According to a relatively recent study conducted among young Singaporean students, a significant link between stress and acne has been confirmed. Therefore, stress acne is no longer a myth.
The study was approved by the National Skin Centre and National Health Group Polyclinics Research Ethics Committee as well as the Singapore Ministry of Education.
Here are a couple of sentences from the abstract:
[quote_box_center]The study suggests a significant association between stress and severity of acne papulopustulosa, especially in males. Increased acne severity associated with stress may result from factors other than sebum quantity.[/quote_box_center]
Full research here.
However, it is also worth bearing in mind that stress certainly doesn’t cause acne. Different factors like sebum production, hormonal irregularities, toxic build-up, genetic tendencies, etc. abet stress to aggravate acne.
Take these words from MedLinePlus:
[pull_quote_center]Stress doesn’t cause acne, but stress can make it worse.[/pull_quote_center]
Now that you’ve understand that DOES play a role in the development of acne, let’s discuss HOW it does that, and WHAT to do to control it.
I encourage you to read on if you’re wondering how to get rid of stress acne effectively and naturally; this is going to be a detailed discussion.
How Does Stress Aggravate Acne? The First Question That Might Come into Your Mind.
When a person is in a condition of stress, the adrenal glands (the glands at the top of the kidneys) are over stimulated and they produce extra amounts of hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine.
Now what happens is that at one end, these hormones strive to control this stressful condition by speeding up the metabolism rate and doing other complex stuff. And on the other end, they expand the sebaceous glands (glands located under the skin that contain an oily substance called sebum). This abnormal expansion makes your skin more prone to acne.
Furthermore, stress can also affect your immune system – that might slow down the natural healing process of the body.
Hence, all the lesions and inflammations in our body, including acne are not able to be healed effectively when a person is suffering from stress.
How to Get Rid of Stress Acne
Indeed, stress is a certain component of the human nature. Today, stress maintains an obvious existence in our daily lives. Being a part of the human nature, we cannot entirely get rid of it. However, if we do follow some steps for controlling it, we can definitely reduce it to some level.
Here are the four essential steps you should take to control your stress for a healthy and acne free life.
1. Better the Sleep, Lesser the Stress!
Sleep is an essential part of an active and healthy life. Sleep is a process of restoring the body’s energy. The muscle tissues are rebuilt, the cells are regenerated, breathing slows down to normal, the body becomes cool, and the muscles get time to relax.
For an optimized sleep, stop eating at least 3 hours before going to bed and avoid eating heavy meals.
Read this tip that I learnt from a doctor being interviewed on a TV show.
[pull_quote_center]Make sure your bedroom is completely dark. Try focusing on anything inside your room, say, the fan, and nothing other than that. By doing this you’ll be likely to get asleep more quickly.[/pull_quote_center]
The best time to sleep is between 11p.m to 7a.m.
2. Laughter Therapy to Reduce Stress:
Laughing is considered to be a great tool for controlling stress. It not only reduces stress related hormones like cortisol, which eventually decreases acne, but it also produces hormones that let us feel good and reduce anxiety.
There is literally an endless stream of positive influences of laughter. Therefore, practicing it daily would definitely put a positive impact on your overall health.
Now how would you laugh when you don’t want to? Well, it isn’t really that hard. Here are some of the ways of doing it:
- Watch funny movies and TV programs.
- Go online and search for funny quotes, jokes, pictures, stories, etc.
- Surround yourself with those who always make you laugh and have a sense of humor.
- Hang out with your friends and do crazy stuff.
- Think of those moments of your life that always make you laugh whenever you think of them.
And if all this doesn’t seem promising, then consider something called laughter yoga. See it in detail here.
Laugh loud and deep for 15-20 minutes; doing this few times a day will do wonders to control your stressful conditions.
3. Meditation for Eliminating Stress
The process of quieting the mind and letting it fall in various states of consciousness is called meditation.
During the meditation, you’re supposed to be suspended from all the different thoughts of your mind to enter into a peaceful meditative state. Meditation provides a peace of mind and is an excellent anti-stress exercise.
You can meditate through the following steps:
- First, you should make sure to choose a less distracting place for meditation and wear comfortable clothes. The best time to meditate is either in the early morning or just before going to bed at night.
- Lay or sit in your most comfortable place in your home, close your eyes, and start breathing deeply and slowly. This will ensure that you’re taking more oxygen and less carbon dioxide in your body. This is essential for your health and plays an important role in reducing stress. Make sure you’re inhaling through your nostrils and exhaling from the mouth.
- Now forget everything and turn your thoughts over your breathing. Listen to the sound of your inhaling and exhaling, listen to the heartbeat, or even listen to sounds that are further off yourself like the trees or wind outside of your home, and let your imagination go at will. Remember, during this exercise, various thoughts will come into your mind, just make sure that they don’t distract you.
- Now imagine that there is a hole in your back through which all of your distractions, tensions, and stressors are draining out slowly and constantly.
Doing this exercise daily for 15-20 minutes will produce a wonderful effect on your stress.
There are literally endless ways to meditate, but what importantly required is its regular practice.
4. Exercise to Control Stress:
Exercising on a daily basis has its own tremendous effects on our health. It’s an excellent stress reducer, and, therefore, can play a positive role in reducing acne naturally.
Aerobic exercise naturally produces a relaxing sensation in our body and flushes away the tension we get from stress. If I begin to tell you the various advantages of aerobic exercise, I can easily add another 1000 words to this article, but the thing is that adding these hobbies (which I’m going to tell you in a moment) in your daily life will unquestionably reduce your stress and eventually acne (to some extent).
You’ll want to play healthy games like tennis, football, basketball, rugby, etc., daily as they’re an excellent way to exercise. Jogging, swimming, and cycling will also help to decrease your stress levels.
Wrapping it up
So these were the four essential steps you should take to get rid of stress acne. Taking steps toward controlling stress not only helps in reducing acne, but also normalizes your overall health.
The methods we discussed above to get rid of stress acne are totally natural and will not produce any side effects. Therefore, you can move on and try these methods to control your stress aggravated acne without any worries.
What Do You Think?
If you want to add your thoughts on this discussion, have a handy tip for controlling stress, or want something regarding this article to be clarified, then please let me know in the comment below.