Naughty & Nice: 7 Ways to Minimize Stress & 6 Benefits of Sleep

Is “naughty” stress causing your acne breakouts? The 6 benefits of “nice” sleep may help.


Simply put, stress causes a cascade of hormonal reactions that leads to flare-ups in acne sensitive pores. 

First our adrenal glands (you know adrenals they give us that “fight or flight” power) They stimulate our oil glands and trigger much more oil production that contributes to clogs. 

At the same time, cortisol (our stress hormone) is sending a chemical message to the receivers on those oil glands telling them to make a thick, sticky type of oil that easily gets stuck in pores. Cortisol also causes a ton of inflammation in the body and the skin. Thanks a lot, cortisol!

Together this hormone reaction leads to painful inflammatory breakouts that can leave spots behind.

Sadly our body’s way of trying to ‘even out’ the cortisol is to trigger a hormones called serotonin (our “feel good” hormone) which we naturally produce when we exercise…but if we aren’t exercising 90% so serotonin is made in our gut- so we are triggered to eat all those “comfort foods” that lead to EVEN MORE BREAKOUTS!!!

7 Ways to Minimize Stress

  1. Get some good sleep
  2. Get moving and exercise
  3. Try a low-stress, anti-inflammatory diet
  4. Watch out for trigger foods
  5. Drink more water
  6. Minimize caffeine and stimulants
  7. Try meditation or a yoga class

Nice: Sleep… zzz

“If you get less than eight hours per night, it could this lack of sleep could be contributing substantially to your acne. I discover over and over again, that acne patients are not getting adequate sleep which corresponds flare-ups.” Dr. James Fulton MD

Sleep is fantastic for skin, especially if it’s regular sleep. That means a full eight hours and going to bed at around the same time nightly. Of course you’ll have nights that go, but the body does best when it knows when to shut down and go into healing mode.

Skin Benefits of Sleep

  1. Skin goes into “repair mode”
  2. Your cell turnover is at its highest: plump healthy cells move to the surface while the dead, dry layer sloughs off
  3. Skin processes out the stress hormone, cortisol. This contributes to breakouts and inflammation
  4. Our growth factor hormones go into production and build collagen
  5. Dark circles under our eyes decrease as healthy blood flow is returned to our delicate under eye skin
  6. Your immune system is strengthened by sleep and fights off acne breakouts and the premature signs of aging

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