This Is Why You Break Out When You're Stressed
Whether you're stressed about work, school, or the context behind the novel of an angry text you just sent off, one thing is certain—your skin is feeling the impact, and you'll likely wake up to a brand new breakout as a result. According to New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, your stress levels cause the adrenal glands to make more adrenaline and androgens, which ends up kicking your sebaceous glands (a.k.a. the glands in your skin that create oil and sebum) into overdrive. Acne flare-ups triggered by stress are most prominent along your chin, jaw, and neck, though if your T-zone is already somewhat oily, breakouts on the nose and forehead are also common. As if the current situation weren't pressing enough, right?
Lack of sleep and diving head-first into a pint of Ben and Jerry's you've been stress-eating can also contribute to the skin activity, but luckily, the issue isn't totally hopeless. If you tend to get pretty high strung, we recommend ending your night with a cleanser infused with salicylic acid, like Erno Laszlo's Anti Blemish Wash ($45; sephora.com) to swipe away oil and acne-causing bacteria before the bump has a chance to form. A detoxifying mask like Glossier's Mega Greens Galaxy Pack ($22; glossier.com), but for a particularly aggressive bump, we recommend a heavy-duty spot treatment like Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion ($17; nordstrom.com), which completely dehydrates the pimple, leaving behind smooth, blemish-free skin.