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How to Cope With Stressed Skin Breakouts

It’s getting to that time of year again where looming exams and deadlines pile on the stress and, as a result, our skin suffers. Like we needed any more problems! As a past sufferer of severe acne – which has thankfully been cured by Roaccutane – I have become quite a pro at dealing with breakouts. So I have put together my best tips on how to deal with pesky stress-related breakouts, both physically and mentally.


It’s really not as bad as you think it is!

Firstly, it is important to remember that we see our faces constantly every day so naturally we scrutinize our appearance much more than other people do. As self-conscious as you’re feeling, it is important to remember that you are so much more than your skin and other people most definitely won’t be looking at it as much as you are. When the stressful time is over, your skin will calm down.


When deadlines are creeping up, it can be really tempting to stay up all night working. But this is not beneficial for your concentration or your skin. Without sleep, skin does not have the chance to heal and can appear more red and irritated. Make sure you take the time to have 8 hours’ sleep as well as some rest time, and make sure to drink lots of water.



Even if you have oily skin, moisturising is the most important part of skincare. The more dehydrated your skin, the more oil it produces, therefore the higher risk of a breakout. There are even specially formulated moisturisers for oily skin: try Origins oil-free moisture lotion if this is your skin type.



There is a popular misconception that make-up causes acne but my dermatologist told me that this is in fact false. While it is important to take make-up off thoroughly before bed, make-up alone cannot cause breakouts unless it doesn’t suit you. So if you’d like to feel more confident and wear a bit of make-up, it is always best to go for a medium coverage base and then individually spot-conceal blemishes. This will create a more natural finish and draw less attention to breakouts than a heavy, caked-on look.

Don’t overdo it

In our current world dominated by advertising, it can be so tempting to go out and buy every new skincare product on the market, because the review in X magazine made it sound so miraculous (trust me I’ve been there and I’ve got the empty purse to prove it). But applying 50 different products to your face every morning and night can be too rich and isn’t going to help. Stick with what you know and what works for you. No one will ever drag me away from my trusty Liz Earle ever again…

My Secret Tip!

I am about to spill the biggest skincare advice I have ever received, thanks to a lovely lady working on the Chanel counter who taught me to use BioOil on acne scars. It may sound crazy to put oil on your face when this is what causes spots, but applying a thin layer to scarred areas before you go to bed visibly fades them from day one. You can thank me later!

Edited by Tia Ralhan


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Josie Severn


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