Can acne be caused by stress?

Can acne be caused by stress?

Yes. Research shows a significant link between the two. And from my own experience, I definitely get more breakouts in periods of stress. The stress hormone Cortisol is key in causing stress acne breakouts.

Stress disrupts skin barrier: 

When skin is stressed, it also loses some of its ability to protect itself because its barrier becomes compromised.

Having a damaged skin barrier can lead to further inflammation. If you are stressed for weeks and months, it damages the collagen in our skin, causing wrinkles. 😩

Using skincare that actively strengthens and repairs my skin barrier has been a game-changer in how I reduce my breakouts effectively. 

Stress causes dehydrated and oily skin

There are two reasons we get acne caused by stress: our skin becomes dehydrated and oily as a result of the stress hormone Cortisol. 

🌵 Why it gets dehydrated: 

Cortisol lowers natural production of Hyaluronic Acid, which dehydrates skin and increases the appearance of fine lines. 🏜️

Dehydrated skin also triggers even more production of excess sebum, which creates the perfect breeding ground for breakout-causing bacteria. Adding sources of water-based skincare hydration is key. 💦

🍳 Why it gets oily: 

“When cortisol levels rise, they disrupt levels of hormones that regulate sebum balance and result in clogged pores and development of acne,” Vaidian explains, Mayo Clinic.

In other words: More oil production means more clogged pores, and more clogged pores mean more breakouts. 🙅🏻‍♀️

How to recognise acne caused by stress: location, location, location

The location of stress acne can vary. Stress acne will usually appear in the oiliest areas of your face typically appear on the T-zone

My stress acne appears on my forehead or on my nose, super painful and embarrassing! 🙈

Stress vs hormonal acne

If you find you’re normally breaking out in the same place around the same time of month (i.e. I get it around my chin or jawline), you can bet that your acne is likely related to your menstrual cycle rather than your stress levels. 

This is especially true if the acne takes on the form of painful cysts that usually appear in the same spot over and over again. This is hormonal acne. 

Best Ways to treat acne caused by stress: 

  1. Skin barrier repair and strengthening routine: Hydration focus

Healthy skin barrier = Glowing skin! Repairing my skin’s barrier function has been the best thing I have done for my skin. 🥰 By strengthen my skin’s barrier, my skin now:

– 💦 Retains moisture effectively

– 🙅🏻‍♀‍ Less greasy

– 🦠Very few breakouts as it is able to keep acne-causing bacteria out

This is the best routine I have used. Acne is less frequent and less severe. My skin is super healthy now that I have strengthen and repair from using this: 

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  1. Detox Masks

Kaolin Clay is Best Clay for acne caused by stress: 

– 🧊 Kaolin-based has anti-inflammation properties and the mask I used does not sting with active acne. Reduced redness of acne and it can suck the puss out of active pimples. Good choice for treating Maskne and hormonal acne.

– 🎋 Kaolin-based masks are suitable for all skin types as it’s not too drying and this formulation also has aloe vera. My skin was 43% hydration after using it, compared to 38% hydration from bentonite side.

You can check out my post on a mask with koalin clay: Epoch Yin & Yang Mask.

Bentonite Clay is the Best Clay for hormonal/cyctic acne: 

– 🧽 Bentonite-based masks draws out more oils than kaolin-based clay masks (draws out 5% more oil according to my skin). So it’s very effective for oily or acne-prone skin.

– 💡 Bentonite clay works well with cystic acne due to the deep detoxing effects. But might be too drying for dry skin.

You can check out my review of my favourite bentonite clay mask.

Related articles you might be interested in: 

o   link to causes of acne

acne face map

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