Have you ever noticed right before a big event, or when you're just starting a new phase in your life your skin starts freaking out? Then no matter what you do you get wave after wave of pimples the next morning?
It's most likely due to stress!
What's stress and why does it cause acne?
Stress causes our adrenal glands to kick in and spike up stress hormones like cortisol and the andrenal glands also overproduce androgen hormones. This causes us to go into a heightened state of awareness and trigger the 'flight or fight' response.
Cortisol can indirectly cause acne because it makes your body in a constant state of inflammation which makes it more likely for your pores to get inflamed, clog, and turn into a pimple. Androgens are a type of male hormone that can trigger excessive sebum production as well leading to increased acne.
How to keep stress levels low to manage acne?
1. Increase vitamin c in your diet! Vitamin c is shown to prevent the production of stress hormone cortisol. A study showed that people who took 1000 mg of vitamin C before presenting a public speech had significantly less cortisol levels and lower blood pressure than the group who didn't :)
Vitamin C can be found in fresh raw dark leafy greens, bell peppers, and most fruits like papaya and watermelon. You can take supplements too but it's best to get it from whole foods since foods contain the fat, fiber, and micronutrients that you can't find in a pill, plus you know exactly what you're getting.
2. B vitamins - B vitamins can improve your mood and energy levels to reduce overall stress. When you feel good, it lets your mind and body go back to a more relaxed and happy state. B vitamins are usually fortified in most cereal and soy products. You can check the nutritional facts to make sure.
3. Exercise - Moderate exercise boosts endorphin levels - another feel good chemical your body makes. It's a natural painkiller and it actually gives a similar effect as morphine on the body but without all the bad side effects and addictive qualities. Also exercise can improve your sleep which reduces stress. However don't wear makeup during your exercise routine and cleanse after to get any sweat off since the sweat could block pores.
Hope that these tips help you out in managing your life and acne!
It's important to take care of your well being as well as what you put on your skin.