Preventing Stress Breakouts
Even if you can’t get away from it all, you can get your acne under control
If breakouts are stressing you out, maybe it’s time to consider that your stress might be causing your acne in the first place.
In recent years, we’ve been hearing more about the effects that stress has on our body, including weight gain, difficulty sleeping and anxiety. At the root of all of these issues is cortisol, a hormone released by the body that has a profound effect on our overall well being.
Dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, founders of Proactiv and the Rodan + Fields skin-care lines, say, “Stress is one of the leading triggers of breakouts, and in these troubled economic times, we have seen more of our patients experiencing breakouts. Some of these patients had had their acne under control but now need a little extra help now because their stress levels are running high.”
Doctors now know that stress causes a hormonal response in the body, and in the case of acne, cortisol is what triggers the sweat glands in our faces to produce more oil. When oil production is sent into high gear, there’s a higher probability that this excess oil will mix with dead skin cells and clog your pores, trapping bacteria inside. The result can be more acne – primarily, inflamed papules rather than blackheads or whiteheads.
So what’s a woman to do? Drs. Rodan and Fields advocate a preventive approach to managing acne, rather than trying to deal with blemishes after they form. Their advice: Cleanse morning and night to control the oil, exfoliate to eliminate dead skin cells that can potentially clog pores, and use an effective acne-fighting ingredient like benzoyl peroxide to keep blemish-causing bacteria in check.