Lifestyle Changes & Acne

Your Lifestyle and Acne: How to Prevent Breakouts


It's no secret that we live in a pretty stressful world. Our busy work schedules, active social lives, and lack of sleep can all cause us to neglect our health. But did you know that your lifestyle can have a significant influence on the condition of your skin?

Have you ever noticed that a fresh crop of pimples seems to flare up whenever you have a big event or major conference to attend? It's not some cruel coincidence that causes these breakouts to happen—it's the havoc that stress is wreaking on your body that's the culprit! Clinical evidence suggests that acne is linked to both psychological and physical stress. Acne and stress are like a vicious circle—instigating and aggravating each other. The good news is that this can also work in reverse. Treating acne and stress (mental and oxidative) can help alleviate symptoms of both in an additive, synergistic way.3

Try some of these great lifestyle tips and techniques– you'll notice a big difference in the bathroom mirror after a few weeks:

  • Start dealing with your stress in a healthy and constructive way. It can be easy to brush off stress as an unfortunate but necessary part of life. However, stress is not just bad for your skin but bad for your overall health as well.2 Take the time to do things that make you happy and relaxed. For example, spend an afternoon curled up with a good book, spend time in gardening, make a date to go to the beach with friends, or just spend ten minutes soaking in a tub. There are plenty of ways to get rid of stress—you just need to find what works for you!
  • You don't need to take a day to feel the release of stress; in fact, just focusing on your breathing for a few minutes will help to eliminate the kind of stress that can play with your hormones. You can also try affirmations to help build the stress-free life you know you can have.3
  • A healthy body is more apt to cope with the stresses of life. There are a number of vitamins and herbal supplements that combined with a healthy diet can promote a healthy immune system and come in handy with the battle against acne. Some great ones to look into are 5-HTP, ashwagandha, vitamin D3, gotu kola, astragalus, SAMe, and zinc.3,6
  • Try spicing up your diet or making an herbal tea with some stress-reducing, antioxidant herbs. Some great ones to try are holy basil, lemon balm, turmeric, and green tea.3
  • Take in some fresh air and natural sunlight. A safe amount of sunshine will help your body generate vitamin D, improve your mood, and may improve your acne directly too!1,3
  • If you are able to, begin an exercise program—it can be a great way to relieve stress by releasing endorphins and getting a healthy, tone body.3
  • Contemplate getting a pet! Pets are a scientifically-backed way to relieve stress and dogs can help you get out in the natural sunlight for a brisk walk.2,3
  • Try and lose any extra weight you may be carrying around—being overweight can cause insulin resistance, which has been linked to acne and stress.5 You can also lower your sugar intake naturally with herbal stevia sweetener.
  • Drinking plenty of water each day will help keep your skin hydrated and healthy, promoting clear and beautiful skin.7
  • Although it may seem like an inconvenience to fit in anything else in a busy day, a proper skincare routine will go a long way towards promoting the kind of beautiful skin that will turn heads. No matter how tired you are, develop the habit of a daily skin care routine. First and foremost, always make sure that you wash your face and remove all makeup before going to bed.
  • Speaking of bedtime be sure to get adequate sleep for optimal health and stress relief. If you need some help getting to sleep, melatonin may be a natural supplement to try.7

  1. Basavaraj, K.H., Navya, M.A., Rashmi, R. Indian J Psychiatry 52(3): Relevance of psychiatry in dermatology: Present concepts. PubMed: U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. [Online] Jul–Sep 2010. [Cited: January 02, 2011.]
  2. Bowe, W.P., Logan, A.C. Clinical implications of lipid peroxidation in acne vulgaris: old wine in new bottles. Lipids in Health Disease Vol. 9. [Online] December 9, 2010. [Cited: January 4, 2011.]
  3. Creswell, J. David, et al. Affirmation of Personal Values Buffers Neuroendocrine and Psychological Stress Responses. UCLA Social Neuroscience Lab: American Psychological Society. [Online] 2005.
  4. Abulnaja, Khalid O. Oxidant/Antioxidant Status in Obese Adolescent Females with Acne Vulgaris. Indian Journal of Dermatology Vol. 54, Issue 1. [Online] January 2009. [Cited: January 04, 2011.] PMCID: PMC2800868.
  5. Challem, Jack and Werbach, Melvyn R. The Food-Mood Solution: All-Natural Ways to Banish Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress, Overeating, and Alcohol and Drug Problems--and Feel Good Again. s.l.: John Wiley and Sons, 2007. ISBN 0470228776, 9780470228777.
  6. Emmons, Henry. The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety. s.l.: Simon and Schuster, 2010. ISBN 1439129061, 9781439129067.
  7. Reichrath, J. Exp Dermatol. 16(7): Vitamin D and the skin: an ancient friend, revisited. PubMed: U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. [Online] July 2007. [Cited: January 4, 2011.] PMID: 17576242.
  8. Elizabeth Scott, M.S. How Owning a Dog or Cat Can Reduce Stress. Health Disease and Condition: Stress Management. [Online] September 6, 2009. [Cited: October 28, 2009.]
  9. Davis, Jeanie Lerche. 5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health. WebMD: Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center. [Online] 2004. [Cited: October 28, 2009.]
  10. Baumann, Leslie, Saghari, Sogol, Weisberg, Edmund. Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice. 2nd. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2009. ISBN 0071490620, 9780071490627.
  11. Stargrove, Mitchell Bebel, Treasure, Jonathan and McKee, Dwight L. Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions. s.l.: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008. ISBN 0323029647, 9780323029643.
Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed professional. If you require any medical-related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information on this website or any external links provided on the website.
Copyright © 2021. All Rights are Reserved.

This site uses 'cookies' to maintain browsing session, serve advertising, perform anonymized usage analytics, and provide the service of this website.