Can stress trigger acne?

Can Stress Cause Acne Breakouts and Oily Skin?


Not only can stress cause physical symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, and upset stomach – but it can also have a drastic impact on your skin.


Why does stress cause acne breakouts and how to prevent acne when you are stressed out
Ever notice that when you’re stressed out, your face becomes more oily and you’re exceptionally prone to breakouts? Maybe you have a final exam coming up, and you notice a barrage of acne taking over. Or, you’re getting ready for a special event, and your face starts pumping out enough oil to fuel a small country. Yes, you can blame stress! Here’s why… ​
The same cells that produce sebum (skin oil) have receptors for stress hormones. When a person is undergoing stress, sebaceous glands secrete even more oil than usual. Hormones produced during times of stress (glucocorticoids & adrenal androgens) activate oil glands – leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Stress also prevents your immune system from working at full force. Since your system isn’t able to easily fight infection, stress can lead to blotchy skin, rashes and acne breakouts that refuse to heal until balance is restored to body and mind.

As your body recognizes this inflammation, it gets to work producing Cortisol – a hormone intended to reduce body-wide inflammation. If stress is temporary, Cortisol heals tissues, as it should. However if stress is ongoing, the body produces Cortisol in excess, which can overload the adrenal glands and drastically suppress the immune system. Adrenals are important for controlling hormone levels in the body, and when they are overworked, hormones begin running rampant, triggering an increase in acne breakouts. After breakouts occur, they are slow to heal if the immune system is not functioning properly.

With all of these body systems spiraling out of control, it’s easy to see why an overload of stress is related to acne.
Tips for Reducing Stress
Health benefits of yoga for better looking skin, weight loss, stress relief, and how to get rid of water retention
Yoga balances hormone production, for acne-free radiant skin
​Relaxation Techniques
​Did you know that practicing yoga can calm your heart rate, get blood flowing, and balance hormone production? Meditation and deep breathing exercises also help regulate all body systems, bringing the body into the state of perfect balance, called homeostasis. At this point, immunity is at its peak and inflammation (including skin inflammation) is nonexistent. You don’t need to learn any fancy moves or join a class – meditation can be done in any quiet area. If you have trouble finding such a place, use earphones and listen to calming instrumental music, or sounds of nature blends. Dabbing some Lavender essential oil under ears can also help relax your body and lower stress.
What type of diet prevents acne and why diet is important for having clear skin and no breakouts
Clean eating balances pH levels and purifies the blood, reducing the number of acne breakouts you get & providing clear healthy skin

​Eat Right
If you have a stressful event on the horizon, eat a low-fat, clean food diet that consists of fresh veggies and lean protein for an entire 2 weeks beforehand. You can also drink plenty of cold water with fresh lemon added, as this balances pH levels to take down inflammation – both internally and externally. On the flip side, eating large amounts of fast food and refined sugar increases the acidic levels in your body. All bacteria (including acne bacteria) feed off of acid and sugar – so when you omit that from your diet, acne bacteria have a smaller chance of flourishing. Having overly acidic blood also invites illnesses, making you more susceptible to sickness during times of stress. ​
Why is good sleep important and how does sleep make acne heal faster – best ways to prevent breakouts
Getting enough sleep is vital to preventing acne breakouts
​Get Enough Sleep
Have you noticed that your skin feels extra oily if you’re sleep deprived? You may also notice breakouts starting to peek through. Lack of sleep causes stress on our bodies, and stress results in excess cortisol production. This hormone acts much like testosterone, which increases sebum production. Combine pore-clogging sebum with a sleep-deprived immune system, and breakouts abound.

Unfortunately, times of stress are often hectic, leading us to become sleep deprived. If you feel yourself getting run down, learn to say no to events that aren’t absolutely necessary. It’s important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, since that’s when your body repairs itself. If cells do not have this time to regenerate, your skin will begin to look sallow and irritated, and your acne breakouts will take longer to heal. ​
If you’re dealing with ongoing stress that’s currently unavoidable (illness or death of a loved one, financial worries, job loss etc), take a look at other factors that can be responsible for lowering immune function and increasing inflammation. During tough times, it’s more important than ever to eat right, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest. Click here to read how adjusting the pH level of your blood can do wonders for reducing acne breakouts & improving overall health.

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