Stress & Acne - What's the Common Denominator?

We all get breakouts, and some are worse than others. We also often have predictions about why we’re breaking out, whether it be because that time of the month is getting nearer or we’ve been wearing a lot of makeup recently. And a lot of the time, we chalk it up to stress.

So can stress actually cause acne?

Kind of.

Emotional stress induces an increase in the release of stress hormone, cortisol. When this occurs, a lot of immune system responses are altered and systems, such as the digestive system, can be suppressed.

However, when cortisol levels increase, there is also an imbalance in the hormones that control the balance of sebum, resulting in clogged pores, hence breakouts.

Because of this hormonal response, stress acne can also be considered as a type of hormonal acne, but it isn’t the same as the type of acne you may experience during your menstrual cycle. The cycle of hormones regulating your period is the root cause of such breakouts, but stress is the first step in the series of events that lead to breakouts due to cortisol secretion.

To make matters worse, when you’re stressed, your body experiences increased nerve signalling, prompting you to itch or pick at your face. This enhances swelling, redness, and the bacteria on your skin. NOT fun.

Can I treat stress acne?

In terms of treating stress acne, it isn’t too different from your normal skincare routine if you are prone to breakouts.

Ensuring you cleanse your face properly every morning and night, and nourish it with the right products to keep it soothed and hydrated is essential.

Book an online consultation with one of our specialist registered nurses for professional advice on how to achieve your best skin!

Read more about stress acne here and here.

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