Most of us have experienced an acne flare up when stress in on the rise. Why is it that breakouts develop when you’re under pressure? In one word: STRESS!
Research shows that stress and breakouts are directly linked. The body responds to stress by directing blood flow and oxygen to areas vital for fighting the stress, and withdraws from other areas, including the skin. The skin subsequently becomes starved of blood and oxygen, making it dehydrated, dull, lifeless, and prone to clogged pores and breakouts.
Below you’ll find 5 simple strategies for a clear, stress-free complexion.
1. Take Immediate Action
The sooner you treat a pimple, that faster it will disappear. Use a fast-acting spot treatment the moment you feel a pimple forming.
Our skin constantly sheds dead cells. Though rather than falling off, many of these dead cells stick to the skin, clogging pores and hair follicles. This cell debris coupled with the stress hormone (cortisol) causes the skin to produce excess oils—which leads to blackheads and blemishes. While face washes are good at removing oil and surface dirt, they lack the grit necessary to remove dead cell debris and dirt clogged in pores.
Exfoliating is your secret weapon for removing dead skin cells, decongesting your pores, minimizing breakouts and aiding in the skin renewal process.
3. Avoid the “Skin Diet”
Many people mistakenly believe that avoiding the moisturizer or using oil free products will prevent oily skin and clear breakouts. Not so! Drying the skin out will further stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss, whereas maintaining a balanced moisture level will keep the skin healthy.
Use a hydrating serum rich in nourishing Omega 3,6 & 9 before applying your moisturizer. This will seal in the Omega fatty acids and provide a protective, hydrating layer, resulting in a healthy, glowing complexion!
4. Boost Good Bacteria
Research from the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that that acne prone skin improves with daily probiotic consumption, giving dermatologists reason to consider supplementing traditional acne therapy with a dose of this beneficial bacteria.
Stress causes toxins to be released into the bloodstream, causing inflammation throughout the body. People predisposed to acne can experience breakouts as a result of this shift in gut bacteria and subsequent inflammation. Experts recommend introducing healthy bacteria to the gut in the form of probiotics. The probiotics will line the gut and create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation that can trigger acne or rosacea.
5. Feed Your Skin
We all know the importance of a well balanced diet. What many people don’t realize is how it affects your complexion. Try to incorporate into your diet dark leafy greens, squash or tropical fruits (Kiwi, mango), which are rich in vitamin A, E, C and fiber, essential for healthy skin. Avoiding processed foods will also allow your system to better purge inflammation-causing toxins.
And, whenever possible substitute a daily snack with a nutrient rich protein shake, rich in vitamins B6, B12 (to combat stress and anxiety) zinc and biotin (to reduce oil production and inflammation) and vitamin E (for skin repair).