Our skin’s worst enemy can be inside our own head. Whether the effect is directly physiological or otherwise, there exists a vicious cycle between mental health and skin acne. Poor mental health, particularly when it is linked to high levels of stress, may lead to pimple or cystic acne. Yet, even as we contend with our own skyrocketing stress levels, the extent of our skin acne may become yet another cause of stress, thus, compounding the situation further. This is precisely why self-care is crucial when it comes to breaking that vicious cycle.
Between Stress and Skin Acne
Most of us can attest to how stress often physically manifests through new pimples on your skin. When stress takes over, our body tends to increase the production of a hormone known as cortisol. This, in return, causes a spike in the production of sebum, also known as oil.
Sebum, by itself, is a key component in the maintenance of skin health. However, too much of it inevitably leads to skin acne breakouts when it combines with dead skin cells and bacteria in your skin follicles. Your body will then attempt to address any possible infection by sending white blood cells to these areas of your skin, causing inflammation and, thus, pimples.
Some of us also tend to worsen the situation even further by picking at our own blemishes without realising it. Other times, we may become so self-conscious of these blemishes, that we pick at them for a quick fix, only to find ourselves burdened by skin acne scarring, instead. The vicious cycle then continues.
Self-Care Is Skin Care
Taking care of your own mental health and keeping stress levels as low as possible are all paramount to good skin health. Not doing so would most likely effectively render any skin care products that we invest in or any skincare routine that we undertake completely useless, especially in the long run. Just as you would treat any other health matters, you should always attempt to get right at the root of your skin acne.
Consider the pace of your respective lifestyles. Has your quest for success caused you to sacrifice your own health, including your skin, lately? In an ironic twist, neglecting your health may impede your full potential, and thus, hinder or even put a complete stop to this quest altogether. Not only would caring for your own physical and mental well-being help you break out of the aforementioned vicious cycle, it would also give you the confidence and strength you need. Even the most well-oiled machines require maintenance from time to time, human beings even more so.
Talk To Someone
How then do you care for yourself? There are a multitude of ways of doing so but talking to someone may be one of them. This requires plenty of courage on your part but confiding in a trustworthy person, whether by simply venting your frustrations, or asking them for advice, can be one of the most effective ways of coping with stress. Keeping your worries all to yourself only increases chances of you ruminating on them over and over, with no way out.
Furthermore, talking to someone else may help you see any of your problems from a different angle. At times, our concerns can seem much more alarming than they are. When you lay them all out to a third-party, they may be able to help you analyse and sort through them in more manageable ways. This may help you resolve these issues altogether, effectively reducing your list of causes for concerns and lowering your stress levels.
If you worry about placing your burdens or your family or friends, consider approaching a professional for help. They are, more often than not, in a better position to help you since they were trained to do so and are obligated to keep your concerns strictly confidential.
Introduce “Me-Time” Into Your Schedules
In what appears to be a direct contradiction to talking to someone, just being by yourself can be the self-care that your skin needs. Our friends and families may be great but there are times when spending some quality, quiet time with yourself can be the mental boost you need. This is, of course, particularly true among introverted people. Being around other people, including loved ones, for extended periods of time can be extremely stressful for introverts. This can, in turn, have an adverse effect on their skin health.
Try to remember to schedule in some ‘me-time’ when you could perhaps limit communication with others to purely text messages at a leisurely pace, or even none at all. You can, of course, do practically anything you wish to, such as a solo movie marathon or perhaps a peaceful walk in a less crowded part of town.
The most important part of any stress-relieving method is regaining peace of mind. Choose one that will best allow you to clear your mind so that you can return to functioning at your fullest.