Managing Stress-induced Acne Breakouts
2020 has been a year of unique challenges. It seems that stress has become the new norm, wreaking havoc on our mental health and our skin in a very unique way. While stress alone doesn’t cause acne, it definitely makes breakouts worse. From the uncertainties of a global pandemic to alarming national headlines on police brutality and racism, these past months have brought a bothersome element into our daily lives: stress, and a lot of it.
How stress can make acne breakouts worse
CRH is a corticotropin-releasing hormone that causes excess oil production and hormonal fluctuations in the body. It can create inflammation which triggers an immune response that we see as acne flares, or in short, breakouts. However, stress provokes breakouts in more ways than one. It also leads to poor sleep and unhealthy food habits which indirectly affect the health of our skin. Chronic stress can make breakouts last longer resulting in potential scarring. Stress can be just as detrimental as an actual skin disease.
How to manage stress-induced breakouts
These are a few ways you can manage stress-induced breakouts while investing in some much-needed self-care practices.
- Relax - Relaxation practices such as gentle yoga and meditation alleviate stress and calm the mind. Journaling is another beneficial tool as recording your thoughts encourages daily reflection and mindfulness.
- Don’t touch your face - When stressed, we often feel the need to itch or pick our skin. However, touching our faces can increase exposure to bacteria, dirt, and other pesky particles hidden under nail beds. The best way to prevent breakouts is still to let your face be.
- Revamp your skincare regimen - There are several products that prevent acne flairs and calm irritating blemishes. Using balanced cleansers and non-comedogenic moisturizers protects the skin from CRH-related buildup. African Black Soap has been used for centuries to clear acne breakouts and promote clean clear complexions.
- See a professional - If breakouts persist, consult a dermatologist. Some acne can be caused by bacteria and you may need prescription medications to treat them in the short term.
- Tune-off - Finally, remember to breathe and take time for yourself. Simply turning off your phone and tuning out the world for an hour or two can help you slow down and listen to what your body truly needs.
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