does stress cause breakouts?

Yes, but indirectly. This question is similar to another popular question, “Do greasy foods and chocolate trigger breakouts?”  Both questions are misinterpretations. Stress doesn’t directly cause acne or breakouts, but it does act as a trigger for the factors that contribute to acne development (excess oiliness).  

The balance of school, work, friends and relationships can contribute to chronic stress. This constant, continued and heightened level of stress throws adrenal glands into overdrive. Adrenal glands are in charge of regulating stress, and when stressful situations arise, adrenal glands stimulate sebaceous (oil) glands to secrete more sebum (oil).  This excess oil sets the stage for acne development.

Stress also causes increased blood flow and expansion of capillaries, which makes skin appear more red and inflamed.  Stress can also cause poor assimilation of nutrients in the diet and can lead to slower healing because of a lowered immune system.

Yoga, deep breathing, exercise, sleep, aromatherapy… even a quick walk with a friend or co-worker during the day can help de-stress your life and help manage adrenal spikes. Cutting back on caffeine and sugar (which also spike adrenal gland activity) can also help manage breakouts. A daily and nightly skin care regimen can help keep fluctuations in check — so can touch-ups throughout the day! Get the Breakout Clearing Kit containing grab-and-go sizes of Foaming Wash, All Over Toner, Pore Control Scrub, Overnight Treatment and Matte Moisturizer.

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