While stress doesn’t directly translate into acne, we’re more prone to breakouts during times of high stress. When we’re stressed, the body produces more cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to spike. This can lead to flare-ups, according to Bertha Baum, DOboard certified dermatologist and plastic surgeon.
“Stress has been shown in numerous medical studies to contribute to flare-ups of existing dermatological conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, and interferes with the skin’s ability to heal and regenerate.” Sara Hogan, MD, FAAD, and board-certified dermatologist. “In the case of acne, stress hormones like cortisol lead to an increase in inflammatory factors, oil production, and synthesis of androgens (sex hormones, like testosterone), which in turn lead to produce more oil on the skin.”