You may already know that stress can cause acne, but you might not know how. Stress causes inflammation to your entire body, inside and out. That inflammation can trigger breakouts—and it all starts in the gut.

Inner Turmoil

Stress negatively impacts the balance of flora (bacteria) in your stomach, creating enzymes that kill positive healthy bacteria. This triggers inflammation, one of the root causes of acne, including adult acne. Some people who’ve never experienced acne as a teen will find themselves the surprise owner of blemishes as an adult, thanks to increased stress.

Stress also affects our hormone balance, which can trigger breakouts. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, when we’re stressed, our bodies produce a type of hormone called androgens. Androgens stimulate the oil glands, and when stressed, produce more sebum than necessary to protect skin. So, not only may your skin be suffering from stress-induced inflammation, but also an excess amount of oil.

Get to the Root

While traditional (topical) Rx medications are effective at addressing many types of breakouts, they don’t treat one of the key triggers—stress. So while you're handling what lies on the surface, you’re not addressing what lies beneath—the stress that can trigger your next breakout. Taking a more complete approach can make the difference between treating acne over and over, or enjoying a stress-free, healthy-looking complexion.

Seek Balance

It may not be realistic to avoid stress in daily life. From work, to family to school and other pressures, stress just comes with the territory. MD Complete’s Healthy Skin Probiotic contains a probiotic, prebiotic and niacin to restore gut health. Used with our 3-step Acne Clearing System, the probiotic helps maintain a healthy balance of flora in the gut, and give you clear, amazing skin.

Beyond having a healthy balance in your gut, it’s important to get plenty of restorative sleep and maintain a diet filled with fresh food and antioxidants. Try to include foods like those in our list of 15 Great Foods For Healthy Skin.