What Is Stress Acne & How To Treat It

ACNE 101

ACNE 101

What Is Stress Acne & How To Treat It

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause physical discomfort, emotional distress and even impact self-esteem. Many factors contribute to the development and severity of acne, including hormonal changes, genetics, diet and skincare habits. One factor that has long been debated is the connection between stress and acne.

Acne occurs when the hair follicles in the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. This results in the formation of various types of acne, such as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts. Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, are a significant trigger for acne as they increase oil production in the skin, and stress can have a significant impact on your skin's health. When you're under stress, your body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, triggering a cascade of physiological responses that affect your skin's function and appearance.

How Stress & Acne Affects The Skin ?

Here are some ways in which stress can impact your skin:

Acne & Blemishes

When you're under stress, your body produces more oil, which can clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts.

Skin Barrier Function

Stress can weaken your skin's natural barrier function, making it more susceptible to damage from environmental factors such as pollution and UV radiation.


Stress can also trigger inflammation in the skin, leading to redness, swelling and irritation.

Poor Sleep Quality

Chronic stress can interfere with sleep quality, which can impact the skin's ability to repair and regenerate itself. This can lead to a dull, tired complexion and increase the likelihood of acne breakouts.

Compulsive Skin Picking

Some people may develop compulsive skin picking behaviors as a coping mechanism for stress, which can further aggravate existing acne lesions and cause scarring.

Skin Stress Tips

To mitigate the effects of stress on your skin, it's important to manage stress and prioritize self-care. A happy, healthy outlook can greatly improve your mental health and, in turn, your skin. In addition, maintaining a healthy skincare routine with gentle cleansers and non-comedogenic moisturizers can help keep the skin clean and balanced.

Here are some strategies:

Skincare Routine: Establish a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and non-comedogenic products to keep your skin clean and healthy.

Balanced Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods, as they may contribute to inflammation and worsen acne.

Stress Management: Adopt stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and getting enough sleep to promote overall well-being. Engaging in activities that you enjoy and seeking support from loved ones can also help alleviate stress.

Seek Professional Advice: If acne persists or causes significant distress, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist who can provide personalized treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

Is It Stress Acne Or Hormonal Acne?

Stress acne and hormonal acne are two different types of acne that can occur on the skin. While they may share some similarities, understanding the underlying causes and characteristics of each type can help in determining the appropriate treatment approach.

What Is Stress Acne?

Stress acne, as the name suggests, is associated with elevated levels of stress. This type of acne is typically characterized by small, red pimples or inflamed papules that appear on the face, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Stress can trigger the release of hormones such as cortisol, leading to increased oil production and inflammation in the skin. Stress acne often arises during times of heightened stress, such as exams, work pressures, or personal challenges.

  • Hormonal Imbalances: Chronic stress can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in the body, leading to increased oil production and clogged pores.
  • Poor Skincare Habits: During times of stress, individuals may neglect their skincare routine, leading to the accumulation of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, which can contribute to acne breakouts.
  • Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Stress may prompt individuals to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as excessive junk food consumption, smoking, or excessive alcohol intake. These habits can trigger inflammation and worsen acne.

What Is Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne, on the other hand, is caused by fluctuations in hormones. It often occurs during puberty, around menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Hormonal acne typically manifests as deep, cystic, or nodular acne lesions that are tender, inflamed, and sometimes painful. It commonly affects the lower face, jawline, and chin area.

  • Androgen Hormones: Androgens, such as testosterone, can stimulate oil glands to produce excess oil, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Hormonal imbalances or sensitivity to androgens can contribute to the development of hormonal acne.
  • Menstrual Cycle: Fluctuations in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle can trigger acne breakouts, commonly known as menstrual acne.
  • Pregnancy and Menopause: Hormonal shifts during pregnancy and menopause can also lead to hormonal acne due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.

Acne Severity Scale

Acne is a dermatological concern that can manifest in a range of intensities, varying from mild cases with just a few blackheads or whiteheads to severe cases with painful cysts and widespread inflammation. This condition can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life. It is imperative to seek the guidance of a qualified dermatologist or psychodermatologist to assess the severity of the issue and develop a tailored treatment plan.

Treatment of Stress Acne, According To Your Skin Type

Cleanance ACNE is ideal for acne-prone skin

Cleanance is ideal for oily, blemish-prone skin

Cleanance HYDRA is ideal for dry, blemish-prone skin

Cleanance NIGHT is ideal for aging, blemish-prone skin