Does Stress Cause Acne?

Junk food? Check.

Boredom? Check.

Anxiety? Through the roof.

COVID-19 has put all of us into a lifestyle that ticks the boxes for possible breakouts. The pressure of losing paychecks, the unknown impact of the pandemic and decreased activity can all up the ante on chronic or one-time skin issues. 

When the pimples pop up and your face erupts, a lot of us are asking, does this stress cause acne?

Through this or any other time of heightened tension, it’s important to get to the root cause of skin issues. Acne is treated from the inside out. In other words, it’s not just what you slather on your skin that clears things up. You need a holistic approach to your well-being that addresses the underlying causes of blackheads and breakouts. Yes, that means looking at the mind-body connection of how the stress of this coronavirus is showing up for you.

Self-Isolation, COVID-19 and Stress

It’s natural to feel nervous, even frightened, by the daily reports coming in about COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that stress from this infectious disease outbreak may look like:

  • Changes in sleep habits or restlessness

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Changes in eating habits

  • Fear

  • Worry

  • Increase of smoking or drinking alcohol

  • Worse symptoms from chronic health issues

We don’t even need a large-scale survey to tell us that most people feel anxious and stressed because of COVID-19. You know it. Your neighbors and friends know it. And stress can lead to physical symptoms, like acne.

Stress and Acne

Stress and acne are connected. In one survey, 74% of respondents said that anxiety makes their acne worse. For some people, this is a cyclical pattern: stress makes you breakout and then you feel stressed when you breakout. Acne happens when your hair follicles get plugged up. Stress can cause hyperproduction of your oil glands, which can lead to pimples and whiteheads. 

While experts say stress may not directly cause acne, the conditions that stress does cause can lead to acne. This means that reducing stress may help your acne clear up. Here are some practical ways to decrease your stress level.

Reduce Stress and Acne

It’s important to manage stress and practice self-care. This will protect your mental health and has the benefit of reducing stress-related acne breakouts. You can:

  1. Set a routine. It’s easy, during self-isolation, to abandon all normalcy. Establish some routines that help you order your day. 

  2. Care for your skin. Include skincare in your daily routine, so that you are removing dead skin cells and any other irritants that could lead to even more breakouts.

  3. Eat and drink (reasonably) well. While everyone’s enjoying a “quarantini” now and then, monitor your intake of high-fat foods and alcohol, which can cause inflammation and water retention.

  4. Move around. Remember all of the things that are not cancelled: app-based workouts, walks outdoors, open windows, pets and children. There are plenty of ways to keep busy and moving, which gets your blood pumping and clears your head.

  5. Connect with people. Whether you live alone or with other people, the overwhelming message to “stay away from each other” can inhibit even healthy interactions. Use video calls. Get on the phone. Use social media the right way (not just to news-binge). Connect when you can, which will keep you sane.

  6. Pay attention to yourself. Monitor whether you are falling into depression. It’s one thing to feel anxious, it’s another thing to be paralyzed by anxiety. If you need mental health support, find an online counselor or a good friend to talk to.

  7. Stress less, laugh more. Choose to do something every day that is fun or funny. Stress can drag you down. Engage in something uplifting or lighthearted to offset that dynamic.

Stress that is connected to acne can have a snowball effect, making you feel worse and worse. Don’t let this drag you down or take you out. There are ways to manage stress. Caring for yourself, and your skin, is a vital component of navigating this challenging time.

Skincare for Stress Acne

During times of heightened stress, your skin may be especially sensitive. At all times, but especially during increased sensitivity, you should choose natural skincare. When you shop for acne products online, you want to be sure that you are getting high-quality, plant-derived and research-backed ingredients.

Some great acne curing ingredients that are clinically proven to decrease pimples, blackheads and whiteheads are:

  • Tea tree oil

  • Benzoyl peroxide

  • Salicylic acid

  • Glycolic acid

  • Aloe vera

  • Hyaluronic acid

Smacne has a powerful acne treatment stack. Our three-step process effectively eliminates acne by cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating. All of our ingredients are natural and optimized for sensitive skin. In addition to fighting acne, your skin will feel smoother, refreshed and the appearance of pores will be minimized. 

Smacne has all you need to soothe your skin during stressful times. Self-isolating? We support that! We mail all of our acne treatment products directly to you. Go here to get a free trial. You can also learn about our convenient subscription service, which keeps you stocked at all times with the products you need.