Baby wearing face mask for ZitSticka
The Spot

Boosting Mental Health & Reducing Stress = Better Skin

Sprawled in a hammock, sun-bingeing and sipping a tropical elixir somewhere in Europe is not only #goals, it is also the type of locale in which a person’s skin looks its best (provided they’re wearing SPF😉).

The main reason is stress, or rather an absence of it. Away from the demands of a high-pressure job, a bustling city or the incessant glow of a laptop, a thing called relaxation moves in. The benefits are holistic, and they extend to fewer breakouts and clearer skin.

Time reports that a stress-related hormone called CRH, or corticotrophin-releasing hormone is one explanation for stress-related acne. “CRH can bind to receptors in the skin’s sebaceous glands, and that binding drives up the skin’s oil production — which can cause pimples,” Dr. Adam Friedman tells the publication.

Can’t take a decadent vaycay right now? Lol, neither. Here are some energy promoting, stress combating alternatives.

Like exercising, the word ‘endorphins’ starts with ‘e’. An irrelevant fact perhaps, but these two ‘e’ words are pretty great for stress management. Regular exercise is a way for your mind to refocus away from daily stressors, raise the heart rate and stimulate mental clarity. Further, the fine people at report that “sweat induced by exercise contains a chemical called dermicidin which has antibacterial properties that can kill the P. acnes bacteria, which might, in turn, improve acne symptoms.”

Infrared Saunas
Less about expelling ‘toxins’ via stress (which is a contentious topic altogether; popular opinion suggests the kidneys and liver are the only ways to regulate body toxins, despite the purging feeling we get from sweat) and more about improving circulation, enhancing the immune system and enjoying the elation that comes with a deep sweat session.

Unlike conventional saunas, these gently heat the body’s core using the same beneficial rays as the sun, but without the whole damaging UV rays thing. On emerging, skin is radiant and brighter, and regular sessions are said to sustain ideal circulation, in turn promoting better skin.

At the time of writing, the Headspace app has an iTunes rating of 4.9 from 456,511 reviews. Most impressive, no? Taking some time out to be mindful and conscious of your body and the immediacy of life has been correlated with better self awareness, concentration and of course, lower stress levels. Another win for the skin.

Sleep too few hours for too many consecutive nights, and your mood has the potential to be more erratic than 2007 Lindsay Lohan (love you, LiLo). But did you know a sleep deficit can also affect your skin? Sleep is time for your body to shift its concentration from daily stressors to healing and rejuvenation. While you sleep, your body gets to work processing wastes, liberating toxins, and renewing your brain circuitry. Get those 8 hours each night and your skin will know about it.

Vitamin D is not something to be underplayed. We’re not talking about hardcore holiday sun like in the intro, but spending around 15 minutes a day outdoors while the sun is out. Scientific studies have linked receiving vitamin D from the sun to greater energy, lowered inflammation and improved mood. Supposing your skin also has a mood, a little sun can help to make it a happy one. Oh, mom here again—slather on some SPF50 whenever you head outdoors, please.

Of course, who has time to stay on top of all of this, all the time?! That's why we made KILLA—because prevention is always a fantastic idea, but zits are deeply unpredictable.