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Tell me if you’ve ever been here before: your days are long and tiring, dealing with an annoying coworker and a never-ending to-do list. Every time you finish one item, a new item pops up, and you worry that you’ll never get a chance to catch your breath.
Then, on top of everything, you look in the mirror and notice it- a zit! But you’ve been eating healthy and taking good care of your skin– how could this happen?
While this may just seem like the cherry on top of a terrible, exhausting week, your stress acne is actually trying to tell you something about what’s going on inside your body- and you should listen to it.
In this post, I’ll be talking about stress acne, what causes it, and simple actions you can take to manifest clear skin!Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com
Stress and Your Skin
Could your stressful week at work actually be making your skin worse? The answer is yes!
When you feel stressed, your body produces more of the steroid hormone cortisol. According to The Dermatology Group, “When cortisol levels are high, it forces your glands to go into overdrive and unnecessarily produce more oil. An overproduction of natural oil (also known as sebum) is the leading cause for skin issues like breakouts and severe acne.”
Higher cortisol levels can also lead to a host of other skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Now you’re probably thinking, how can I get my cortisol levels down when the world keeps handing me stress? Well the good news is that stress relief doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming! Read on for some easy ways you can manage stress for clearer skin.
Easy Ways to Reduce Cortisol Levels
1. Relaxation Techniques. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation is the best way to eliminate stress from your life. In fact, regularly practicing meditation has been clinically proven to lower cortisol levels.
According to the Exploration of Consciousness Research Institute, “In 2013, researchers at UC Davis discovered a very powerful connection between mindfulness and cortisol, with remarkable results seen within only a few short weeks.” Furthermore, “another study by a Rutgers University doctor discovered that meditators had a nearly 50% reduction in cortisol levels.”
If you’re interested in learning the basics of meditation, check out this helpful infographic below.Meditation infographic courtesy of Business Insider
2. Self-care. Adding some relaxing self-care rituals to your routine is another way to lower your cortisol levels and banish stress acne. This ritual could come in the form of a Epsom salt bath, a yoga class, a massage, you name it.
My self-care ritual of choice is turning on my essential oil diffuser at night while I’m reading before bed. (You could even double up and use your diffuser while you meditate, if you like.)
When choosing an essential oil, it’s best to avoid more energizing oils like lemon or eucalyptus and opt for something more calming like lavender or ylang ylang.
3. Positive Thinking. There are many easy and inexpensive tools you can use to promote positive thinking and boost your mood. One such option is smudging–the ancient Native American practice of burning sage.
According to Healthline, “A 2014 study documented white prairie sage (also known as estafiate) as an important traditional remedy for treating anxiety, depression, and mood disorders in certain cultures.” They also noted that “A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi established that white sage (Salvia apiana) is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.”
Smudging can be done easily in your home by following the steps below.Photo courtesy of Our Peaceful Planet
Some options for smudging kits:
Another mood-boosting method that may lower cortisol levels and help control your stress acne is the practice of crystal healing.
I know you may be rolling your eyes, thinking ‘crystals are just pseudo-science’- but hear me out! Despite a lack of scientific data, what we’ve learned from other alternative medicine practices such as acupuncture and cupping (both of which are also not backed by science) is that the placebo effect can be powerful!
As stated by Medical News Today, “those who use crystals as a psychological treatment may also experience positive results based on their expectations. People who believe in the efficacy of holding or wearing certain crystals for courage, love, positivity, or happiness, for example, may actually experience some of those emotional results based on their mindset.”
So, assuming this is something that you’re into, you may be wondering- which crystals make the best healers for stress and reducing cortisol levels?
Rose Quartz is an excellent stone for both healing and self-care. It is also believed by crystal healers to promote emotional balance and feelings of self-love. Rose quartz is both affordable and easy to find.
Amethyst is known to have a high vibration and to block negative and stressful energy. What I love about amethyst is that in geode form (shown above), it makes beautiful decor for a desk, shelf, or coffee table.
Citrine is known to support the endocrine system, which is responsible for regulating how much of each hormone is released (i.e., cortisol). It is often associated with optimism and positivity. It is commonly used in jewelry, like my ring pictured below.Cocktail ring with citrine stones
How to use crystals. Now that you’ve chosen your healing crystal, it’s time to put it into action! Keep your crystal somewhere accessible, whether it be in your handbag or on your desk, and when you’re feeling stressed, hold it in your hand and absorb it’s positive energy. You can also pair it with one of the clear skin affirmations below and make it a habit to repeat your affirmation to yourself in your head every time you hold your crystal.
Affirmations For Clear Skin
Come up with some positive affirmations you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. You can write them down on sticky notes and put them on your bathroom mirror, or type them into the Notes app on your phone. If you can’t think of any, use the examples below;
- I am at peace in my own skin.
- I am healing my skin from the inside out.
- I am making healthy choices each day in order to heal my skin.
- Each day my skin gets clearer and clearer.
When you wake up in the morning, your affirmations will help you start your day on a positive note. Positivity = less stress = less stress hormones = clearer skin! 🙂
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