The Link Between Stress and Adult Acne

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Acne is not a just a problem for teenagers going through puberty, it can also happen to adults. There are many causes of adult acne and stress can be among them.

There are steps you can take to figure out if your acne is related to stress, as well as ways to combat it. Reducing your levels of stress may not only help clear your skin but also prevent other, often more serious, health problems.

The Link Between Adult Acne and Stress

There is a link between adult acne and stress and research has proven it. In fact, stress is considered one of the main culprits when it comes to acne in adults and the more stressed you are, the worse the acne breakout can be.

Acne breakouts happen when your body is stressed because of the increase in stress hormones that can throw off your equilibrium. This can cause all sorts of changes, such as weight gain, increased blood pressure, and worsened acne.

There are other factors that affect acne too, such as hormones, age, and bacteria that lend to the production of pimples, but stress is certainly a major culprit in worsening or causing breakouts. Stress increases the amount of oil your skin produces, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.

How to Tell If Your Acne Is Stress-Related

One way to tell if acne is stress-related is to be aware of when your breakouts occur. Compare this to your stress levels from the preceding week.

  • If breakouts tend to match up with the times that your body is feeling stressed, there's probably a link.
  • If, however, you tend to get acne on specific spots like the right side of your chin or your left cheek, that could actually be due to environmental factors like your cell phone resting on your face as you talk.

There are times when the link is obvious. You may be preparing for a big presentation at work or planning your daughter's wedding. Just before the big day, you notice a new zit in the middle of your chin or forehead.

All of those long hours, late nights, and concerns about your plans fitting into perfect alignment were stressful. It's also likely that you overlooked a few basic personal needs or rushed your skincare routine because you were simply too busy.

The timing is the worst possible scenario you can imagine because everyone is going to be looking at you (and the big red dot on your face). Often, that self-talk is overexaggerating, but it is what we think about and that can lead to even more stress.

How You Can Reduce Stress-Related Breakouts

Taking control of the situation before a breakout is your best line of defense against stress-related acne. You know yourself best and can recognize when you are most likely to get stressed out. Remain mindful of that and try to prevent it as much as you can. Other tips include:

  • Practice stress management techniques to keep stress-related acne in check such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
  • Eat healthy meals that are low in fat and oils.
  • Be sure to wash your face regularly and thoroughly.
  • Consider exfoliating and even using a home microdermabrasion kit, which removes the top layer of skin and stimulates new, fresh skin to grow. Many adults find success with natural treatments for acne as well.

Stress management is the obvious choice for better health as well as clearer skin. Everyone's stress is different and it's important for your wellbeing to find the stress reliever that fits best with your personality and lifestyle.

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