Stress and Acne: Can Stress Cause Acne?

Stress can cause acneYou may have noticed that whenever you have additional stress in your life, your acne flairs up. I know I do. Whether it is lack of sleep, emotional upheaval, or just extra pressure from work, there is no doubt that I’ve seen a direct relationship between my level of stress and acne. Does your own acne flair up after an emotional upset? For many years, dermatologists have been asked the question by their patients, “Can stress cause acne?” I spent a little time researching this topic and found some interesting correlations.

Yes, it is true that heredity can play a role in your acne. However, many physicians now realize this troubling condition can also be related to other factors such as stress or a poor diet.

The fact that stress can have a negative impact on your immune system is not a new concept. No matter what type of illness you suffer from, a great deal of stress can either worsen your condition or increase the amount of time it takes your body to heal and recover. I have definitely noticed that I am more susceptible to colds when I’m under a lot of stress.

Why is it that stress has this effect on our bodies? When people experience stress or emotional turmoil, the body often reacts by producing an overabundant amount of hormones. Male hormones especially have a great impact on the sebaceous gland. If the gland becomes overactive, the body then produces too much sebrum. After the pores become clogged with sebrum, acne is very likely to occur.

In addition to aggravating current acne breakouts, stress can also cause an overall decline in the appearance of your skin. Aside from increased sebum production, unhealthy amounts of stress may cause the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The cortisol is then released into the sebaceous gland and produces a greater amount of oil in the skin.

Hiking is one way to relieve stressEven if you’re currently taking a prescription or over the counter treatment for acne, your stress level will have a negative impact on your skin. By following some of these tips for reducing stress, you can help combat acne. Use these tips to relax and not only will your breakouts likely improve, but you can also achieve better overall health and wellness.

  • I’ve found that exercise can alleviate my excess tension and anxiety more than anything else. You may not feel like exercising when your’e stressed, but if you can get yourself up and moving it will make a huge difference. Whether it is a run, walk, workout, or yoga class, anything that has you focusing on your body more than your mind will help you calm down and see more clearly.
  • Too much caffeine can often increase your level of stress. By reducing your intake of sodas, coffee, tea, and other stimulants, you can both calm your body and prevent other common negative side effects, such as headaches or an increase in heart rate.
  • Improve and monitor your diet. Try to eat as many healthy and natural foods as possible. A diet containing the proper amount of fruits and vegetables can have a huge positive impact on your health. I have a huge craving for sugar and chocolate when I’m stressed or depressed, and I know that has an effect on both my skin and my general level of optimism and energy level.  High amounts of sugar and processed foods on a daily basis can lead to stress and other behavioral problems, especially in younger people and teens. By changing your eating habits, you can improve your acne and many other common ailments.
  • Get out in the sun! Try to get outdoors on a daily basis. Just a small amount of time outside each day can have a positive affect on your body. Sunshine exposure is responsible for stimulating the production of Vitamin D which promotes healthy skin. A short walk several times a week is all that is needed.  Vitamin D supplement will not have the same effect as getting outside for some real sunlight.

Even if you try just one of these tips, it should make a difference in your physical and mental health, energy level, and the appearance of your skin. Reduce your stress and acne will be much less common an occurence for you. As for me? I’m heading over to the gym now for a good workout and then a nice hot shower!

Need to deal with concealing your current acne? Check out these articles for makeup suggestions and tips:

Best Powder Foundation: Tops Picks for Acne Prone Skin

What Makeup is Good for Oily Skin?

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer Review

Now go relax!!!

Acne Tips: How to Prevent and Get Rid of Acne

You have probably heard many acne tips in the past for preventing or getting rid of pimples and the resulting acne scars.  Some of those tips may be based in experience and some are just cooked up in someone’s home kitchen, or just in their head. However, in order to effectively treat acne, you need to be aware of what factors can cause or aggravate your condition. You’ve no doubt heard the common myths that eating chocolate or oily foods causes acne. While a healthy diet is recommended, there is no one specific food that results in acne outbreaks. Learning to distinguish the facts from the rumors is essential if you want to prevent and treat acne breakouts.

Your Age and Acne

While acne is most predominant in teens and young adults, it can affect people of all ages. The good news is that once a person reaches the age of 25, their chances of developing acne or suffering from additional outbreaks will drop dramatically. For adults in their mid-thirties or older, the risk of acne is even less. However, there are still many cases of adult acne, usually in women, due to hormonal imbalances that occur during pregnancy and menopause.

Your Diet and Acne

Even though eating chocolate or fried foods does not cause acne, a  well-balanced diet can make a big difference in keeping your body healthy and preventing this condition. In order to keep your skin nourished and looking its best, try to eat several servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. A sufficient water intake is also important to keep your skin hydrated. In addition to helping your acne, drinking lots of water will help your whole body (with the added benefit of preventing constipation!)

Does Stress Cause Acne?

People often say that they break out when they are under a lot of stress. The relationship between stress and acne has been a hot topic for many years. Although it may not be the culprit in an underlying acne condition, unnecessary emotional turmoil can worsen breakouts or cause frequent flare-ups. Be aware of your stress triggers and try different methods of relaxation or prevention. The most effective stress relievers are exercise and yoga, but you have to experiment with what works best for you.

Acne Skin Care Myths

If you have had acne for a while, you will probably have heard over and over again that you just have to wash your face more often. People may tell you that you just aren’t keeping your skin clean. Many people mistakenly think their acne is the result of poor hygiene, therefore they resort to an extreme cleansing regimen. They scrub and exfoliate and work hard to dry out those stubborn blackheads and pimples to no avail.

In reality, all those over-the-counter products that require harsh scrubbing are more likely to aggravate your acne and cause it to spread more. A mild cleanser or toner used daily is your best bet. Avoid facial creams and cleansers that contain harsh ingredients, which can irritate or dry out the skin cells. Ask you doctor to recommend an acne cleanser that is appropriate for your type of skin.

MedSkin Acne Rx System combines advanced skin care technology with prescription-strength ingredients to provide a clinically proven over-the-counter acne treatment.

Can Vitamins Cure Acne?
There are many acne vitamin cures out there that promise miracle results. In fact, studies have shown that many acne cases may be related to a vitamin deficiency in the body. If you’ve tried improving your eating habits but still experience frequent outbreaks, you may wish to try adding vitamin supplements to your diet. Vitamins A, B5, C, D, and E are all beneficial in promoting healthy skin. Your doctor can further assist you in deciding what type of vitamin supplement is necessary.

Stay Out of the Sun!

The sun is out or you are going on vacation and everyone is telling you that it’s the best thing for your acne. They tell you that the sun will miraculously heal and dry up your blemishes. This is another popular acne myth. While a tanned face may help to conceal red blotchy patches on your skin, a day in the sun will not heal or improve acne. In fact, if you’re currently taking any type of antibiotic for acne or applying topical ointments, you are much more susceptible to sunburn, which will make your acne even worse.

Acne can be both emotionally draining and extremely frustrating to cope with. You may have to experiment with different regimens and acne treatments before you find the one that works for you. It’s important to realize that in most cases there is no quick fix or miracle drug to cure your problem. Focus on your own acne triggers and work on using a mix of different treatment methods, including gentle skin care, topical treatments, healthy diet, relaxation, and prescription medicines when needed.

Jane Iredale Cosmetics Now Available

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder SPF 20  Light BeigeI just found out that SkinStore.com is now selling Jane Iredale cosmetics. This is a popular brand that I’ve been meaning to try out for quite awhile, so now is a great time. I’ll post a review once I have some experience with it. I love the fact that it is made with natural ingredients, no parabens, oils, etc. It is supposed to be great for sensitive skin and those with eczema or rosacea.

My plan is to try the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder SPF 20 Light Beige and probably a concealer. Meanwhile, if you want to head over and check it out for yourself, use my link below:

Shop Jane Iredale Skin Care and Cosmetics

They are also doing a Free Gift with Every $100 Skinstore Purchase! This is just for one week, through May 9th, and it can be on any products. I love free gifts!!


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What Makeup is Good for Oily Acne Skin?

One of the most common questions I get asked has to do with what makeup is good for oily acne skin. This is probably because oily skin is the most prone to acne.  Teens, in particular, tend to have oily skin due to the hormonal changes they are dealing with during puberty.

The most important thing to look for in a makeup for oily skin is staying power. Most foundations and concealers seem to melt off as the day goes on, leaving all those blemishes out there for the world to see. The trick is to find a foundation and concealer that are relatively long lasting, then combine them with a good primer, such as Tarte’s Clean Slate, and a setting powder. The final, essential item is a good blotting powder or blotting sheets to carry with you throughout the day.

bareMinerals MATTE SPF 15 FoundationMineral makeup is one great solution for oily skin since it doesn’t have most of the additives that liquids and creams have. My favorite mineral makeup brand for skin that is oily and acne prone is Bare Mineral Matte foundation. It doesn’t have the irritating and shimmery bismuth oxychloride of other formulations, and it helps absorb oil during the day. You will need to use the bareMineral multi-tasking concealer before and after applying the foundation if you have a lot of acne to cover. Finish everything off with some of their Mineral Veil.

Make Up Forever Foundation for Oily SkinAs a liquid foundation for oily acne skin, the overwhelming consensus among reviewers is Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation. It gives full coverage, controls shine, is both oil free and water resistant, and has a wide range of colors. Sound too good to be true? Well, I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it received an average 4 1/2 star out of 5 star rating from over 2,000 user reviews. It is definitely at the top of my list of foundations to try once the summer and hot weather comes around.

If you like a creamy foundation and have a lot of difficulty concealing redness and acne on your oily skin, consider Cover FX makeup as your ultimate concealer and long lasting makeup. Cover FX has a cult following of its own, since it has the widest range of skin tone shades I’ve ever seen. If you can’t find a shade to match your skin from this makeup line, you never will. Their Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation tops the charts with its reviews and there is a great starter kit. It does have sunscreen in it, so if you are sensitive to chemical sunscreen this product is not right for you. However, it also contains calming ingredients to combat redness.

The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece)Cover FX has their own line of setting powders to go with your foundation that will make it last all day. You can get a complete kit, The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece), to get you started with the whole shebang. The main thing to remember with this foundation is that you must use a primer with it. Otherwise it will be difficult to blend since it is so thick. With such a great range of colors, you could just use it as a concealer on its own.

As a quick recap, here are the top makeup foundations for oily acne skin, based on our own tests and hundreds and hundreds of user reviews:

Mineral Makeup: Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals MATTE SPF 15 Foundation

Liquid Foundation: Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation

Cream Foundation: Cover FX The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 pieces)

MAC Blotting Powder for Oil Control

MAC Blot Powder for Oily Skin

Don’t forget to use a primer to protect your skin and to allow the makeup to go on smoothly and last all day. For extra coverage, you can use the concealers that go with each brand, or mix and match. Just remember that you can’t mix a powdery mineral makeup with a creamy concealer. The result would be a cakey mess.

P.S. I almost forgot the best part! Carry blotting sheets with you during the day to absorb excess oil. Or try the MAC Blot Powder, which we recently reviewed and fell in love with.


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MAC Blot Powder – User Review

MAC Blotting Powder for Oil ControlThe MAC Blot Powder is a sheer, minimum-coverage blotting powder that comes in a .42 oz compact of pressed powder. It is meant for blotting excess oil off your face and perfect for midday touch-ups.

Review:

I absolutely fell in love with this powder, and I wasn’t surprised after reading such rave reviews for it online. I was matched with Medium Dark, which made me a little skeptical considering the fact that makeup brands don’t usually carry shades light enough for my skin tone. But after testing some of the other colors, I realized that it doesn’t really matter which color you get because the powder has almost no pigmentation. A lighter shade would merely have given me a ghostly, white cast that I certainly don’t want.

The oil controlling power of the MAC Blot Powder is amazing. It makes any unwanted shininess disappear without looking at all cakey. I use this powder to set my T-zone after foundation and at any point in the day when my face feels a little oily or sweaty. This is the perfect makeup item for spring and summer!

Pros:

  • Incredible blotting powder for oily skinned girls
  • Takes away shine without looking cakey
  • Perfect for midday touch-ups

Cons:

  • More expensive than a drugstore powder (But much, much more effective!)
  • Does not give any coverage (If you need coverage, use a liquid foundation, powder foundation, or concealer. This powder is not meant for coverage, it is meant for oil control.)
  • Strange color range (Make sure to buy a darker powder than usual to avoid a whitish cast.)

This powder is best for:

Any girl who gets a little (or a lot!) of excess oil and needs a quick and easy blotting fix.

Tips for Using MAC Blot Powder:MAC Blotting Powder for Oil Control

  • For flawless skin, use a liquid or powder foundation and concealer, depending on your preferences and skin type.
  • Set your foundation with the Blot Powder using a large, fluffy brush.
  • Bring the powder along in your purse for touch-ups. You can carry a travel-size powder brush with you or simply use the cotton pad in the compact.
  • If you have seriously oily skin or are sweating a lot, blot your skin with oil blotting papers first, then dust your face with the Blot Powder.

Where to Buy:

You can get many MAC makeup products at Amazon, including the MAC Blot Powder Pressed Face Powders and their loose powder and blotting sheet.

Reviewed by Rachel

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