Stress. It affects every part of your body, from your brain to your skin.

When I think about stress I think of one word: Acne.

Here’s a simple explanation for the correlation between stress and bad skin: stress causes your body to produce more or less of certain hormones and even the slightest hormone imbalance can be seen in your skin. Thus that bad breakout the day before finals week begins.

Acne is one of the most common side effects of stress but there are plenty of other effects stress can have on your skin…

If you already have a skin condition, such as psoriasis or rosacea, stress can make these conditions worse! It can cause hives, rashes, and even trigger breakouts of feverblisters/coldsores.

As if that weren’t bad enough, long-term stress causes premature wrinkles! Awesome…

All of that said, let’s get to the important stuff: How can we counteract stress to prevent these nightmarish side effects?

  1. Sleep!

I know, we hear it all the time, but it’s so true! Sleep is so important for your overall health and this, of course, includes your skin. Even if part of your concern is that you have too little time in the day; you need to get around 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. It’s a must if you want healthy skin.

  1. Don’t neglect your skincare.

When we’re stressed, it’s so easy to forget parts or your, once easy, daily routine. I know after a long day, the last thing I want to do is take the time to wash and care for my skin, but I do. When you’re stressed and your skin is already in distress, that’s the time your skin needs the most love. Use the best products and use them properly. Take this little bit of time to listen to your favorite song and unwind a little.

  1. Practice Yoga.

It’s a form of exercise and an amazing form of stress management all in one! First and foremost, any type of exercise does wonders at helping with stress because it helps regulate hormone levels naturally. Yoga, in particular, not only manages stress at the physical level, but also helps center the mind and, quite simply, get your mind off of things that stress you out.

And, my parting words of advice: Just breathe.