Learn the difference between the two and how to treat them
Acne has a mind of its own, often appearing unannounced when it’s least welcome (like right before a big weekend) - and over-using your best skincare products is a waste of good product and money - especially if you’re up against hormonal or stress-related acne.
Here’s how to decipher what your skin is telling you:
Stress Acne vs Hormonal Acne
There is a fine line that separates hormonal acne from stress-related acne.
Stress-related acne is typically caused by your stress hormones (duh) triggering your oil glands to overproduce oil, whereas hormonal acne is typically caused by an increase in male-based hormones (like testosterone), which stimulate oil glands and clog pores.
Frustratingly, determining the cause of your flare-ups is even more difficult when you pile on your monthly cycle, hormone medication (i.e., birth control) and events that cause stress.
How to Tell the Difference
Two words: Location and Lifestyle
Stress-related acne is internal inflammation and tends to appear in the t-zone as cystic acne.
While hormonal acne tends to rear its ugly head on the lower third of your face (around your lips, chin and jaw) as this is where you have the highest concentration of oil glands.
While a less than ideal diet and an active social life aren’t acne-inducing red flags, lifestyle factors such as a poor work environment, stressful relationships and lack of sleep ARE.
Recognize what your stress triggers are (i.e. not enough sleep, poor eating habits, stress with family / work, etc.) and then work backward to adjust them. Hate to sound preachy here – but if it’s important enough to you, you’ll make the changes.
On a good note, if your lifestyle is healthy and thriving, there’s a 99% chance your acne is hormonal.
How to Treat Them
First and foremost, DO NOT PICK OR POP! Enough said (and easier said than done, I know).
Before you ever consider changing up your skincare routine, first determine the root of the problem – are you stressed or hormonal?
Then, for stress-induced acne, consider the areas in your life that are causing you the stress and make changes where possible – if immediate change is not an option, consider eliminating the issue (unhealthy relationship; toxic workplace, etc.) or introducing positive practices into your lifestyle (we hear yoga is amazing for, well, everything!)
For hormonal acne, consider booking an appointment with your doctor / dermatologist to discuss oral and/or topical medications and rethink your diet – but don’t worry, everything can be enjoyed in moderation.
Above all, a good, gentle, consistent skincare routine is your secret superpower against hormonal and stress-induced acne. It’s one of the reasons why we created our everyday Clean B products. Combine them with your favorite masks 2 – 3 times a week for an added boost and you can feel confident that at least that part of your life is in control. All our products are full of 100% natural ingredients that help balance your skin and regulate over-production of oils. Enjoy.
You’ll be on your way to clearer, smoother, glowing skin in no time!