How to Treat Stress Acne
Stress acne is real and luckily, not too hard to treat.
Lots of different factors contribute to acne, from hormonal imbalances to using the wrong skincare products. One of the most common culprits of acne is stress. While everyone deals with stress and small amounts of stress can even be healthy, too much of it can impact your overall wellbeing—and your skin!
Ever noticed how a cluster of pimples always appears after a particularly tough week? That’s what dermatologists like to call “stress acne.” It happens when the stress hormones send your oil glands into overdrive, triggering acne flares.
Here's everything you need to know about stress breakouts, and the best ways to treat them.
What is Stress Acne?
In moments of stress, certain hormones are released that trigger the body to produce more sebum, which then triggers acne flares.
CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone)—the hormone responsible for telling your adrenal glands to increase cortisol production when your stressed also has an impact on sebaceous glands in increasing sebum production. With increased oil production comes clogged pores which typically leads to blemishes.
According to dermatologists, people who are prone to acne will be more susceptible to stress and ultimately stress acne.
What Does Stress Acne Look Like?
Generally, women experiencing hormonal acne get breakouts on their chin and jawline. Stress acne, on the other hand, usually occurs on the oiliest parts of your face such as your nose and forehead and looks like a combination of blackheads, whiteheads, and pus pimples.
Because of the increase in oil production, your skin will appear greasier. Other stress acne symptoms include redness and itchiness. Another telltale sign of stress acne is if you're getting several new breakouts at once.
Hormonal vs Stress Acne
It's worth knowing that hormonal and stress acne do have a lot of the same symptoms. That said, there are some key differentiators. For starters, the location. Stress acne typically shows up on the nose and forehead whereas hormonal acne occurs on the chin or jawline.
Secondly, stress blemishes usually pop up during times of stress whereas hormonal acne occurs closer to menstruation.
Finally, while hormonal breakouts tend to appear one at a time, stress breakouts occur all at once. You'll typically see a cluster of pimples appear during times of intense stress.
How Stress Can Cause Acne
When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, you release stress hormones like androgens and cortisol which increase your skin's oil production, which leads to acne breakouts.
Stress generally has a negative impact on your skin. It interferes with skin barrier function, slows down wound healing, and it can even worsen skin conditions like eczema.
Can You Get Body Acne From Stress?
How Do You Get Rid Of Stress Acne?
So you're dealing with stress-triggered breakouts. Whether it's occasional or constant, there are a few things you can do to treat stress acne. Below, some tips on how to get rid of stress acne.
Reach for a BHA-Based Cleanser
24K Gold Black Soap Impurity Cleanser
During especially stressful periods, opt for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, or BHA—a chemical exfoliant that removes excess oil and dead skin cells to keep your pores clear and fight acne. It's one of the best ingredients out there for treating and managing acne.
Your skin may also benefit from using a product with benzoyl peroxide, which lessens the levels of acne-causing bacteria on the skin to alleviate active breakouts.
Switch to a Lighter, Less Greasy Moisturizer
Glass Skin Facial Serum
Using a face wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be drying, so be sure to moisturize afterwards to prevent further dryness and irritation. Interestingly, keeping your skin moisturized prevents your skin from overproducing oil, thus preventing blemishes.
Choose a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that won't clog your pores and worsen your stress acne. The derms recommend swapping out thick, rich creams for lightweight, hydrating serums.
Patch Up Your Stress Pimples
#Heart Your Imperfections Blemish Patches
Just spotted a few new fresh zits on your skin? Here's when acne patches will come in handy. Acne patches are essentially stickers infused with hydrocolloid that work to absorb oil and impurities, and speed up the healing process of active breakouts.
An added bonus of these patches is that they stop you from picking and popping your pimples, preventing scarring.
Unwind and De-Stress
Since stress has a direct impact on your skin, you can highly benefit from finding ways to manage your stress. Focusing on your mental health should significantly help in preventing and treating stress acne.
To ease your stress, consider working out, meditation, yoga, breathwork, and journalling. Even following a daily skincare routine can help. Alternatively, indulge in some pampering with some sumptuous body and bath products.
How to Prevent Stress Acne
The best way to prevent stress acne is to reduce your stress levels. Or even better, stop stress from happening in the first place.
Luckily, there are many ways to manage stress, though. You could try yoga, meditation, therapy, or even hours of Netflix time to really unwind. Figure out what soothes your mind and helps you relax – and do more of it!
By calming down your body, you can minimize the stress hormones you make, so that you can enjoy smoother, clearer skin.
“The best thing to do is to take a step back and remind yourself that this too shall pass,” says cosmetic dermatologist Shereene Idriss. “The simple conscious act of adopting such a mindset will diminish your stress levels several notches and speed up your skin's road to recovery.”
Shop De-Stressing Skincare
If you want to manage and prevent stress acne, try pampering yourself with some soothing, relaxing, and indulgent skincare products.
Soak Up Some Summer Vacay Vibes
Positano Summer Set
Get rid of stress acne by focusing on you and your beauty regimen! 'Cos you deserve it babe. The Positano Summer Set whisks you away to the Amalfi coast with a lineup of luxury skincare and ultra-chic accessories you'll adore. It's the best stress acne treatment set you'll find!
Spritz Away Stress with this Soothing Shower Mist
Moon Shower Adaptogen Spa Mist
Stop stress from stealing your fun (and youth!) by spritzing on this adaptogenic-powered mist. You'll feel instantly calmer from the very first spritz.
Sleep Away Stress with this Adaptogen-Powered Mask
Goodnight Moon Chest/Neck Sleep Mask
If you're dealing with stress spots, reach for a jar of this resurfacing overnight face mask. Besides clearing pores and treating stress acne on face, it contains adptogenic super herbs to soothe you into a deep, dreamy, and rejuvenating sleep.