How Does Stress Cause Breakouts?

Most of us are already in the know about how our sex hormones affect a woman's body, and retroactively, her skin. During our cycle our Estrogen, Progestin, and Testosterone levels can cause pore constriction, an excess of sebum, and our beloved monthly breakouts 5-7 days before our period.

But did you know your adrenal gland also plays a role in all of this? The adrenal gland, the part of us that helps us with our "fight or flight', gets us through intense workouts and stressful days, can become depleted. For those of us with highly active lifestyles, our adrenal gland is working constantly.

When the adrenal gland runs low, it 'borrows' from our sex hormones to get us through the day so we don't fall asleep at our desks, or collapse in the streets. Meaning the adrenal gland will borrow from our supply of estrogen, which we already know can cause issues for our complexion (high levels of estrogen = glowing skin, low levels = dullness).

The craziest part about this, is that many of us exercise to find release in our days, remove toxins from our bodies, and feel de-stressed. And while there are skin-related benefits to sweating, i.e. releasing toxins and debris from the pores, if our adrenal gland is already depleted after a long day of stress, pushing ourselves through an intense HIIT, boxing class, dance cardio or intense weight lifting session could further exacerbate your adrenal gland! The hormone that gets you through those last thirty second in plant could be causing your body to go wonky, cue breakouts.

So what can we do?

This is going to sound wishy washy, but listen to your body. If you feel like you can't go any further, listen. You don't have to give up moving or feeling good, but take time to explore forms of exercise that don't require large amounts of energy-release; i.e. yoga, pilates, stretching, walking, jogging, or anything else that feels good for your body.

You've heard it a thousand times, but meditating is an incredible way to bring the body to equilibrium, allowing your adrenal gland to refill and do its job properly. Doing it every day will produce significant results in managing stress, and stress related breakouts!

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