Is Stress Making You Break Out?

While there are many, many things to be grateful for, there’s no denying we are living in an extremely stressful time. Not surprisingly, this stress and worry can take a toll on our bodies, and that includes our skin. If you have been dealing with more acne than usual this quarantine, it’s no cause for alarm. Changes to our routines, being inside all day, and the stress of not knowing what is to come can really get to you. Even though there are no immediate solutions to stress-induced acne, we do have a few tricks to help you deal with those pesky pimples.

Why does stress give you acne?

During stressful times, our bodies start increasing the release of the stress hormone known as cortisol, which imbalances our hormone levels, which in turn makes for clogged pores and acne. Simply put, when we are stressed our skin develops more oil, and more oil means more propensity for breakouts. Typically, stress acne shows up on the oiliest parts of your face: your forehead and nose area, otherwise known as your T-zone.

What to do when you’re suffering from stress acne:

Don’t forget about your skin

When we are stressed, or not feeling like ourselves, that can affect our desire to keep up with our self-care routines. It’s important that even when you’re going through rough times that you keep up with your skin routine. Regular cleansing and moisturizing not only protects against stress acne, it can actually improve your mood.

Find ways to de-stress

In moments of stress, the best thing to do for our physical and mental health is to find ways to alleviate that stress. If you are at the point of stress where you are breaking out, it is definitely time to hit the pause button. Draw a bath, read a book, take a walk. Take time for an activity that you enjoy.

Change up the products you use

If you’re the type of person who has an extensive skincare routine, try to scale back on the products that you use to give your skin a break. Your skin is more sensitive under stress, so be extra gentle with it. If the breakouts continue, it may be time to switch your routine completely. Make sure you are using a light pH-balanced cleanser and products that will not clog your pores (often labeled non-comedogenic)!

Figure out a routine

One of the most stressful things in life is not having a routine or structure. These uncertain times have shown us that having a routine is essential to mental health. Finding a daily routine that works and gives you time for self-care will help you de-stress and in turn help reduce breakouts.


When you think of addressing your acne, you don’t really think of working out. When your acne is caused by stress, however, regular activity can be helpful. Exercise has been proven to be effective at de-stressing and mood-lifting. Finding an exercise routine will not only make your body happy, it will also calm your mind. It will also help sweat out the toxins, so be sure to cleanse your face after.

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