Why stress can cause acne breakouts and how to fix it
If you think acne is something that only plagues teenagers, think again. Skin often bears the brunt of people’s high stress levels or anxiety, with painful acne breakouts to prove it.
The skincare experts at Nuriss look at how stress can affect acne and how to avoid or control it…
The effects of stress on acne
Acne might be most commonly linked to changing hormone levels during puberty, but adults are not immune. Bad diets, lifestyle and stress can cause serious acne breakouts, as well as family genetics potentially playing a part.
Acne affects the oil-producing glands next to the hair follicles in the skin and certain hormones can cause these glands to produce larger amounts of oil, called sebum. It is this abnormal sebum that changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium called P. acnes, which becomes more aggressive and causes inflammation and pus. As if that wasn’t enough – the hormones also thicken the inner lining of the hair follicles, causing blockages in the pores.
Mindful practices to calm stress and anxiety
With life comes pressure and problems and unfortunately some people have a higher tendency to stress than others. If you are suffering from severe stress or anxiety, it’s extremely important to speak to a medical professional or counsellor to address the issue. If it’s milder than that, but you know it’s affecting you in different ways, such as dark circles under the eyes or acne breakouts, then you should try some different methods to relieve your stress and anxiety. Here are our tips:
1. Exercise – By working up a sweat and getting your heart rate up, you will release endorphins, which relieve stress and tire your body and mind out, helping you to avoid sleepless nights. Building up fitness through regular exercise will also make your body and mind healthier, helping to calm any underlying stress or anxiety you might suffer.
2. Meditate – By giving yourself time to de-stress each day, you will make your mind clearer and healthier. Start by giving yourself at least 10 minutes every day, sitting in a comfortable position and breathing slowly and deeply into your belly. Try to clear your mind and concentrate on your breathing. As thoughts pop into your head, let them float away and go back to concentrating on your breathing.
3. Relaxing scents – It’s not just a myth; there are certain plants out there with relaxation and healing powers through their aroma. Lavender, chamomile and lilac have particularly effective calming properties that actively promote relaxation and help reduce stress. Try using essential oils in your bath, or spray a bit of lavender on your pillow before bed. Drink chamomile tea, or even just have a bouquet of the fresh flowers in your bedroom.
Once you’ve started dealing with your stress or anxiety issues, there are other measures you can take to prevent or control acne. The number one thing you need to do to avoid pimples and spots is to keep your skin clean by washing the affected area twice a day and exfoliating two or three times a week to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.
Severe acne that extends to your chest and back might need to be treated with antibiotics, which are only available with a prescription. If you suffer from severe acne, see your GP about what the best treatment is for you.
If you’re looking for professional help from skincare doctors to clear up your acne, Nuriss offers Acne Clear Laser Therapy, which ranges from chemical peels and microdermabrasion to acne home care products and laser, depending on the individual needs of each patient. If you suffered from acne in the past and have the scars to prove it, Nuriss’s Acne Scar Laser Fade-Away Therapy is a great option, with a number of methods to tackle facial scars, again depending on the needs of each patient.
Nuriss is a skincare and wellness centre with two clinics in the heart of London. There is a fantastic deal on at the moment for up to 35% off acne clear laser.