Can Stress Cause Breakouts? And can you prevent it?

Dec 6, 2022

Stress: The Glow Killer

The answer is: YES. Absolutely. Stress has a biological effect on the body, and those effects can disrupt the normal balance of processes that keep you happy and healthy. The reason being that during a stress phase, we produce more adrenaline which in the long-run is neither good for our overall wellbeing, nor for our skin. One direct effect of stress in particular includes the imbalance of oils that occurs in the skin, which can lead to breakouts.

Let’s talk about the relationship between stress and skin health, and how you can work to nourish your skin when it needs you the most!

Can Stress Cause Breakouts?

While the simple presence of stress may not immediately cause acne breakouts, the ways your body handles that stress can trigger negative reactions in your skin that do result in breakouts. This is especially the case for chronic stress.

When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is like a little messenger that tells your body it’s go-time, telling your body that extra resources need to be made available to help tackle the impending stress.

One of these resources is sebum, aka the natural oils produced in your skin. As cortisol signals increased oil production in your skin, you become more susceptible to breakouts.

How To Keep Stress-Related Breakouts at Bay With the Right Skincare Routine

The basic steps to an effective everyday skincare routine are mostly the same regardless of skin concern. If you struggle with stress-related or hormone-related breakouts, what can be most useful is to first ensure you’re hitting the basic requirements of a supportive skincare routine, then work to adjust your regimen to include formulas that can support breakout-prone skin.  

Being mindful of active sebaceous glands paired with keeping skin clean and hydrated can go a long way toward a more clear complexion. 

Find the Perfect Cleanser

If your skin is oily or breakout prone, you’ll want a cleanser that treats your skin with the gentle touch it needs while also being hard on dirt, oil, and bacteria

Unfortunately, many cleansers marketed toward people who struggle with breakouts or oily skin use harsh synthetic versions of ingredients like Salicylic Acid, which can disrupt the skin barrier. 

Supporting your skin barrier is incredibly important when it comes to addressing breakouts and keeping them at bay. A disrupted skin barrier can’t do its job — it can’t keep the moisture you need for skin to stay hydrated and balanced, and it won’t be equipped to keep out the bacteria that instigates breakouts. 

Our Everyday Cleansing Oil was formulated to cleanse and balance skin while nourishing and supporting your all-important skin barrier

Bisabolol is known for its antibacterial properties. While those ingredients work hard to cleanse, Hemp Seed Oil and Pomegranate Oil naturally soothes and calms irritated skin, and Sunflower, Rapeseed, and Cacay Oil balance sebum on the skin. 

Use an Essence

Supportive serums can help deliver ultra-nourishing ingredients that can help your skin be the best it can be. 

Our Aura Essence is loaded with powerful hydrating and anti-aging ingredients to help nourish skin and support your skin barrier. Hemp Seed extract is one of the most bioactive and powerful antioxidants in nature that helps support your skin barrier by re-balacing the microbiome on your skin !

Aloe Vera, which hydrates and soothes, as well as a powerful series of antioxidants derived from Superoxide Dismutase, Butterfly Extract, and Magnolia Extract can help keep your complexion bright

It also contains five types of Hyaluronic Acid, which is a superhero when it comes to properly moisturising your skin. Hydrated skin is non-negotiable when it comes to keeping breakouts at bay, so getting that extra boost in your topical serum can be skin-changing, no matter how persistent those bumps on your forehead are.

Our Aura Essence is the perfect investment in the future of your skin, which is important if you’re trying to make sure your skin is in good enough condition to fight off blemishes. 

Nail Your Moisturising Routine

Even if you feel like your breakout is related to excess oil on your skin, it’s important to not leave moisturising out of your routine! Ironically, letting your skin dry out too much can stimulate additional oil production and create a vicious circle.

While it may feel counterintuitive, the right moisturising face oil can help balance oil in the skin. Face oils work hard to lock in moisture that quenches your skin throughout the entire day. It can also provide a seal of protection from external elements that can otherwise irritate your skin and contribute to breakouts.

Our Cacay Beauty Oil is perfect for breakout-prone skin — oily skin beauties including our customer Julia swear by this moisturising face oil as their does-it-all moisturiser! 

The thing is, when you’re stressed, the stress hormone cortisol can up the oil production in your skin, which can lead to breakouts and clogged pores. 

Cacay Beauty Oil is a small-molecule nut oil that won’t disrupt your skin’s natural mojo. It’ll just help your skin do its job by keeping the good things in and the bad things out, leaving you with gorgeous, glowy, clear skin, even during your deadline week at work. 

Spot-Treat As Needed

If your preventative skincare is full of supportive products but you still need a little more help with stress-related breakouts, you can utilise targeted products on affected areas to minimise the appearance of your blemishes. (Just promise us you’ll still try to bring your stress levels back to normal!)

One easy tip you can incorporate into any part of your routine? Add a dash of Defence Booster into your hand or dish, and using a clean concealer brush, apply directly to your toughest dark spots.

Using a product formulated with Salicylic Acid has a drying effect on oily areas that helps to visibly minimize the appearance of pimples. The problem is that Synthetic Salicylic Acid can be overdrying, which is where nature’s salicylic acid, Willow Bark Extract, can save the day. 

Our Everyday Day Cream is formulated with Willow Bark Extract that can act as a gentler yet effective drying agent that helps combat concerns without irritating and sensitising skin. 

The formula also includes Passion Fruit Seed Oil, Betaine as well as Allantoin to help support your skin microbiome — we like to work with your skin’s powerful natural processes instead of disrupting them. 

You can also work a face mask into your routine, like our Hydration Mask, which draws toxins and impurities out of your pores without drying or disrupting your skin’s ecosystem and provide deep hydration using five different types of Hyaluron.  

It double duty as a natural skin hydrator, working to both keep your skin clear, and restore that supple texture.


What Are Other Ways To Tackle Stress Breakouts?

Let’s talk about some ways to help lessen the chances of stress breakouts so you can get your skin back to its most clear and gorgeous self. 

Make Time To Relax

We know — there’s nothing more stressful than somebody telling you not to stress out. But, finding ways to let your body know it’s safe to relax is one of the best things you can do, even if it may seem impossible to slow down and just breathe. 

This doesn’t have to mean changing your whole life — just finding time to relax can be as simple as making time for a bedtime routine where you do your skincare, read a book or meditate for a few minutes, and really calm down before you sleep. 

You could even do a similar routine in the morning where you make sure you give yourself enough time to wake up at your own pace, without immediately scrolling through notifications on your phone or reviewing your calendar for the day. Take a few moments to take a deep breath and stretch your body, and make enough time to pamper yourself during your morning skincare routine. 


Keep a Consistent Skincare Regimen

The best care for your skin is preventative. While there are ways to handle stress-related breakouts once they happen, doing your best to consistently support your skin with a multi-step skincare routine can put you in the best position to help lessen the chance of a breakout when stress does happen. 

As stress increases sebum production, skin becomes oilier and more prone to breakouts. But if your skincare routine is supporting nourished, healthy-looking skin in the first place, stress breakouts are less likely to be catastrophic and more likely to be a small glitch. 


In Conclusion

Aside from making you feel mentally tense, that emotional stress can trigger biological reactions that can contribute to breakouts. If you feel like your skin gets even more overwhelmed than you do during stressful or busy periods of your life, practicing some additional mental health self care and ensuring that your skincare regimen is giving your skin the best possible chance at fighting an occasional acne flare up.  

With an eye on your overall wellness, you can potentially help minimise adult acne issues that come your way.

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