Stress & Acne

April 25, 2020
Joel Cohen

Are you still in your pajamas? Have you showered or washed your face today? Is your skin breaking out? You are not alone if your habits have been altered and you feel like you are living in an alternative universe under increased anxiety and stress. You are also not alone if your acne is flaring because of it! We are here to help – we are now offering telemedicine consultations. Don’t let your acne get out of control during your stay-home quarantine. Read on for more tips on why stress causes flares and what you can do about it.

In times of great stress you release more cortisol, which is a hormone with a shape similar to testosterone. It stimulates oil production and inflammation associated with acne breakouts. We are all living with increased stress in these uncertain days and times. This is especially true right now as we practice social distancing, which goes against every study on how to improve happiness and well-being.

What can we do for our skin if stress is causing your acne to flare? Everyone will improve their chances of having blemish free skin if they follow these simple steps on a regular schedule.

  • Wash your face 1-2 times daily. Dirt, grime, and makeup debris will clog pores and lead to breakouts if not removed daily. Your choice of cleanser will depend on your skin condition, and I often recommend a combination of cleansers to use in an alternating fashion.
  • Gentle daily cleanser like PRESCRIBEDsolutions® Don’t Be So Sensitive®P for sensitive or easily irritated skin.
  • Salicylic acid cleanser like AboutSkin Clarifying Cleanser for oily or blackhead-prone skin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide cleanser like AboutSkin Micronized BPO Cleanser for acne-prone skin.
  • Exfoliating cleanser like PRESCRIBEDsolutions® Surface Improvement® 1-2 times per week to help clear clogged pores.
  • After a workout remember to remove sweat, grime, and sunscreen, which clog pores and attract breakout-causing bacteria.
  • AboutSkin Acne Correction Pads (with salicylic acid) provide a convenient option – great to put in your gym bag or backpack if you need a quick clean up.
  • Keep hair off your face both at night and during the day when possible, especially if your hair tends to be oily. Oils on your hair easily transfer to your pores and contribute to acne breakouts.
  • Wash your pillowcases twice weekly to remove dirt, sweat, and hair oils that transfer from the pillow to your face.
  • Try not to touch your face excessively and definitely don’t pick. Blackheads and pimples look worse and last longer when picked.
  • Clean head gear like helmets and chin straps with alcohol wipes regularly.
  • Clean makeup brushes weekly.
  • When’s the last time you cleaned your cell phone? Think about how many times that touches your face, and you’ll be inspired to clean it with an antibacterial wipe regularly.

Sometimes acne is resistant to over-the-counter options or is just not as controlled as well as you would like. In this case a prescription regimen may be necessary. During your telemedicine consultation we can make recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

It’s also important not to overlook the physical and mental things to reduce your stress. Get exercise, sleep, eat well, and take care of both your mind and spirit. Visit with friends and family (virtually) and try to laugh! We are all in this together and we will survive and thrive. Please take care of yourself and your skin and if you need Aboutskin, call us and we can help……virtually!