31 Oct 5 Warning Signs Your Skin is Being Impacted by Stress
It’s no coincidence that IT happens right before your big presentation, first blind date, or that surprise party you’ve been working on all month: An acne breakout. It’s well-known that stress contributes to worsening acne, and recent studies have confirmed this by showing many people seeing acne flare ups before an important job interview or high school reunion. And acne only compounds your stress even more!
The battle with acne and stress is often cyclical – one thing leads to another, doubling down on your stress and your acne, then the process starts all over again. Here are 5 warning signs you might fall victim to with an acne breakout.
1. You Already Have Acne
If you don’t already have acne, a stressful week at work isn’t going to make you magically have an acne-related breakout. But if you do, you’ll notice pimples, blackheads and cysts worsening as your stressful days pile up.
What You Can Do: see a dermatologist who can help plan an acne-fighting regimen.
2. You’ve Noticed The Pattern
Chances are, you’ve already noticed the pattern of stress and acne combining to make the perfect storm – right on your face (or back, or chest, you get the idea!). Whether you first noticed it while writing your doctoral thesis, or chasing around a newly terrible two year old, the results are the same: acne flare ups coinciding with particularly stressful periods of time.
What You Can Do: Be mindful of your stress triggers and research biofeedback, which is a way to train your body to respond to stress.
3. You’re Touching Your Face More Often
Many people don’t realize it, but they touch their face more often when they’re stressed: grabbing their foreheads, mimicking Macauley Culkin in Home Alone, or absent-mindedly picking at a blackhead. Transferring bacteria around your face can be a simple matter of touching your skin. Once you are aware of these actions, it will be easier to stop doing it.
What You Can Do: Try to limit your unconscious and conscious touching of your face. Remind yourself of the consequences.
4. You’ve Succumbed To Junk Food Cravings
Stress can cause people to resort to comfort foods – candy, chips, and high-processed junk food. Stress eating is a very real phenomenon, and unluckily for acne sufferers, a lapse in good diet judgment can cause an outbreak. Researchers hypothesize that highly refined carbs might be giving acne a boost.
What You Can Do: Quitting your snack routine might not be an option, but try adjusting it to include healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, which can promote skin health.
5. You’re Using More Makeup
If you’re sick of the redness and irritation, the first thing we flock to is a temporary fix. But covering up trouble spots will only bring on more issues for acne sufferers. A lot of products simply shouldn’t be used by those with acne, and touching your face can also spread the bacteria and promote pimple popping, which can lead to scarring. Emotionally exhausting days can lead to you falling straight into bed, without removing makeup or going through your face washing routine – this can exacerbate the problem.
What You Can Do: If you can’t try to go makeup free for a few days to see if your acne improves, try using products specifically made for people with acne. And stay true to your bedtime face washing routine, despite your long days!