Stress and Acne: More Than Skin Deep

Here’s a topic that hits close to home for so many of us: the undeniable link between stress and acne. Trust me, as someone who’s been in the trenches with acne since I was 9, I’ve had my fair share of battles with those pesky breakouts. And let’s not even start on the stress part – phew!

Stress: The Hidden Acne Trigger

We often talk about diet, skincare routines, and genetics when it comes to acne, but stress? It’s a sneaky culprit that deserves some serious spotlight.

When we’re stressed out – whether it’s due to work, personal life, or even just the daily grind – our body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Enter cortisol, our stress hormone, stage left. This hormone can throw our sebaceous glands into overdrive, producing more oil than Broadway needs greasepaint (which is also bad for acne). And more oil means, you guessed it, a higher chance of clogged pores and breakouts.

How Stress Affects Our Skin

But it’s not just about oil production. Stress can also affect our skin’s ability to heal and regenerate. Ever noticed how that one zit seems to hang around longer during stressful periods? No, it’s not your imagination playing tricks on you. When we’re stressed, our skin’s healing processes slow down, making it harder to recover from breakouts.

That stress hormone cortisol also slows down the production of collagen and elastin, which means not only are we more likely to scar from acne, but also age faster.

Tackling Stress-Induced Acne

So, what’s a person to do? First, ice your skin, then let’s talk about managing stress.

I know, I know, easier said than done. But even small changes can make a big difference. Mindfulness practices, like meditation or yoga, can help keep stress in check. Art therapy, journaling, singing, having lunch with a friend, and hey, laughter is great medicine too. Essentially remember to carve out time for things that bring you joy and happiness!

Overconsumption of certain foods can aggravate stress and acne. Try to avoid alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates. That late night indulgence of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is not helping your skin.

Skincare-wise, stick to a gentle routine. Harsh products and scrubs can aggravate stressed-out skin, so think soothing, calming ingredients. Products with niacinamide, for example, can be great for managing both oil production and inflammation. Ingredients like clove and dandelion can help reduce breakouts and speed clearing. And never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest – there’s a reason it’s called Beauty Sleep.

Consistent use of your recommended skin care products is a huge factor. This is not the time to try that rando TikTok apple cider vinegar pimple remedy. Adding random “miracle” products in desperation is a surefire prescription for acne chaos.

Acne is a process, and controlling acne is too. Trust your esthetician and the process!

Final Thoughts

Remember your skin is a reflection of not just what you put on it, but also what’s happening inside you, both physically and emotionally. Stress is a normal part of life and managing it can lead to happier skin – and a happier you.

If stress induced acne is getting you down, don’t hesitate to reach out. The estheticians at Viriditas Beauty home of Providence Acne Clinic are here to help guide you through your skin journey, with compassion, expertise, and even a bit of skincare magic!

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