Post-Holiday Pimples?

by Sonja on January 14, 2010

In the last decade, my skin has been pretty clear, a nice change after years of frequent breakouts. But right after the holidays, I was hit with quite a few zingers. At first, I thought it was odd – why was I breaking out when I was finally beginning to relax after holiday mayhem? But then I remembered something Dr. Kathie Fields (one of the founders of Proactiv) shared with me: pimples can start forming up to two weeks before they rear their ugly heads. Yes, two weeks!

Stress + You = Zits

I also remembered her partner Dr. Katie Rodan saying “stress is one of the leading triggers of acne.” So basically, I had planted the seeds, so to speak, in the midst of the holidays, when everything was super hectic and I was super stressed.

A Gentle Reminder

But hey, I took it as a reminder to chill out and make sure I’m managing my stress. I’ve actually gotten quite good at handling stress in recent years. Here are my proven stress busters (things that fell by the wayside a bit over the holidays):

  • Eat a balanced diet. Healthy foods, like fruits and veggies, reduce inflammation, help heal us, and even reduce stress. Whereas, processed junk foods spike glucose levels and stress our bodies and minds. (Want more info? Check out the book Ultrametabolism. It’s a fascinating read with lots of helpful, practical info.)
  • Exercise. I’m such a lazy butt. But exercising really does help our minds chill.
  • Meditation. I try to meditate at least once a day – either first thing in the morning or before bed or both. It makes a world of difference – even if it’s just for five minutes. Many people think they can’t do it. We spend so much time wrapped up in our thoughts that it seems impossible to quiet the mind. But it’s totally possible. It just takes practice. Need help? This article offers some really great tips and sample meditations.
  • Yoga. Yoga gives a lot of bang for the buck. You get the benefits of exercise and meditation at the same time, because it’s a moving meditation.
  • Rest. A good night’s rest helps by leaps and bounds. Skimp on sleep and your body and mind will be much worse for the wear.
  • Hobbies. Working on a hobby is a wonderful way to refocus the mind. One of my favorite hobbies is working with paper and rubber stamps. I love to make homemade cards. Thoughts of work go right out the door when I’m focused on how I’m going to design a card.

Do Tell

Did you get hit with zits after the holidays too? Do you find that you break out after getting stressed out? What are your stress busters? Do tell.

photo: diezzo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 twila January 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

I started using Arbonne Skin Care and it has helped my skin so much. I used to break out due to stress as well and the week of my period, but not anymore.


2 Sally January 14, 2010 at 10:14 am

Oh HELLS YES. I’m still dealing with the fallout! I find that lots of water, no soda, and limiting my junk food intake are the main things that keep acne at bay. Well, those things and keeping stress to a minimum … but I suck at that.
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3 Tami January 14, 2010 at 11:07 am

Drinking more water, less stress, and more sleep will do the trick. I also love using Bella Pelle’s Spot Treat for those nasty zits.
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4 anh January 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

i have this one zit, which has lasted for over a week so now i think its just like a skin abrasion or something. it doesn’t hurt or anything. anyways i think it may be an after holiday zit. i dunno. but its bugging me. may just have to go get a facial and have my facialist take care of it for me. and normally i get it around the time auntie flo comes to visit.
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5 lisa January 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I agree, lots of water and rest are key! I like going out salsa dancing too-letting out all the stress on the dance floor is good for my skin, not to mention all the sweating that clears out my pores. Other than that, I have noticed that eating a lot of sugar makes me break out more, so I try to watch my processed sugar intake.
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6 Make Do Style January 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Exercise - I find exercise the best xx
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7 amy January 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Ugh! Skin problems!
A few months ago, after having completely clear skin for ages, I started getting what I’ve been told is rosacea on one of my cheeks. Diet affects it - chocolate, alcohol, coffee - everything that is great! I do notice that stress plays a huge factor too. My stress busters include walking, drawing or painting and writing. I think writing may be the most beneficial though. Once I see my stress causers written out on paper, they don’t seem so inconquerable and awful.


8 charles January 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm

i’ve been okay, i have a great dermatologist though! ;)
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9 zeno zapper January 15, 2010 at 4:56 am

Wonderful advice for everyone whether you are doing it for you complexion, yourself or those around you. I know it’s an old cliche but you only live once. Relax enjoy it. Have fun.
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10 stylefyles January 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

thanks for the tips…I just noticed some breakouts here too in the last few days….must have to do with the same thing. Also, my face-washing regime changes a bit when I travel (I used different products, etc.) which I’m sure doesn’t help either. Need to figure out a more consistent system, since the wash I use is not conducive to travel (container-wise)


11 hanako66 January 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm

i’m just now getting back to normal, my skin was a mess over the holidays!
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12 Audi January 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Ugh, yeah — I’m still fighting the last of them off. I blame the airport madness on the day I came back from Mexico. Right, I’m off to drink some more water…
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13 Carla January 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I’m 31 years old and have been dealing with acne on and off for over 23 YEARS now. The worst time for me was age 13-22. My skin finally started to clear up a bit in my mid 20s. Cystic acne in my early 20s was the absolute worst because it was very painful.

It was a combination of genetics, hormonal imbalance and diet. Though I still have breakouts every now and then, my lifestyle has things almost under control most of the time.
Carla´s last blog ..My love of links 2010 – Vol. I My ComLuv Profile


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