Stress is something we all go through in life, and it often shows up on the skin as well—for many in the form of chronic acne. In the quest to cure acne breakouts, it can be tempting to spend time in front of a mirror while scolding the skin for behaving the wrong way. Hours of internet searches for acne products and fixes can further gobble up a whole day. Guess what usually happens next. Acne symptoms get worse from the increased stress of scrutinizing the skin. Stress-acne-stress-acne can become a vicious cycle. Sound familiar?
If so, next time you’re facing a breakout, try de-stressing your skin instead with these 8 tips, which to your surprise may help clear your skin in subtle, but powerful ways.
1) Picture It—That’s right, don’t keep staring at what you don’t want and instead start visualizing what you do. Close your eyes either before bed or in a comfortable seated position, take a few deep breaths, and picture the skin you want. Your imagination’s the only limit.
2) Be Kind—If you’re in the habit of attacking pimples with harsh products, instead try something that’s kinder on your face. Go for gentle and soothing. For example, steep cucumber slices in a pitcher of water overnight (in the fridge), pour into a spray bottle, and mist skin throughout the day whenever stress builds up.
3) Don’t Freak Out—If you feel a breakout on its way, try not to freak out. The more you focus on each little breakout, you lose the forest for the trees in helping your skin calm down. The mind gets fixated on perfect skin, and since that’s not where you’re at, you’ll only feel frustration. Ask yourself, “What else is stressful or overwhelming right now, other than my skin?” Start right where you’re at.
4) Hydrate—Drink water, drink water, drink water. There is no precise recommendation on how many glasses. Just make sure you remember to hydrate for better detoxification and hormone balance. Both of these factors are important for skin health.
5) Get Good Sleep—Definitely try not to lose sleep over acne breakouts. If you’re heading into an important meeting or social event the next day, remind yourself that good sleep will help skin feel better more so than worrying what you’ll look like. Worrying never helps! Tomorrow is a new day, and it’s a good opportunity to be gentler on yourself and your skin.
6) Makeup With Your Skin—Try using natural, breathable makeup that helps you feel attractive and like you can picture better skin. The mind is a powerful tool, so makeup isn’t used to cover up so much as to allow yourself to exist and be seen. This increased confidence over time can help lower stress and actually move you toward your goal of clearer skin.
7) Don’t Forget the Body—Sometimes in focusing on the skin, we may accidentally neglect the health of the rest of the body. But good overall health helps skin! To get back into your body, you can try an easy daily routine such as dry skin brushing. It only takes 2 minutes before showers. Use a dry skin brush and gently brush skin in long strokes from extremities (arms and legs) toward the heart. Drink water afterward.
8) Talk To Yourself—Doing so is not crazy. In today’s fast-paced life full of stress, it’s especially important how you talk to yourself. Try asking yourself how you’re doing during the week, and if you feel low, don’t try and force happiness over it. Instead, be there for yourself and your skin. Yes I said it, the key is to talk to your skin more—and in ways that you’d like to be talked to.
Try practicing these 8 tips on a daily basis, and you’ll see results that you can’t find in a bottle of acne product. Most importantly, you’ll have a new relationship with your skin that promotes health and helps you enjoy being exactly who you already are.