5 Proven Tips to Prevent Breakouts from Stress!

Most of us have experienced an acne flare up when stress in on the rise. Why is it that breakouts develop when you're under pressure? In one word: STRESS! Below you'll find simple mind and body strategies for a clear, stress-free complexion.

The Stress and Skin Connection

Research has shown that stress and breakouts are directly linked. When the brain recognizes stress, it involuntarily releases stress hormones (cortisol) that help thicken the hair follicle's lining, causing blackheads/whiteheads. If bacteria get trapped, a large pimple develops.

Research supports the adverse impact of stress on the immune system. The skin, being one of the body’s largest organs, is intricately connected to the rest of our physiology, including the mind. Just as the body is affected by stress, so is the skin. The body responds to stress by directing blood flow and oxygen to areas vital for fighting the stress, and withdraws from other areas including the skin. The skin subsequently becomes starved of blood and oxygen, making it dehydrated, dull, lifeless and prone to clogged pores and breakouts.

Sonya Dakar’s Beauty Rx:

1    Clear & Prevent Breakouts Now

Use a fast-acting spot treatment to clear existing blemishes and prevent new ones from forming the moment you feel a pimple forming. Look for products with salicylic acid, time-released benzoyl peroxide, or probiotics to rapidly reduce redness, inflammation and kill bacteria. Aloe and Vitamin E will help soothe and repair the skin.

Nano and Encapsulation-technology allows for deeper penetration and time release of key ingredients.

2    Exfoliate

When our skin cells shed the dead cells do not fall away on their own. Dead skin cells stick to the skin, clogging pores and hair follicles. The increased stress hormone (cortisol) together with the dead cell debris causes the skin to produce excess follicle oils—which leads to blackheads and blemishes. Exfoliating will help remove the dead cells and decongest your pores, speeding up the skin renewal process and allowing new healthy cells to take their place.

Daily exfoliation will reduce clogged pores, fine lines and allow your serums and moisturizers to penetrate deeper into your skin.

3    Hydrate Your Skin

Moisture is crucial to counter dehydration and dullness from the decrease in oxygen flow to the skin when under stress. While many believe that skipping the moisturizer will dry out the skin and clear breakouts, the opposite actually holds true. Maintaining a balanced moisture level will keep the skin healthy - drying it out will further stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss. Use a hydrating serum rich in Omega 3,6 & 9 before applying your moisturizer.

The essential fatty acids help unclog pores, balance oil production, and nourish your skin. Applying your moisturizer after the hydrating serum will seal in the Omega fatty acids to provide a protective, hydrating layer & glowing complexion!

4    Boost the Good Bacteria

Acne is caused by bacteria. Our digestive system has billions of bacteria – and it’s important that the good bacteria outnumber the harmful ones. One powerful way to maintain healthy bacteria levels in our bodies is by increasing our healthy bacteria with probiotic supplements. Creams and cleansers that contain probiotics, or healthy bacteria can help send pimples packing, since they change the pH of your skin, “making it inhospitable for blemish-causing bacteria,” says Tami Meraglia, M.D., a physician in Seattle. “And popping a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT can enhance the complexion-clearing effect.”

Recommended: Sonya Dakar Acidophilus Flora

Look for a probiotic that contains a large quantity of Lactobacillus bacteria. There are other 'good bacteria' but this genus (or family) is the strongest and can survive through the acidity of your stomach to get into the intestines.

5    Drink Your Way to Clear Skin

Try to increase your intake of dark green, leafy vegetables, such as Kale or Spinach. They are known to provide lots of fiber (for clear skin) and plenty of vitamin A & C (for wrinkles and discoloration). Alternatively try substituting a daily snack with a Soy Protein Shake that contains vitamins B6, B12 (for stress and anxiety) zinc and biotin (to reduce oil production and swelling associated with blemishes for clear, healthy skin) and vitamin E (for skin repair).

Sonya Dakar's Ultima Power protein shakes can be used as meal substitutes or a healthy snack. Each serving contains all the vitamins and antioxidants you need to whip your skin back into shape – at only 160 calories per serving.

Whether we like it or not, stress has become an ever-present factor in our lives. At work, in our relationships, driving through rush-hour traffic - most of us take it for granted that there is nothing unusual about stressful situations occurring on a regular basis. Stress undermines the body, mind and emotions. And the results are all too obvious, by showing up on your skin. Stress aggravates skin conditions such as acne, hives, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, warts, cold sores and blisters. And even if stress does not actually result in one of these conditions, it is one of the chief contributors to an increased population of free radicals in the body, which, in turn, causes premature aging.

Can you really figure out when a flare-up is on its way? Yes, says Sonya Dakar, who offers these warning signs to look out for:

Warning Signs to Help Prevent Breakouts

  • Your skin is oilier than usual - Researchers found that stress causes the skin's sebaceous glands to secrete more oil.
  • Tiny blackheads and whiteheads are developing.
  • Your skin looks pale or flushed - Stress causes the blood vessels to constrict or dilate abnormally, so there's either too little or too much blood flow to the skin.
  • Your skin may be more sensitive than normal. Under stress, inflammatory neuropeptides are released in the skin, causing sensitivity