eyes when we’re feeling emotional. They are a fascinating blend of chemicals and substances with the potential to impact our skin in unexpected ways. Understanding the science behind tears and their effects on our complexion can provide valuable insights into how our emotional well-being and skincare are intertwined.

So, grab a tissue, and let’s dive in!

The Science Behind Tears

Have you ever wondered what exactly tears are made of and how they can impact your skin? Let’s dive into the fascinating science behind tears and uncover some surprising facts.

Tears are not just plain water. They contain a unique blend of chemicals, proteins, and hormones that make them much more than meets the eye. These components vary depending on the type of tear. Yes, there are different types of tears!

  • Basal tears, for instance, are the ones that keep our eyes moist and lubricated throughout the day. They contain water, salt, and enzymes that help protect our eyes from irritants and maintain their health.
  • Reflex tears, on the other hand, are our eyes’ automatic response to irritants like dust or onions. They contain additional substances, such as antibodies, to fight off potential infections and foreign particles.
  • But what about emotional tears? These are the tears we shed when we experience strong emotions like joy, sadness, or frustration. Emotional tears have been found to contain even more intriguing components.

Research suggests that emotional tears contain stress hormones, like cortisol, that are released when we’re under emotional duress. These hormones can have both positive and negative effects on our body and skin.[1]

Interestingly, emotional tears also contain endorphins, which are natural painkillers that help us feel better after a good cry. These endorphins contribute to the emotional and psychological benefits of shedding tears.

The chemical composition of tears is truly remarkable, and it’s worth exploring how these components can impact our skin health. From the moisturizing and hydrating effects of tears to their potential anti-inflammatory properties, there’s more to crying than meets the eye.

The Benefits of Crying

Crying is often seen as a sign of vulnerability or weakness, but it turns out that shedding tears can actually have some surprising benefits for both our emotional well-being and our skin. Let’s explore the positive effects of crying.

When we cry, it’s not just an emotional release; it’s also a way for our bodies to expel toxins. Emotional tears have been found to contain stress-related chemicals, and by crying, we can actually rid ourselves of some of these toxins, giving us a sense of relief.

Moreover, crying can be a powerful stress reliever. When we’re overwhelmed with emotions, tears can help us release tension and reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. It’s like giving our emotions a much-needed outlet, allowing us to feel lighter and calmer afterwards.

Don’t underestimate the emotional and psychological benefits of shedding tears. Crying can help us process and navigate through difficult emotions, fostering emotional resilience and personal growth.

But what about our skin? How does crying affect our complexion? Well, one of the most noticeable benefits of crying is its moisturizing effect. Tears contain a natural lubricant called the tear film that helps keep our eyes moist. This same tear film can also provide hydration to the skin around our eyes, reducing dryness and giving us a fresher, more radiant appearance.

In addition to hydration, crying can have anti-aging effects on the skin. The moisture from tears can help plump up fine lines and wrinkles temporarily, giving the skin a smoother and more youthful look. It’s like a natural, temporary facelift!

Furthermore, crying can have a positive impact on our overall well-being, and when we’re emotionally balanced and content, it reflects on our skin. People who embrace their emotions and allow themselves to cry when needed often exude a natural glow and radiance.

Moisturizing and Hydrating Effects

Have you ever noticed how your skin feels after a good cry? There’s a reason why it often feels more refreshed and hydrated. Let’s explore the moisturizing and hydrating effects of tears on your skin.

The Tear Film

Tears contain a natural moisturizer called the tear film. This film is made up of three layers: an outer oily layer, a middle watery layer, and an inner mucous layer. Together, these layers work harmoniously to keep our eyes lubricated and moisturized. But what’s interesting is that this same tear film can benefit the skin around our eyes too.


When tears flow down our cheeks, they can spread across the skin, delivering moisture and hydration. This can be particularly beneficial for dry skin, as tears provide a natural source of hydration, helping to alleviate dryness and flakiness.

Smoothing Lines

The moisturizing effect of tears can give the skin a more supple and plump appearance. Fine lines and wrinkles may appear less pronounced, as the added moisture temporarily fills them in, leaving the skin looking smoother and more youthful.

In addition to moisturizing, tears also help in maintaining the skin’s hydration levels. Proper hydration is essential for a healthy complexion, as it helps the skin maintain its elasticity, prevent dryness, and promote a radiant glow. So, shedding tears can give your skin an extra boost of hydration, leaving it looking healthier and more vibrant.

It’s important to note that the moisturizing and hydrating effects of tears may be more noticeable around the eye area, as tears tend to accumulate in that region. So, if you’ve ever wondered why your eyes look brighter and your skin feels softer after crying, it’s because tears are providing that extra dose of hydration.

Anti-inflammatory and Antibacterial Properties

Did you know that tears possess remarkable properties that can benefit your skin beyond moisturization? Let’s explore the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of tears.

Tears contain certain compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce redness, swelling, and irritation on the skin.

Here are some key anti-inflammatory properties found in tears:

  • Cytokines: Tears contain cytokines, which are proteins that regulate immune responses. These cytokines can help calm down inflammation and promote skin healing.
  • Lysozyme: Tears also contain lysozyme, an enzyme with natural antibacterial properties. It helps fight against bacteria and can potentially assist in preventing and treating skin infections.
  • Growth factors: Tears contain growth factors that aid in tissue repair and regeneration. These growth factors can support the healing process of skin wounds and promote healthier skin overall.

In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, tears also possess antibacterial properties that can benefit your skin health.

Here are some notable antibacterial properties found in tears:

  • Lactoferrin: Tears contain lactoferrin, a protein that exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps inhibit the growth of certain harmful bacteria and promotes a healthier skin microbiome.
  • Immunoglobulins: Tears contain immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, which play a crucial role in our immune system. These antibodies can help neutralize bacteria and other harmful microorganisms on the skin.
  • Antimicrobial peptides: Tears contain antimicrobial peptides that can help fight against various microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. These peptides act as natural defense mechanisms, protecting the skin from potential infections.

These anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of tears make them more than just watery droplets. They can contribute to maintaining a balanced and healthier complexion by reducing inflammation and defending against harmful bacteria.

Potential Drawbacks

While shedding tears can have positive effects on your emotional well-being and skin health, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks. Let’s explore some of the possible considerations when it comes to the effects of crying on your complexion.

  1. Skin irritation and sensitivity: Tears can contain certain substances that may cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some individuals. This can manifest as redness, itching, or dryness, especially if the tears come into prolonged contact with the skin.
  2. Makeup and crying: If you wear makeup, crying can potentially smudge or disrupt your carefully applied cosmetics. This can lead to streaks, smudges, or the need for touch-ups after shedding tears.
  3. Excessive tearing and underlying medical conditions: While occasional crying is normal and healthy, excessive tearing or persistent watery eyes may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If you find yourself frequently tearing up without an apparent emotional trigger, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any medical concerns.

It’s important to note that the potential drawbacks of crying on the skin are generally temporary and can be managed with proper care and attention.

Caring for Your Skin After Crying

After shedding tears, it’s important to give your skin some extra care and attention. Here are some tips for taking care of your skin after crying:

  1. Gentle cleansing: Use a mild, gentle cleanser to remove any residue or traces of tears from your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers that can further strip away moisture.
  2. Pat dry: After cleansing, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing or harshly towel-drying, as it can irritate the skin.
  3. Hydrate and moisturize: Replenish moisture by applying a hydrating serum or moisturizer. Look for products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides to lock in moisture and restore hydration.
  4. Soothe with a cool compress: If your skin feels irritated or sensitive, apply a cool compress or damp cloth to soothe and calm the skin. This can help reduce redness and inflammation.
  5. Eye care: If your eyes are puffy or swollen from crying, try using cool cucumber slices or chilled tea bags as eye compresses. They can help alleviate puffiness and refresh your eyes.
  6. Avoid touching your face: Resist the temptation to touch or rub your face excessively, as it can transfer bacteria and irritate the skin. Keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.
  7. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your body and skin hydrated from within. Proper hydration helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and overall health.
  8. Maintain a consistent skincare routine: Stick to your regular skincare routine, including cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen. Consistency is key for maintaining healthy and radiant skin.

Remember, caring for your skin after crying is all about being gentle, hydrating, and soothing. By following these simple tips, you can help your skin recover and maintain its natural glow even after shedding a few tears.


Shedding tears can have surprising effects on both your emotional well-being and your skin health. Tears contain a unique blend of compounds that provide moisturizing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial benefits. Crying can release toxins, alleviate stress, and promote emotional resilience.

The moisturizing effects of tears can leave your skin feeling refreshed, plump, and youthful. Additionally, tears possess anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help reduce redness, swelling, and fight off harmful microorganisms.

However, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks such as skin irritation and sensitivity. By caring for your skin after crying with gentle cleansing, hydration, and following a consistent skincare routine, you can minimize any negative effects and maintain a healthy complexion.

So, the next time tears well up in your eyes, remember that they are more than just salty drops—they are a natural source of emotional release and skincare benefits. Embrace the power of tears and appreciate the beautiful connection between your emotions and your skin.


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