This Is How Stress Causes Breakouts

December 22, 2021

This Is How Stress Causes Breakouts

There’s nothing like waking up with a huge zit on your face to put a damper on your day. Acne can feel incredibly frustrating to deal with, and it’s not shallow to say so. While your value has nothing to do with how you look, it’s understandable if you feel less confident when your skin is breaking out. The face is a major mode of communication and self-expression, so it’s natural to want healthy, vibrant skin. 

Also, skin can reflect your body’s overall health, so skin conditions sometimes point to health issues and dietary intolerances. If you’re dealing with ongoing stress (and who isn’t these days on planet Earth), then your skin might be suffering as a result. 

We can all agree that chronic stress is challenging to both mental and physical health––and it can also mess with your skin. The link between stress and breakouts is important to understand because once you have knowledge, you can take action. If you’re wondering how to prevent acne, then aim to combine stress management techniques with an effective skincare routine. While stress isn’t the sole cause of breakouts, research shows that it can contribute to acne. Read on to discover how stress makes you break out and what you can do to improve your skin. 

The Link Between Breakouts + Stress Hormones

If you’ve gone through a period of stress and you’re suddenly breaking out, you’re not imagining things––research shows that there is a link between stress and acne. 

Stress hormones can wreak havoc on your skin. When stress hits hard, especially if it becomes chronic, cortisol disrupts sebum balance and triggers your oil glands to produce more oil. More oil leads to clogged pores and pimples, and if you’re eating habits also shift to less healthy foods, this can also contribute to acne flare-ups.

Also, stress acne is distinct from hormonal acne that happens in the teen years or with women’s menstrual cycles. Stress breakouts typically happen where your skin is already oilier, such as your t-zone, and is often accompanied by other types of skin irritation, like redness and itchiness. 

How To Manage Stress Acne + Soothe Your Skin

Taking care of your skin with a daily men’s skincare routine can help stave off breakouts during times of stress. Plus, a few adjustments can help stress pimples clear up more quickly if you do end up with a stress-induced breakout. Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t skip your moisturizer. While it might seem counterintuitive to apply moisture during a breakout, light moisturizers help balance the sebum. Don’t skip this step after your AM and PM cleanse.
  • Consider adding an exfoliating rub to your routine. Using a gentle exfoliator, like our Exfoliating Rub a few times a week will clear your pores and cleanse your skin more deeply by washing away impurities. 
  • Don’t touch your face. This is a basic healthy skin rule, but it’s worth repeating: avoid touching your face if you want to keep breakouts at bay. Also, never, ever pick at pimples as this can cause infections and permanent scarring.
  • Keep your comfort food cozy but healthy. Since research shows that inflammatory foods, such as refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, and refined sugar can contribute to breakouts, think about upgrading your comfort foods

Treat stress breakouts as you would any kind of acne, but also consider using techniques that help the body regulate the stress response more effectively.

Meditation, yoga, working out, deep breathing exercise, therapy, eating healthy, and spending time with supportive people will help keep you steady in stressful times––both inside and out. You can’t stop stress from happening, but you can become more resilient when times get tough. 






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