The #1 Cause of Acne

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The #1 Cause of Acne – According to my New Acne Quiz

Have you taken my amazing new Acne Quiz yet? 

While in quarantine, I have used my extra time to put together a series of questions based on my 14 years of experience healing acne as a Naturopathic Doctor – and the results of my quiz give massive insight into the root cause of acne.

(If you have not taken the FREE quiz yet, do it now – and here’s the link:

So far, thousands of people have taken the quiz and I have been keeping my eye on the results.  I won’t lie – I have been a bit surprised by the #1 cause of acne.   I have also been a bit humbled because I have been ignoring this part of healing as of late.

I have been taking the acne conversation where most people want to go (skincare, diet, supplements, skincare, skincare).  The truth is, I have not been talking about what is REALLY causing your acne.

Bottom line – over 45% of you have identified STRESS as the #1 underlying cause of your acne.

STRESS – not the wrong skincare regime, or diet, or supplements or gut health – but STRESS.

And, unlike changing our diet or taking a few supplements, stress is not so easy to solve.

It can seem impossible to shift your nervous system and liberate yourself from stress, anxiety, insomnia and overwhelm.

I get this so deeply – I suffered from crippling stress and anxiety for many years.  But even though it can be incredibly overwhelming, don’t panic.  There is a way to conquer stress.

Stress can trigger three different biochemical pathways in the body that lead to acne.  In addition, when you are in a state of stress, your body cannot balance and heal.  Recognizing that stress is a real issue when it comes to acne is the first step – because many people undervalue the role that stress plays when it comes to acne. 

And I am going to share a little secret with you – when you learn to manage your stress, not only will your acne clear, but you will experience so many other benefits as well.  Stress is responsible for almost 80% of all doctor visits in the United States, and by simply understanding and learning how to alleviate stress, you will be saving yourself from a myriad of health issues.  And not only that – but your relationships and feelings of happiness will benefit as well.

So, what are some signs that your acne may be a result of poor stress management? 

1. Anxiety, feelings of overwhelm and panic

2. Break-outs cause feelings of stress and panic

3. Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and fatigue mid-afternoon

4. Feel dizzy if you stand up quickly

5. Cravings for salty foods

6. Difficulty sleeping or an irregular sleeping schedule

7. Blood sugar and insulin dysregulation

Why are you experiencing these symptoms?

Our bodies are not designed for chronic, long-term stress.

Instead, we are designed to experience short bursts of stress (like when a tiger is chasing us) followed by longer periods of being relaxed.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds incredibly amazing – can you imagine a culture where we are naturally in a state of calm relaxation for most of the time? 

Anyways, chronic stress takes its toll on nearly every system in the body, but especially the adrenal glands, which are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys.  These glands produce cortisol, the stress hormone.  When the adrenal glands are fatigued, many of the symptoms I just mentioned start to manifest in the body.

But regardless of what is actually causing our stress, we have the power to stop this cycle and reclaim our natural state of being, which is calm and relaxed.  Managing stress is a skill that must be learned.  It is not checking off boxes on a list – and it requires commitment and dedication.  And the results are so worth it – including clear skin.

To help manage stress there are two things that you can do starting today:

1. Take a critical look at your calendar and your to-do list and get rid of anything that causes you undue stress.  Obviously you can’t get rid of some stressors in your life, but get rid of the ones that you are able to.  Often even eliminating little burdens in your life can make a huge difference.

2. Secondly, start practicing gratitude. Even though gratitude is an ancient practice, recent research has shown that a regular gratitude practice can help reduce stress and allow us to more easily transition from our fight or flight nervous system, which is where we are during times of stress, to our rest and digest nervous system, when our bodies are relaxed and able to heal. 

The practice is incredibly simple and takes minutes each day.  For 21 consecutive days, write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day.  That’s it.  Even though this practice may seem incredibly simple, it is super powerful and can really help heal your body so that you can heal your acne.

I would love to hear from you.  What are you doing to manage your stress?  How can I help you best?

Sending love,

Dr. Stacey


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